Have you been already struggling with managing multiple Amazon Web Service (AWS) accounts with all their complexity, management requirements and worries?
If so, you must have encountered an intricate web of challenges concerning security, pricing, access and permission rights, to name a few? Probably, you have also been wondering if there is an easier way of handling tasks…?
Indeed, there is an AWS solution that is sure to help you out. There is a dedicated AWS service exclusively devoted to multiple account management – AWS Organizations!
Let us see what it is all about!
AWS ORGANIZATIONS: WHAT IS IT AND WHY USE IT?
AWS Organizations is a free account management service offered by your AWS account. It allows you to restructure all your different AWS accounts by creating a separate entity (“organization”) that can hierarchically organize and manage them.
Source: Organizing Your AWS Environment Using Multiple Accounts
With AWS Organizations, you can launch your centralized account management. You are empowered to arrange your existing and new accounts, as you can also send invitations to other accounts. You are enabled to apply relevant policies and regulations to the specific accounts that you want to.
To be more straightforward, AWS Organizations lets you consolidate your billing for all AWS accounts, address compliance or security needs, target specific policies, API access and AI data gathering to chosen accounts, integrate with access management and other AWS services, etc.
For further details about the scope of the service, please take a look here.
Now, let us have a closer look at some of the key benefits that AWS Organizations can bring to your business.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN AWS ORGANIZATION?
The main function that AWS Organizations does is to streamline your different account management needs. It is a key AWS service that is part of AWS Well-Architected.
Source: AWS Organizations terminology and concepts
Without further ado, here are the seven key benefits you can take advantage of by installing an AWS Organization:
- Scaling Workloads – you can do it seamlessly and quickly with all in-built security and features, which makes it particularly beneficial if you are scaling up;
- Ensuring Customized Environments for Every Workload – you can achieve this with the help of your groups of accounts (organization units), to which you can assign various policies;
- Applying Centralized Security and Management you can get a single point of control for your policies and audits, which saves you time and money, and improves speed and quality;
- Optimizing Permission Management and Access Control – you can significantly simplify the process by controlling access to single accounts, group of accounts or policies;
- Improving the Use of Resources you can reduce resource duplication and share critical resources which lead to resource optimization;
- Managing Cost and Usage you can get single-bill discounts and enhanced usage with the help of other AWS Services;
- Exploring other AWS services – with AWS Organizations each account is entitled to an AWS Free Tier, which allows it to explore other AWS services at no cost over a specific period of time.
Sounds inspiring, right? If you need to get some further insights about a specific benefit, please read here.
Let’s move on to how you can put it all into practice.
HOW DO AWS ORGANIZATIONS WORK?
As with other AWS services, you have no reason to worry about setting up your service. At your disposal, you will find plenty of AWS and community resources that can fully support you in launching your AWS Organization.
Yet, let us have a brief look at how it works.
Key Steps at a Glance
All you have to do to launch your AWS Organization is basically follow a five-step model: 1) create your organization; 2) create your organizational units; 3) create your control policies; 4) test and apply policies; 5) enable the AWS services that you would like to integrate with your organization.
The next figure provides a visual representation of the process:
Source: AWS Organizations overview
Some Tutorials to Get you Started
So far, so good. Before our service is up and running though, it is usually wise to also consult some of the key tutorials that the team behind the service has created.
Here is what they cover:
- Creating and Configuring an AWS Organization – a tutorial that will assist you in setting up your AWS Organization, consisting of at least two accounts;
- Monitoring an AWS Organization – a tutorial that may be helpful if you are undergoing major organizational changes.
Additionally, you can always consult the official User Guide presenting the AWS Organizations service in all its details and functions.
Best Practices for First-Class Experience
As with any service that has been operational for a while, you should also keep in mind the best practices that have been gathered. Have you already guessed what the key precaution in the case of AWS Organizations is? Of course, it is mainly about ensuring the security of your new organization.
Here is what some of the key AWS best practices reveal:
- your management account should be used only for the tasks which require it;
- use a group email for the management account’s root user;
- be careful about protecting the password of this user;
- keep track of who has access to this user;
- document the process of using the root user credentials.
Sounds simple, right? We hope you will really enjoy it!
Should you need any technical assistance in setting and running your AWS Organization, please do not hesitate to contact us.
AWS Organizations is a key AWS service for multiple account management. It is particularly suited for organizations in the process of scaling, change or for such wishing to optimize their account management costs and efficiency. AWS Organizations is a basic AWS service, which falls into our AWS Basics Series. For further articles discussing AWS Basics, please continue here.