Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that every organization or software developer will find very useful because it provides users with valuable tools for computing, data storage, networking, and content delivery services.
While AWS provides an access platform for organizations to handle their big data analytics and other web applications, the AWS Systems Manager provides a unified interface to manage your AWS resources.
This reduces manual efforts, saves time and improves the organization's overall operational efficiency.
The question here is how does the AWS Systems manager operate? That is where this article comes in. In this article, you will learn all you need to know about the AWS Systems Manager, how it works, and how to use it effectively for your organization.
What is the AWS Systems Manager?
AWS has a tool called the AWS Systems Manager which keeps track of your systems and software, keeps your systems up to date, and troubleshoots issues, all from a single place at scale.
The AWS Systems Manager helps you to streamline repetitive tasks, oversee patch management, and configure settings on multiple AWS resources in a centralized way.
This saves you time and reduces the risk of human error. You can picture it as having a control center for your AWS resources, which allows you to keep everything organized and running smoothly.
What are the key components of AWS Systems Manager?
How does the AWS Systems Manager work?
Access the AWS Systems Manager from the EC2 Management Console. You can create groups of resources if you want and manage them based on your needs.
With the centralized view provided by the AWS Systems Manager, you can manage your resources and have control over the operations. You can also choose the instances you want to manage and define the management tasks.
Let’s see further how the different components of the AWS Systems Manager work:
The session manager enables you to commence a shell session on an instance, even if it is not accessible from the Internet. It enables you to audit and manage users’ access to instances through an interactive one-click browser-based shell or command line interface.
The inventory helps you discover and understand the configuration of your system by collecting the AWS resources and configurations you have set up, such as instances, applications, and other assets.
Automation provides automation functionalities that allow you to execute scripts and automate complex operational tasks, such as software deployment, instance management, and patch management.
Run Command allows you to manage your instances while you are not logged in to your server. Administrative tasks can be streamlined across groups of instances with the Run Command.
The Parameter Store provides a central archive to store and manage configuration data like passwords and other sensitive information.
Compliance collects all relevant operational data from different AWS accounts and scans through Patch compliance data to reveal high-priority security alerts.
It displays updated compliance data about patching and associations. This feature allows you to customize your compliance based on the requirements of your business.
The Patch Manager makes the process of managing software updates simpler. It patches your instances with the latest security updates.
This ensures that your software is updated and meets compliance policies. The patch baselines allow you to set rules that automatically approve selected categories of patches.
The State Manager automates the enforcement of desired states, such as software configurations, for instances and applications. It helps you maintain a consistent configuration of your instances.
The Resource Groups is a collection of all the AWS resources in your application that are managed and organized based on some custom criteria, such as tags and resource types. It allows instances to be grouped for better organization and management.
The Maintenance Windows enables you to schedule maintenance tasks, such as software deployments, patch installation, and instance maintenance at a convenient time.
This prevents disruption of operation and ensures continuous reliability of services and applications.
AWS Systems manager also has features like the Change Manager, AppConfig, Incident Manager, OpsCenter, etc.
Tips to effectively use AWS Systems Manager to manage your infrastructure
Use these tips to effectively use AWS Systems Manager in managing your infrastructure:
AWS Systems Manager pricing
AWS Systems Manager pricing varies based on the services you use and the number of managed instances. There are no upfront costs or minimum fees. You only pay for the service you use.
Some services are free, while others have an hourly or per-instance fee. There may be additional charges for data transfer and storage.
Some common services and their pricing as of 2023:
How to setup and use the AWS Systems Manager
To use the AWS Systems Manager, you must have an AWS account. The Systems Manager can be accessed in different ways. Two among them are:
The Systems Manager Console: This is a browser-based interface to access and use Systems Manager.
AWS command line tools: AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) is often faster and more convenient to use than the Systems Manager console. The command line tools also can be used to build scripts that perform AWS tasks.
How to use the AWS Systems Manager
Follow these steps to use the AWS System Manager:
Sign in to your AWS account.
In the AWS Systems Manager console, select your region.
Click on the “Session Manager” in the left navigation pane or click on the menu icon if the navigation pane is not open to find the “Session Manager”.
Click “Start a session”. This opens a new session.
Choose the option button of the instance or managed node you desire, and then click “Start session”.
A new window opens and you will be logged in to the instance.
Type commands in the terminal window, and then press “Enter” to run them.
To exit the session when you are done, close the terminal window.
Advantages of AWS Systems Manager
Drawbacks of AWS Systems Manager
AWS Systems Manager is an effective tool widely recognized in the IT world for its ability to simplify operations and enable IT administrators to manage and automate management tasks across AWS resources.
Its centralized platform makes it easy to manage and automate tasks across your AWS resources, simplifying operations and enabling you to manage your infrastructure more effectively.
Big businesses and organizations use AWS Systems Manager to automate their IT operations, reduce manual effort, and improve the efficiency of their IT systems.
Over to you
Would you consider using the AWS Systems Manager to manage the infrastructures of your organization?