What do you need for an effective AWS Business Support Plan

If you are considering signing up for an AWS business support plan, or if you have already signed up and have questions, read on! In this blog post, we will discuss what you really need in an AWS support plan and what the benefits are.

AWS offers different business support plans for companies that rely on AWS for their infrastructure. For a complete breakdown of the options available from AWS and more generally from partners read our article on the subject here.

For our purposes, we are not looking at the nuts and bolts of what each plan includes. But instead which of the high-level components is important and how each one will benefit your business.

AWS support plans from Amazon provide enhanced support and features, including:

  • A dedicated account manager - can help you get the best out of AWS, with best practice and facilitating queries that are not technical
  • Extended hours of operation - you are covered for 24/7 support instead of just standard business hours
  • Access to AWS Premier Support Engineers - who are experts in AWS and can help you troubleshoot technical problems with an SLA for response times

So let's look at each of these points and review their value to you, and the value in having them as part of your AWS support plan.

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A dedicated AWS account manager

An account manager is useful for several reasons, as they are intended to help you get the best out of the service provided and keep you up to date with changes/offers. This can be extremely helpful they can provide best practice guidance and tips, help with non-technical queries, and act as a sounding board for ideas.

They will also act as the main point of contact regarding your whole account, for non-techincal areas such as billing, renewals and any service queries as well as carrying out account management meetings several times a year.

Having an account manager with a regular account review process is more valuable than you would initially expect. The updates and knowledge they can provide and also the support they can plan in when you discuss ongoing business goals is a requirement that's often missed or undervalued.


Extended hours of operation

For any AWS support service you put in place, you will normally need a level of cover for out-of-hours issues. AWS cloud infrastructure could experience an issue at any point during the day so you need a level of cover to reflect this and not just 9 to 5.

Although the flip side of this is that for many organisations, there are not too many critical systems that need to be up 100% of the time and in most cases, a restart of the system components will resolve the issue or there might be a service interruption from the AWS service the workload is running on.

24/7 support is something a lot of businesses see as a core component but in reality, AWS is quite a robust platform so this out-of-hours requirement needs to be a balance of cost against the impact of an outage.


Access to AWS Premier Support Engineers

There are always times when you need support and advisory services as part of your AWS business support plan, but how much do you actually need?

Mainly you need problems to be identified and fixed, which can be done with cloud management software. After that there are a few things you might want to use an AWS consultant for:

  • Architecture - scoping new or validating existing deployments
  • Deployments - carrying out the deployment and configuration (Not included in support)
  • Security - audits and hardening (not normally in support but covered as part of CloudOps)
  • Cost analysis - a key requirement, but usually tool-driven and not part of support (Quarterly reviews included over and above automated monitoring as part of CloudOps)
  • Advisory sessions - A sounding board for changes that are coming up or you are thinking of making or changes to your business

Areas like this don't always fit within the boundaries of the support purchased from an AWS support plan. So you end up using AWS consultants over and above your support spend. We have written several articles on why an AWS consultant alone will not be as effective in supporting the cloud.

As a rule, businesses overspend on support/advisory services to have the facility available when they need it.

CloudOps provides cover for your day-to-day cloud operations and reduces the need for support/advisory services. However, bundles of support and advisory services can be bolted onto the CloudOps package to provide this as needed. We have also found that nearly all our customers overestimated how much support they would actually need once their AWS infrastructure was properly supported with CloudOps. 

Wrap up

If you are looking for a cost-effective option for your AWS business support plan then you need to balance the cost of the different elements against how much you will actually use them.

CloudOps provides each of the elements discussed above and does so cost-effectively for SME businesses. Especially where you want to move towards more of a NoOps approach and automate your day-to-day cloud management tasks. For more on how CloudOps can drive a NoOps approach please read our article on the subject.

Or to try CloudOps and find out a bit more about its capabilities set up CloudOps starter for free.

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