Cost, Performance, and Security Optimization for the Public Cloud

Aaron Klein

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Top Stories by Aaron Klein

A key advantage of AWS and the cloud is that it is dynamic and can be scaled according to need. That advantage, however, can cause security nightmares. With that in mind, here are five easy tips to ensure that you keep up your end of the bargain. 1. Use ‘least privileging' when permissioning. What does this mean? It means use either the templates AWS provides or create your own to insure that users are not given more access than they require. Use AWS' resource level controls. This is equally critical when considering programs that are gaining API access. Do not over permission and carefully control privileges. 2. Create strong IAM policies and continually monitor them. AWS allows MFA. Use it for privileged accounts. Similarly, create and enforce policies to insure that passwords are appropriately complex and secure for all accounts. Ensure that your security groups... (more)

Ten Common Cloud Usage Traps

Many cloud users moved to the public cloud for cost reasons, but stay for the availability benefits. AWS (and other public clouds) offers users tremendous advantages in terms of elasticity - need another 100 servers?  We can spin those up instantly. Unexpected CDN demand? No problem.  Want to test something out? We'll get the resources right away. In short, the public cloud offers users nearly unlimited capacity in a comparatively (to the old "order the servers from IT") instantaneous manner. However, along with the fantastic increase in availability, we have found that using a ... (more)

Why Worry About Public Cloud and AWS Cost Optimization?

Cost optimization is a hot topic because of the enormous opportunities for the average user to reduce AWS costs. CloudCheckr surveyed 400 of its users and found that the average potential saving exceeded 40%. The results should not have been surprising. Cloud cost sprawl is not a secret. CloudCheckr and other solution providers are constantly shouting: "We can improve your ROI!"  Respected journalists such as Barb Darrow at GigaOm, Beth Pariseau of, and Charles Babcock at InformationWeek all provide consistent high-quality coverage of the issue. Why are ... (more)

Cloud Monitoring Essentials: Part 1 | Cost

Cloud elasticity delivers significant increases in availability and scalability with enormous cost reductions relative to comparably functional data centers.  Harnessing this strength and optimizing your cloud usage means monitoring and understanding what is occurring within your deployment - for cloud users, there is no such thing as benign neglect. Just as data center users require solutions to assist in optimizing and controlling usage beyond the application layer, so to do public cloud users. In fact, given the complexity and evolving innovation of cloud architecture, tools a... (more)

Cloud Monitoring Essentials | Part 2: Security

The cloud offers users agility and flexibility at, potentially, a far lower cost than a traditional data center model. However, with these benefits come risks from cost sprawl, security holes, and availability management. Part 1 of Cloud Monitoring Essentials focused on cost concerns. This second part looks at security. Security: The dynamic nature of the cloud, with ever-changing security groups and rules, makes security difficult. New instances, auto scaling groups, and buckets are created and terminated daily.  Resources that were ‘secure' yesterday may be altered today and y... (more)