Best Practice Report

Introduction

Cloud computing providers present a large, robust offering with a seemingly infinite number of configuration options to tailor your deployment perfectly around your needs.  However, the flexibility and sheer number of choices that a cloud provider offers when setting up your services are both a blessing and a curse.  It can be easy to overlook security loopholes, deploy options that aren’t the most cost-effective, and miss beneficial features which are hidden within the API.



This topic will identify the following key components of the Best Practice Check report:

This topic will also show you to manage your checks.


Categories

Our application takes a detailed look at your deployment to ensure your infrastructure is configured properly, and highlight areas that may be cause for concern.  These checks will focus on four key areas:  security, availability, cost and usage.

Security

While your cloud computing provider handles security of their datacenter, users are responsible for network, host, and application-level security.  CloudCheckr will look and see if you are setting proper permissions, if security groups are being utilized properly, if access and permission controls are configured correctly, if proper password policies are in place, if resources are accessible by the public internet, and several other items.

Availability

When items are launched in your deployment, it’s important that they are accessible.  However, sometimes things can go wrong such instances becoming unhealthy, or certain data centers becoming unreachable.  CloudCheckr will look at your deployment to not only verify that everything is up and running, but also ensure that your architecture is properly configured to respond when things do go awry.

Cost

When launching and maintaining an infrastructure it’s easy to lose track of what’s out there, and what’s no longer needed.  CloudCheckr can help with this.  We will look for items that exists, but aren’t being used, and highlight those for you.  Cost checks will also show you potential cost savings by making RI purchases, optimizing your subscriptions, or leveraging any available discounts, as well as migrating resources to current generation offering types.

Usage

There are many options within a cloud environment which, though they are highly recommended, upon further analysis show that they are not consistently or properly deployed.  CloudCheckr will review your architecture to see whether you are taking advantage of these features, and whether they are being used in the most advantageous way.  We will ensure that autoscaling is configured, and configured properly, within your servers.  We’ll ensure that the users in your identity management portals are created according to best practices.  That backups are taken automatically and retained for an appropriate amount of time. And that resources are being properly utilized.

Trusted Advisor
If customers use AWS Trusted Advisor and have provided CloudCheckr with access to this feature, the application can import the results into the AWS Trusted Advisor tab in the report.



Note: To provide CloudCheckr with access to Trusted Advisor, customers must allow “support:*” permissions on the IAM user used in CloudCheckr. Submit a ticket to Support via the CloudCheckr Service Desk Portal if you have any questions.


Filters

The top section of the report allows you to filter your checks by:

  • Category
  • Importance
  • Tag
  • Ignored Checks
  • History



The table references each callout in the screenshot.

Callout Name To Filter:
1 Importance Select AllHighMediumLow, Informational , or Ok from the Importance drop-down menu.
2 Tag Select a resource tag associated with your account from the Tag drop-down menu.
3 Show Ignored Select or deselect the Show Ignored check box to view or restore those items that you have flagged to ignore.
4 Tab Click one of the report tabs: Availability, Cost, Security, Usage, or Trusted Advisor
5 History Select a day from the History drop-down menu and filter for the specific date.

After you have made your selections, click Filter to apply your changes to the report.


Importance Icons and Colors

The items in the report are also categorized by icons and colors.

Color Icon Description Example
Red High
Orange Medium
Yellow Low
Blue Informational
Green No issues found

Check Details

The report lists the name of each best practice check and the number of items that CloudCheckr identified which meet the criteria for the best practice check. If only one item meets the criteria for the best practice check, no number will be displayed.


If no items meet the criteria for the best practice check, the check passes and will be displayed in green with a checkmark.



To view the details for a Best Practice Check, click the name.

The Best Practice Check expands and identifies the items in your deployment that met the requirements for the selected best practice check.



The table references each callout in the screenshot.

Callout Name Description
1 Summary Describes what the BPC looked for in your deployment.
2 Read More Contains more detail about the check results.

See Read More section for more information.

3 Link Redirects you to the details report for the selected item.

A View All… link redirects you to the details report for all items.

4 30-Day Trend Graph Shows how many items were found for a specific check each day within the last 30 days.

If you see any spikes or anomalies that you want to investigate, select a date from the History drop-down menu to filter the report by the selected date.

Read More

When you click Read More, you will see the following details:


The table references each callout in the screenshot.

Callout Name Description
1 Category Describes the type of best practice check: availability, cost, security, or usage.
2 Importance Identifies the level of importance: high, medium, low, or informational.
3 Description Provides an overview of the feature that the best practice check was run against, why the check is important, and how it impacts an account.
4 Link Links to the relevant AWS documentation.
5 Recommendation/Remediation Tells you how to prevent a potential adverse condition or how to fix a current adverse condition.

Manage Checks

To the right of each check, you will find several icons. The number and type of icons depends on the selected check.

The table identifies each icon and the action(s) that you can perform with it.

Icon Name/Tooltip Purpose
Export Export details of the selected check to comma-separated value (CSV) file.
Notifications Create email notifications that selected users will receive when new issues are discovered or configure to have emails sent daily regardless of any changes. See the BPC Notification topic for more information.
Notify of New Issues Send email notifications to selected users will receive when new issues with an ignored check are discovered.
Ignore Check Hides checks that are irrelevant to your deployment. Also, the application will not send include Ignored checks in any email notifications.
Restore Check Restores the check that you had selected to ignore.
Edit Ignore Reason Modify the reason why you are ignoring a check.
Configure Modify the parameters that trigger a check.

For example, you can dictate the CPU Utilization % and Time Period that determines when an EC2 instance will be considered idle.

Tags Configure the check to only report on resources that have specific resource tags.

Note: After configuring this option, you must run a new report update for this change to take effect.

Additional Notes:
If you ignore an item, as opposed to a check, the check will still show up in your report and email, but the individual item(s) you have ignored will be hidden.




This functionality is also available on the individual items found within each check.  If you expand a check, you can click the icon to the right of the item to ignore that specific item while leaving the main best practice check active.


See Also:
Configure Best Practice Check Notifications