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The challenge a growing number of companies face is how to manage cloud governance across an economic ecosystem comprised of hundreds of teams, each with hundreds of different workloads.

The goal of AWS Control Tower is to provide IT admins with a service control console that lets them manage security compliance easily while simultaneously ensuring that best practices are followed by developers and other employees.

Companies need to ensure that applications and teams are secure from day one of their cloud migration. Control Tower helps them reach this goal by automating security compliance and enforcement of best practices from the outset of the migration process.

What AWS Control Tower offers:

  1. Get teams migrated to the cloud right away.
  2. Give them self-service provisioning access on demand (no two-week wait as a request goes through a workflow ticketing system to gain required approvals).
  3. Make sure you have the correct operational capabilities in place to support continuous monitoring/continuous compliance.

When all the pieces are working together the result is self-service governance at scale. Control Tower automates the provisioning process so that teams can work faster yet in a managed environment that enforces compliance automatically. The key is to automate the enforcement of best practices.

Advantages of AWS Control Tower for Cloud Governance

It isn’t unusual for a company to spend weeks or months setting up its landing zone for a multi-account AWS environment, but with Control Tower the process is automated using best practice blueprints customized to the needs of your organization. Now a landing zone can be configured in a matter of minutes or hours.

Control Tower also automates changes to access controls as employees join and leave the company. All required backend changes are made automatically to admin and security settings, enabling single sign-ons based on database best practices without the usual heavy lifting. The configurations are continuously monitored and account policy compliance is displayed on a dashboard so development teams aren’t slowed down by waiting for approvals from a central security team.

Control Tower also lets you apply guardrails, which are best-practice policies that can be applied right out of the box for all accounts. Some guardrails are mandatory and enabled by default, while others are optional. Preventive guardrails are usually service control policies that prevent resources from being deployed that don’t comply with policies, while detective guardrails continuously monitor deployed resources to spot noncompliance. Guardrails are translated automatically by Control Tower into granular AWS policies.

AWS Control Tower allows a multi-account AWS environment to be created with just a few clicks by using blueprints that capture best practices when configuring the securing and management services that will ensure compliance.–Source: Amazon Web Services

Another important Control Tower feature is the concept of a database account factory that automates provisioning of new accounts. All new accounts generated using account factory have specific roles to bootstrap and create them, which allows auditors to access them to prevent abuse and manage the environment footprint.

Control Tower’s dashboard allows the health of the AWS environment to be determined at a glance using visual indicators in conjunction with notifications when automated remediation actions occur. With a single sign-on, you get access to the log archive and audit accounts, which allows the entire cloud trail and all config logs to be sent to a centralized account. Every new account gains all these features the moment it is deployed.

How Control Tower Brings Self-Service to Resource Provisioning

While there are many different approaches that development teams can adopt, they tend to standardize on a handful of languages and stacks, using them for 80 percent of their work. With Control Tower, every new database account that is created gets bootstrapped with the most commonly requested database infrastructure as a self-service service catalog product. This ensures that all the appropriate security ports are disabled and the correct access controls are in place.

One of the greatest advantages Control Tower offers AWS customers is that they pay only for the AWS services they set up using Control Tower. This includes the AWS Service Catalog and other services that are created by default, as well as those supporting custom implementations, such as AWS Config rules for enabling detective guardrails. You pay only for the services you use, when you use them, with no upfront commitments.

How Mission Can Help

The self-service consumption model that AWS makes possible has fundamentally changed the way IT consumes resources. This creates a great deal of agility for companies, but it also presents many challenges, perhaps the greatest of which is cloud sprawl. Companies tend to create a lot of resources and new accounts without being clear about what they’re for and how they fit into the big picture. Companies are squeezed between applying best practices and keeping within their cloud budgets.

By working with Mission, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, companies are able to realize the many benefits AWS Control Tower as they strive to strike the perfect balance between agility and innovation versus governance and control. Mission is able to leverage Control Tower to implement cloud governance and security guardrails transparently and efficiently.

Perhaps the greatest benefit delivered by AWS Control Tower is the ability to standardize across account provisioning, centralized policy enforcement, and other governance and security requirements. Mission has the skills and knowledge to guide businesses of all sizes through the process of leveraging AWS Control Tower to assure they are able to achieve their cloud-management goals in the most effective and affordable manner possible.

Learn more about the benefits of partnering with Mission to craft a cloud-management strategy that takes full advantage of management and cost-saving tools available to AWS customers.

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Mission is an AWS services provider that can help companies devise a cloud-management plan that allows them to achieve their goals without exceeding their cloud budget. We provide professional and managed cloud services for AWS and Windows via a team of certified, skilled engineers. Feel free to contact us anytime!

About the authors:
author
Sanjay Garje



Sanjay Garje leads Global & Strategic technical business development for AWS Service Catalog and AWS Control Tower. Sanjay is a passionate technology leader who takes pride in helping customers on their AWS Cloud journeys by showing them how to transform their business and technology outcomes. In his free time, Sanjay enjoys running, learning new things, teaching Cloud & Big Data technologies at SJSU and traveling to new destinations with his family.


author
Jonathan LaCour

CTO



A cloud industry veteran, Jonathan has held several technical and product leadership positions – most recently at DreamHost, one of the largest web hosting and cloud computing providers. As Chief Technology Officer at Mission, Jonathan guides the development of Mission’s product and platform. He also leads business development initiatives, and shares his expertise on current cloud trends and best practices at industry conferences and Mission events. Jonathan has a BS degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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