AWS Organizations is a cloud service that enables businesses to consolidate and manage multiple AWS accounts in a structured manner. It provides policy-based management, simplifies billing, enhances security, and helps with cost optimizations. For companies operating at scale, employing best practices in AWS Organizations becomes crucial to manage resources efficiently and ensure robust security measures. This article will shed light on these best practices with concrete examples and potential challenges that you may face during implementation.
AWS Organizations Best Practices: Account Management
Implement a multi-account structure
Adopting a multi-account structure provides an added layer of security by ensuring resource and security isolation. This structure separates your environments (such as development, staging, and production), restricts access, and applies service control policies (SCPs) at the account level. For instance, a production account can be isolated from a development account to prevent accidental modifications or deletions.
A potential challenge here is managing access across these multiple accounts. This is where AWS SSO comes in.
Use AWS SSO for centralized account management
AWS Single Sign-On (SSO) provides a centralized access control to your AWS accounts. It simplifies the process of managing access to multiple AWS accounts and business applications. However, setting up AWS SSO can be tricky if your organization does not already have a centralized identity source. Planning is key here.
Regularly monitor and review accounts
Reviewing your accounts regularly ensures that you don’t have redundant or unnecessary AWS accounts within your organization. This is crucial as redundant accounts can lead to unnecessary costs and potential security vulnerabilities. If you need more information on how to conduct these reviews effectively, visit our page on AWS IAM Best Practices.
AWS Organizations Best Practices: Security
Apply service control policies (SCPs) for security measures
Service control policies help you set fine-grained permissions for your accounts. For example, you can restrict access to certain AWS services within specific accounts. However, one challenge is that setting overly restrictive policies may hinder account users from performing their tasks effectively.
Enable AWS CloudTrail and AWS Config for increased visibility
AWS CloudTrail records account activity and enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing. AWS Config provides a detailed inventory of your AWS resources and their current configurations. For more details on how to increase visibility in your AWS accounts, see our AWS Cloud Security Explained page.
Use AWS Security Hub for centralized security management
AWS Security Hub aggregates, organizes, and prioritizes your security alerts and findings from multiple AWS services and AWS Partner solutions. But remember, effective use of AWS Security Hub requires proper configuration and regular monitoring.
AWS Organizations Best Practices: Cost Management
Leverage AWS Budgets and AWS Cost Explorer for cost tracking
AWS Budgets allow you to set custom cost and usage budgets that alert you when your costs or usage exceed (or are forecasted to exceed) your budgeted amount. AWS Cost Explorer lets you view and analyze your costs and usage over time. For detailed insights on cost optimization, see our AWS Glue Cost Optimization page.
Implement tagging strategies for resource allocation
By consistently tagging resources, you can allocate costs, optimize spending, enhance governance, and improve security and compliance across your organization. However, developing and implementing a consistent tagging strategy can be challenging without careful planning.
Use savings plans and reserved instances for cost optimization
Savings Plans and Reserved Instances (RIs) offer significant savings for AWS services. Savings Plans offer flexibility and savings of up to 72%, while RIs can save you up to 75% compared to on-demand instance pricing. However, it requires an understanding of
your long-term usage patterns to effectively leverage these options.
AWS Organizations Best Practices: Governance
Implement AWS Control Tower for automated governance
AWS Control Tower automates the setup of a baseline environment, or landing zone, that is a secure, multi-account AWS environment. It also helps enforce your policies for governance. However, setting up AWS Control Tower can be complex, so it’s best to follow the documentation closely.
Create and enforce a consistent tagging strategy across all accounts
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of a consistent tagging strategy. Tags are vital for managing resources, tracking costs, implementing security, and compliance protocols. For a deep dive into AWS tagging strategies, refer to our Cloud Governance 101 page.
Use AWS IAM Access Analyzer to review resource policies
AWS IAM Access Analyzer helps you identify resources that are shared with entities outside of your AWS Organization. A common challenge here is dealing with a high number of findings, which requires careful review and prioritization.
Do’s and Don’ts for AWS Organizations Best Practices
- Centralize and automate account management with AWS SSO and Control Tower.
- Implement a multi-account structure for improved security and organization.
- Regularly review and update service control policies (SCPs).
- Use AWS Security Hub, CloudTrail, and Config to monitor and manage security.
- Implement cost management tools such as AWS Budgets, Cost Explorer, and tagging strategies.
- Don’t overlook the importance of a consistent tagging strategy.
- Don’t ignore the benefits of savings plans and reserved instances for cost optimization.
- Don’t neglect regular account and resource policy reviews.
- Don’t skip important security measures like SCPs and IAM Access Analyzer.
- Don’t bypass the use of AWS Control Tower for governance at scale.
AWS Organizations offers a multitude of benefits when best practices are correctly implemented. It enhances security, simplifies account management, aids in cost optimization, and eases governance. However, as we have highlighted throughout the article, each of these practices come with their unique challenges. Understanding these potential obstacles and planning accordingly is essential for successful implementation. Hence, we encourage you to review these best practices regularly, stay up-to-date with AWS updates, and continue to optimize your AWS environments for security, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency. For more such insights, check out our other AWS best practices guides, such as AWS VPC Best Practices and AWS Auto Scaling Best Practices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is AWS Organizations? AWS Organizations is a service that allows businesses to manage and automate their AWS services at scale. It provides policy-based management for multiple AWS accounts.
- Why should I implement a multi-account structure in AWS Organizations? A multi-account structure provides resource and security isolation. It allows you to segregate your environments (like development, staging, and production), restrict access, and apply service control policies (SCPs) at the account level.
- What are the benefits of using AWS SSO with AWS Organizations? AWS Single Sign-On (SSO) provides centralized access control for your AWS accounts, simplifying the process of managing access to multiple AWS accounts and business applications.
- How can I optimize costs with AWS Organizations? You can optimize costs in AWS Organizations by leveraging AWS Budgets and AWS Cost Explorer for cost tracking, implementing tagging strategies for resource allocation, and using savings plans and reserved instances for cost optimization.
- What tools does AWS Organizations provide for improved governance? AWS Organizations provides several tools for improved governance including AWS Control Tower for automated governance, consistent tagging strategy across all accounts, and AWS IAM access analyzer to review resource policies.