AWS Trusted Advisor – New Priority Capability

AWS Trusted Advisor is a service that continuously analyzes your AWS accounts and provides recommendations to help you to follow AWS best practices and AWS Well-Architected guidelines. Trusted Advisor implements a series of checks. These checks identify ways to optimize your AWS infrastructure, improve security and performance, reduce costs, and monitor service quotas.

Today, we are making available to all Enterprise Support customers a new capability for AWS Trusted Advisor: Trusted Advisor Priority. It gives you prioritized and context-driven recommendations manually curated by your AWS account team, based on their knowledge of your environment and the machine-generated checks from AWS Services.

Trusted Advisor implements over 200 checks in five categories: cost optimization, performance, security, fault tolerance, and service limits. Here is a view of the current Trusted Advisor dashboard.

AWS Trusted Advisor Categories

The list of checks available on your account depends on your level of support. When you have AWS Basic Support, available to all customers, or AWS Developer Support, you have access to core security and service limits checks. When you have AWS Business Support or AWS Enterprise Support, you have access to all checks.

The new Priority capability gives you a prioritized view of critical risks. It shows prioritized, contextual recommendations and actionable insights based on your business outcomes and what’s important to you. It also surfaces risks proactively identified by your AWS account team to alert and address critical cloud risks stemming from deviations from AWS best practices. It is designed to help you: IT leaders, technical decisions makers, and members of a Cloud Center of Excellence.

The account team takes advantage of their understanding of your production accounts and business-critical workloads. By working with you, they identify what’s important to you, and the outcomes or goals you wish to achieve. For example, they know about your business viewpoint whether it is exiting a data center by the end of the year, launching a new product, expanding to a new geography, or migrating a workload to the cloud.

Trusted Advisor uses multiple sources to define the priorities. On one side, it uses signals from other AWS services, such as AWS Compute Optimizer, Amazon GuardDuty, or VPC Flow Logs. On the other side, it uses context manually curated by your AWS account team (Account Manager, Technical Account Manager, Solutions Architect, Customer Solutions Manager, and others) and the knowledge they have about your production accounts, business-critical applications and critical workloads. You will be guided to opportunities to take advantage of AWS Support engagements like a Cost Optimization workshop when the account team believes there are opportunities to reduce costs, a deep dive with a service team, or an Infrastructure Event Management for an upcoming workload migration.

You will be alerted to risks in your deployments on AWS, using sources such as the AWS Well-Architected framework. We will highlight and bring to attention any open high risk issues (HRIs) from recently conducted Well-Architected reviews. We also run campaigns to proactively identify, alert, and reduce single points of failures, such as single Availability Zone deployments. This verifies that you don’t have a single point of failures for production applications that are used for mission-critical processes, that drive significant revenue, or have regulated availability requirements. Trusted Advisor helps you to detect, raise awareness, and provide prescriptive guidance.

Here is a diagram to visualize my mental model for Trusted Advisor Priority:

Trusted Advisor Mental Model Diagram

Trusted Advisor Priority works with AWS Organizations: it aggregates all recommendations from member accounts in your management account or designed delegated administrator. You may delegate access to Trusted Advisor Priority to a maximum of five other AWS accounts. Trusted Advisor Priority comes with a new AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy to help you manage access to the capability. Finally, you can also configure to receive daily and weekly email digests of all prioritized notifications to the alternate contacts you set up in the management account or each delegated admin account.

Let’s See Trusted Advisor Priority in Action
I open the AWS Management Console and navigate to Trusted Advisor. I notice a new navigation entry on the left menu. It is the default view for Enterprise Support customers.

The Trusted Advisor Priority main screen summarizes the number of Pending response and In progress recommendations. It shares some time-related statistics on the right side of the screen. I can start to look at the Active prioritized recommendations list on the bottom half of the screen.

Recommendations are divided into two panels: Active and Closed. The Active tab includes recommendations that have been surfaced to you and which you are actively working on. The Closed tab includes recommendations that have been resolved. All account team prioritized recommendations are presented with a series of searchable and sortable columns. I see the recommendation name, status, source, category, and age.

AWS Trusted Advisor Priority

The list gives me details about the category, the age, and the status of the recommendations. The Source column distinguishes between auto-detected and manually identified opportunities. The Category column shows the category from Trusted Advisor (cost optimization, performance, security, fault tolerance, and service limits). The Age column shows me how long it’s been since the recommendation was first shared. This helps with tracking the time to resolution for each of these items.

AWS Trusted Advisor Priority

I can select any recommendation to drill down into the details. In this example, I select the second one: Amazon RDS Public Snapshots. This is a recommendation in the Security category.

AWS Trusted Advisor Priority

Recommendations are actionable, and they give you a real course of action to respond to the issue. In this case, it suggests modifying the snapshot configuration and removing the public flag that makes the database snapshot available to all AWS customers.

Trusted Advisor Priority provides a closed-loop feedback mechanism where I have the ability to accept or reject a recommendation if I don’t think the issue is relevant to my account.

The information is aggregated at an Organizations level. When you are using Organizations to group accounts to reflect your business units, the recommendations are aggregated and present an overall risk posture across your business units.

As an infrastructure manager, I can either Accept the recommendation and take action or Reject it because it is not a risk or it is something I will not fix and want to remove the recommendation from my list.

AWS Trusted Advisor Priority - Accept AWS Trusted Advisor Priority - Reject

Pricing and Availability
AWS Trusted Advisor Priority is available in all commercial AWS Regions where Trusted Advisor is available now, except the two AWS Regions in China. It is available at no additional cost for Enterprise Support customers.

Trusted Advisor Priority will not replace your Technical Account Manager or Solution Architect. They are key in providing tailored guidance and working with you through all phases of managing your cloud applications. Trusted Advisor Priority provides anytime access to tailored, context-aware, risk-mitigating recommendations and insights from your account team and optimizes your engagement with AWS. It will not reduce your access to your account team in any way but rather will make it easier for you to collaborate with them on your most important priorities.

You can start to use Trusted Advisor Priority today.

And now, go build!

— seb

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