AWS Official Blog

AWS Support – We’ve Got Your Back

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements, Price Reduction | | Comments

The AWS Support program just got even better! We have added features, lowered prices, and created a new free support plan that includes immediate access to customer service and technical support for AWS issues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

We’ve replaced the metallic level names (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) with descriptive names to help you choose the plan that will work the best for you. You can choose between our Basic, Developer, Business, and Enterprise plans, and you can change (or even cancel) your plan at any time.

If you choose either the Business or the Enterprise support plan, you have access to the AWS Trusted Advisor and our new Chat-based support facility.

Trusted Advisor Updates
The AWS Trusted Advisor draws upon the best practices that we have learned from serving hundreds of thousands of AWS customers. It inspects your AWS environment and makes recommendations when opportunities exist to save money, improve system performance or fault tolerance, or close security gaps.

This is definitely my favorite part of our new offering!

For example, the following checks are made to help you improve fault tolerance:

  • Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) optimization.
  • Recent EBS snapshot warning.
  • EC2 Availability Zone balance.
  • Service limit checks to make sure that you are not approaching any administrative limits on the number of EC2 instances, EBS volumes, or Elastic IP addresses.

The new self-service portal gives you the ability to view and refresh our recommendations, learn more about what each check is and what it means, download the advisor’s observations for your own analysis, and to contact us for help with a particular recommendation.

You can expand each observation to learn more. For example, here is what I see when I open the section that’s titled EC2 Availability Zone Balance:

As you can see, the EC2 instances are unevenly balanced across Availability Zones in three Regions (Yellow status), and evenly balanced in the fourth.

The Trusted Advisor currently performs ten checks, spread out over three categories:

Security – open ports in Security Groups, world access (/0 CIDR) in Security Groups, and IAM use.

Fault Tolerance – EBS snapshot age, Elastic Load Balancer Optimization, Availability Zone Balance, and Service Limits.

Cost Optimization – Unused Elastic IP Addresses, underutilized EC2 instances.

We will be adding many more checks (in even more categories) over time.

What’s the Plan?
As I noted above, we now have a free support plan, and we’ve replaced the metallic names with descriptive equivalents. Here’s the full roster:

Basic – All AWS customers are automatically enrolled in Basic support for free. You get immediate 24×7 access to customer service for billing and account issues, and technical support for system health issues. You also have access to our collection of technical FAQs, our best practices guides, the AWS Service Health Dashboard, and the AWS Developer Forums.

Developer – This plan gives you access to 1-on-1 email support for any AWS question during your local business hours. Our team will help you with the configuration, operation, and maintenance of applications that make use of core AWS services and features.

Business – This plan gives you one-hour response time, available 24×7 by phone, chat, or email, along with access to the AWS Trusted Advisor and a new Trusted Advisor self-service tool. As part of today’s announcement, we have reduced the minimum monthly fee for this plan from $400 to just $100 and added a 3% pricing tier.

Enterprise – This plan includes all of the plan components of Business support, along with 15-minute response time and a dedicated Technical Account Manager. Pricing has also been reduced; the flat 10% fee has been replaced by 10%, 7%, 5%, and 3% tiers (as a percentage of your AWS bill).

Third Party Software Support
If you sign up for the Business or Enterprise plans, our team is ready and able to help you with third-party software running on AWS. This includes:

  • Operating Systems – Amazon Linux, Ubuntu, RHE, SUSE, and Microsoft Server 2003 & 2008 R2).
  • Web servers – Apache, IIS.
  • Databases – MySQL and SQL Server.
  • Disk Management – LVM and RAID.
  • VPN Connectivity – OpenVPN and RRAS.
  • Email – Sendmail and Postfix.
  • File Transfer – FTP.

We are also ready to help with the Amazon SDKs.

Support for Health Checks
If an instance status check fails for one of your EC2 instances, you can now open up a support case from within the AWS Management Console.

The failing status check is flagged in the console:

You can click the button to request assistance by creating a support case:

Time for a Chat?
You can now initiate a chat session with an AWS Technical Support Engineer by clicking on the chat support icon in the AWS Support Center:

We’ve Got Your Back
Our team is ready, willing, and able to help you out. Customer service (account and billing issues) and technical support (system health issues) is provided from a number of global locations and is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I hope that you find these new support options useful.

— Jeff;