Amazon offers troubleshooting tool to Web services users

For a couple of dollars per month, Amazon adds better tracking of configuration changes

Amazon Web Services' management tool, Config, provides troubleshooting and security analysis features designed to give IT staff more control over cloud resources.

The commercial launch of Config is part of a bigger push by Amazon to make it easier to manage its services. As enterprises have moved more systems to the cloud, administrating them all has become difficult.

With AWS Config, IT staff can find existing servers, storage volumes and isolated sections of Amazon's cloud that have been set up using the Virtual Private Cloud service, and determine how those resources were configured at any point in time. The quickest way to get started with the tool is to use Amazon's Management Console, a separate, freely available interface used to control the company's cloud offerings.

To add another layer of control, Amazon has integrated Config with CloudTrail, which is used to record API calls. Amazon partner ServiceNow has also integrated Config with its configuration management database, which helps keep better track of usage and costs.

Other recent management upgrades from Amazon include a tool to edit tags, which are used to organize resources on Amazon's cloud, and better integration with Microsoft's System Center platform. Competitors such as VMware and Microsoft are also taking steps to make life easier for IT departments.

AWS Config is priced at US$0.003 per configuration change that the service records. For an account with several hundred resources and standard configuration change activity, Config would record fewer than 3,000 so-called configuration items per month, or less than $9 per month.

The cost of storage and messaging using S3 (Simple Storage Service) and SNS (Simple Notification Service) are added on top of that.

The preview version of Config was only available in the U.S. East region, which is hosted in Northern Virginia. The commercial release is now available in the U.S. East, U.S. West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Sydney) regions.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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