AWS support plans comparison: How to for business

Selecting the right AWS support plan is a critical decision that can profoundly impact the performance, reliability, and overall success of your cloud operations. Navigating through the array of AWS support plans requires a good understanding of their features, costs, and the specific needs of your team.

In this article, we review the AWS support plans available from AWS, providing valuable insights and a step-by-step approach for businesses to make informed choices tailored to their unique requirements. From basic support to premium offerings, this article serves as your go-to resource for unravelling the intricacies of AWS support plans and optimising your cloud journey.

AWS Health check

What is your AWS Support plan currently?

When I speak to businesses about this, they often have a number of things in place for AWS support which can include:

  • AWS basic - Free support plan (Some might have the developer support package)
  • A team member or consultant/contractor who has AWS knowledge
  • Multiple cloud management tools they use to get a picture of their ongoing cloud usage

It's usually an approach that has evolved over time and was fine when AWS was initially put into the business, but over time the cracks are starting to show.

CloudOps provides unified cloud management with all the features you need for your team to manage the cloud and move towards a NoOps (No Operation) approach. So in this article, we compare Amazon support with CloudOps packages.

AWS support plans comparison

AWS provides a handy Support Plan Wizard to help you determine which plan is currently right for you. You can also view your current support plan in the AWS Management Console under Support > My Support Plans.

There are four different AWS support plans: Basic, Developer, Business, and Enterprise. All the details to compare the AWS support plans available directly from AWS are available here.

  • Basic support is free and provides access to AWS documentation, forum, and community resources. You can also create support cases with AWS Support, but you will be charged for phone or chat support.
  • Developer support costs $29 per month and provides all the features of Basic support, plus 24/7 access to AWS Support and one-on-one guidance from AWS solution architects.
  • Business support costs from $100 per month and provides all the features of Developer support, plus 24/7 access to AWS Support and account management features.
  • Enterprise support costs from $15,000 per month and provides all the features of Business support, plus additional features such as AWS Trusted Advisor and AWS Support API.

Note: There is also Enterprise on-ramp (Enterprise On-Ramp package) as a feeder for Enterprise support (Not covered here)

AWS also offers a variety of add-on support plans for different services, such as Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon ElastiCache, and Amazon RDS.

Which AWS Support plan is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and budget. If you are just getting started with AWS, the Basic support plan may be all you need. If you are using AWS for mission-critical applications, you may need the Enterprise support plan but the cost is a killer.

Most of our customers needed the features of the higher-level packages but in a more effective manner tailored to their business needs. You can find out more about their experiences here and read case studies about why they use CloudOps for their cloud management.

To help you decide which AWS Support plan is right for your business, we have created a comparison below of the different features offered by each plan.

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Basic support:

  • AWS documentation
  • AWS forum
  • AWS community resources
  • Create support cases with AWS Support
  • Phone or chat support (charged separately)

Developer support:

  • All features of Basic support
  • 24/7 access to AWS Support
  • One-on-one guidance from AWS solution architects

Business support:

  • All features of Developer support
  • 24/7 access to AWS Support
  • Account management features

Enterprise support:

  • All features of Business Support
  • AWS Trusted Advisor
  • AWS Support API

Add-on support plans (At additional cost):

  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • Amazon RDS

As you can see, the AWS support plans offer a variety of features and levels of service. The plan that is right for your business will depend on your specific needs and budget.

If you dig into the detail of the AWS support plan pricing, the thing that puts most small to medium enterprises off this approach is the cost model. We have written extensively about this in our article comparing the market and what's available from AWS directly, partners and IG CloudOps.

Comparing AWS support plan components

What is core to a good AWS support plan? The requirements for this will vary slightly from business to business but in our opinion, the core features of any AWS support services should be:

  • Automated cloud management processes: the cloud runs 24/7 so your cloud management also needs to. For more on this read our article about cloud management software
  • Out-of-hours support: Outages can happen at any time so you need a level of assisted support for out-of-hours events
  • Technical account manager: Picking up any queries you have about AWS and coordinating things like account management, audits etc...
  • Support & advisory services: Access to AWS experts when you need them for advice and consultancy around your cloud infrastructure/plans

So let's look at these in a bit more detail.

Do you need automation & out of hours support?

The cloud is up 24/7 but a consultant or most support services are not. If a production system is impaired in or out of hours you need it resolved before it impacts the business.

This is why CloudOps is firstly cloud management software that brings together a set of tools to provide infrastructure event management. With 24/7 assisted support for any out-of-hours events, you know you have cover whenever something happens.

Do you need a technical account manager (TAM)?

Your AWS support plan should give you access to a technical account manager. AWS TAMs can help you with various tasks, such as:

  • AWS best practices
  • Account health checks
  • Become a trusted advisor
  • Co-ordinating packages of work
  • Escalation contact

The technical account manager role is really important, as it should give you a sounding board and a secondary point of contact on your account that remains consistent. 

Do you need AWS Support & Advisory services?

Most organisations get a bit too focused on this area of their support plan. This then translates into paying expensive consultants/contractors, who are hard to find, for their expertise in a specific area. CloudOps has additional bolt-on services for support and advisory services. Nearly all our customers are able to drastically reduce the amount of consultancy/support they need with CloudOps and just take a bolt-on package for the year for those additional needs.

When you automate your cloud management and move towards robust, efficient cloud deployments, then your ongoing support needs will come down. Remove the firefighting and get back to concentrating on your business goals.

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