7 Top mistakes startups make on AWS which are avoidable

Cloud technologies have been enabling startups the ease of business focus. Startups can focus on product development, while AWS deals with resource management. However, without the right strategy, even AWS can lose its edge!

According to Forrester, 94% of companies in the US use at least one cloud deployment service. So, there is no denying that cloud services are a major contributor to the digital transformation landscape. Most businesses, whether they are a startup or an enterprise, leverage cloud services for their development requirements.

Cloud services are not just an infrastructure management platform but provide a wide range of features and tools for companies. Startups have been leveraging cloud services to deliver more value to users.

It helps them with flexibility, scalability, and resource management. However, if they don’t use it right, cloud services can become a massive challenge for startups. So here are some of the top mistakes to avoid while using cloud services like AWS.

Getting the resource management wrong!

AWS is one of the significant cloud service providers, and it offers many features to businesses, including resource management. Managing resources manually can increase challenges, especially those related to scaling resources and data replication.

Startups need to have proper documentation to scale resources on demand. The amount of effort required for this is massive. So focusing on the business activities will become a challenge when you manage resources manually.

The best way to avoid the hassle of manual resource management and scaling needs is to leverage autoscaling features in AWS. Some of the features that AWS offers for auto-scaling resources are,

  • Amazon EC2- You can launch or terminate instances on demand
  • Amazon EC2 Spot Fleets- You can launch or terminate or replace EC2 instances automatically using the Spot Fleets
  • Amazon ECS- You can modify the ECS service and handle load variations
  • Amazon DynamoDB- You can use the DynamoDB table to extend provisioned capacity
  • Amazon Aurora- You will have the facility of dynamically adjusting data replication without any hassle.

Further, AWS provides automatic resource discovery, predefined optimization strategies, and predictive scaling. So, if you are a startup looking to optimize resource management, you can use the auto-scaling capabilities of AWS.

Going overboard with instances

AWS provides instances on-demand and the capability to terminate them when not needed. However, many startups falter at monitoring and terminating EC2 instances. Due to the pay-per-use model of AWS, if instances are not terminated when not in use, startups may end up paying more.

So, it becomes crucial for startups to monitor EC2 instances and terminate unused resources. Here, startups can use tagging of instances to identify ideal resources. Further, tagging can help monitor and stop idle resources like databases, instances, lambda functions, etc.

Lack of monitoring key metrics

Cloud resource metrics are important for startups to track resource usage, system stability, data transmissions, load times, bandwidth, etc. AWS, by default, comes with a monitoring and logging tool called CloudWatch.

Startups need to define key metrics to track, and then choose the tools to track and analyze data. Cloudwatch is not the only tracking tool, you also can use Cloudtrail and Datadog. But first, you need to define metrics like:

  • System availability
  • Mean Time Between Failure
  • Mean Time To Repair
  • Bandwidth
  • Cloud Security
  • Response time

Choosing the wrong cloud service

Selecting the right cloud service is important. Especially if you are looking to leverage AWS for your startup, there are many services that you can choose from, like,

  • Amazon EC2
  • DynamoDB
  • AWS Lambda
  • Amazon ECS
  • Amazon EKS
  • Fargate
  • RDS
  • CloudFront

Let’s take the example of Amazon EC2. It offers many options. You can use spot instances for non-critical tasks and on-demand instances as per requirements. Similarly, you can use fully-managed AWS services to enable resource management.

Engineer reliability

Many startups falter by going overboard with the engineering aspects. Especially during the initial stages, it is important to focus on product development and leverage minimum viable solutions. Optimization at the early stages of product development and deployments can burden the resources.

Cloud services do provide capabilities to scale on demand. So, prioritizing scale does not make sense early. Rather startups need to focus on creating a reliable product for enhanced user experience.

Neglecting cloud security

Security is one of the most critical aspects of any business. Moving to the cloud does not mean you can relax on the security front. If you think that migrating to the cloud is enough, think again! It can be one of the worst security oversights!

Negligence is not the only mistake startups can make when it comes to security. Here are some more;

  • Using admin or root accounts proper Identification and Access Management(IAM) policy
  • Lack of multi-factor authentication for data access and logins
  • No public access policy for key information
  • Providing public access to EC2 instances on ports 22 and 3389

One of the most significant security mistakes that startups make is providing access privileges to third-party vendors. Startups integrate third-party services for enhanced functionalities. If the privileges to data access are not mapped according to roles, it can lead to data breaches.

Many startups suffer from permission errors on AWS, which leads to privileges passed on to users for an enhanced experience. On the security front, this can lead to an attack on the system through exposed user credentials.

Lack of automation

Automation should be a part of your production strategy right from the beginning. However, most startups adopt automation only when they are cash-trapped, and revenues start dipping, as there are many manual tasks to handle.

The best way to avoid such a mistake is to leverage CI/CD with AWS. You can use automation with AWS tools like Lambda and Cloud formation. First, prioritize high-level tasks and gradually add more tasks later.

Conclusion

Repeating mistakes is not an option in a competitive market. So, the best approach is to rectify mistakes and improve your AWS usage. Here we have discussed key mistakes that startups make with AWS. Keep an eye on some of these mistakes and leverage AWS services for optimized user experience. Cloudlytics helps you with key monitoring tools like event analysis, cloud compliance, and asset monitoring to avoid such mistakes. So, start tracking your mistakes and rectifying them for higher ROI.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mahesh Hegde

Mahesh Hegde

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