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The highest tier, Management & Administration, is less about services and more about controlling services. The first category, Web Interface contains just one item, the Management Console. The Management Console is the primary consolidated web interface for managing AWS services. I'll be using this interface extensively throughout this course. In addition to the Web Interface, there's also a native mobile application called AWS Console for Android and a series of stand-alone Commands Line Tools that provide alternative and sometimes more direct management than the Web Interface.
The next category, Identity & Access contains a hybrid of services and features. I won't be demonstrating items in this category as Identity Management is a topic onto itself and Billing is self-explanatory. I'll start with the AWS Identity and Access Management, or IAM, which I have to admit as a clever name. IAM provides an identity management in access control system for managing users and groups. Using Identities, access controls through permissions is given and denied for accessing AWS resources.
Identity Federation is actually a subset of IAM allowing identities from outside resources, such as a corporate directory to be used to control access without the need to duplicate identities. Consolidated Billing is less of a service and more like a feature. It allows multiple AWS accounts to be billed to a central account. This is useful in organizations who have multiple individuals or departments with their own accounts. Deployment & Automation provides mechanisms for managing and scaling groups of services in bulk. In particular, the AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a scaling Platform as a Service that uses AWS services.
Instead of setting up a configuration manually, I can just grab an off-the-shelf solution stack, and Beanstalk handles provisioning, load balancing, autoscaling and health monitoring. Supporting applications written in .NET, PHP, Python, Ruby and other languages, Beanstalk packages and configures existing solutions neatly while still providing access to tweak settings. If the Beanstalk solutions aren't custom enough, the AWS CloudFormation system allows custom templates of AWS service configurations for custom solution stacks using a scriptable interface.
The final management component is Monitoring using Amazon CloudWatch. CloudWatch is one of the few systems that doesn't require configuring out of the box, as it monitors AWS resources automatically, including utilization, performance and operational health. CloudWatch is not limited to AWS resources. In particular, custom metrics can be measured and reacted to, using Put API requests. Individual threshold alarms can be set based on particular metrics that can send a notification when something goes particularly badly.
With all the recorded metrics, visual representation with graphs and statistics is included to allow humans like myself to visualize the data. Finally, Auto Scaling leverages the Cloud Watch monitoring to allow controlled scaling of EC2 instances based on whatever conditions are desired.
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