Late last month, Amazon graduated AWS Organizations from “preview” status to widespread availability.
AWS Organizations caters to individuals and businesses managing multiple AWS accounts, often as a result of company acquisitions or the decentralized, gradual adoption of web services across individual business divisions. Eventually, of course, managing each of these accounts can prove quite cumbersome. Who gets access to what? What about cost management and billing? Matters can swiftly become headache-inducing.
Organizations is about handling all this in a scalable way within your company. Below, we’re going to explain this new administrative capability and how it can help save you money.
An “Organization,” as AWS terms it, is a combined set of AWS accounts under your central management.
Within the AWS Organizations framework, you can establish a hierarchy of Organizational Units (OUs) for account assignment. Service Control Policies (SCPs), which act as a set of controls administered by the AWS Organization master account, can then be assigned to OUs and their hierarchies. These SCPs allow for policy-based account management, detailing the permissions each account’s root user are afforded. Permissions never extend past what you define in your SCP set, ensuring that only your most trusted users wield far-ranging control over AWS services and API functions. (Note that SCPs assigned to any OU are also automatically assigned to any and all OUs beneath it in its hierarchy.)
More succinctly, Organizations offers you the power and flexibility to eschew manual processes and custom scripts while pretty-darn-effortlessly managing groups of AWS accounts in a centralized fashion. You can also invite existing AWS accounts to your organization, and create brand new accounts, too.
At GorillaStack, we’re big on saving the almighty dollar. Products like our Power Cycle are developed from the ground-up to shield you from running up bills on non-production instances, so you can imagine we’re pretty stoked about the cost-conscious nature of Organizations and all types of AWS automation that helps manage your cloud environment.
Specifically, Organizations assists in establishing a single payment method for each of your accounts through consolidated billing. With consolidated billing, AWS treats all listed accounts as if they were the same. This is critical when considering volume pricing tiers offered through Amazon S3 and EC2, which may award an account lower prices based upon its level of usage. Since consolidated billing aggregates all the usage across all the accounts within your organization, it is this single, inflated number that is matched against the existing volume pricing tiers.
The result? Often, substantially lower costs thanks to a volume-based discount. And that’s something we can all get behind.
Organizations is available now and is free-of-charge to existing AWS customers.