AWS Security Blog

The New AWS Organizations User Interface Makes Managing Your AWS Accounts Easier

by Anders Samuelsson | on | in Announcements | | Comments

With AWS Organizations—launched on February 27, 2017—you can easily organize accounts centrally and set organizational policies across a set of accounts. Starting today, the Organizations console includes a tree view that allows you to manage accounts and organizational units (OUs) easily. The new view also makes it simple to attach service control policies (SCPs) to individual accounts or a group of accounts in an OU. In this post, I demonstrate some of the benefits of the new user interface.

The new tree view

The following screenshot shows an example of how an organization is displayed in the tree view on the Organize accounts tab. I have chosen the Frontend OU, and it shows that two OUs—Application 1 and Application 2—are child OUs of the Frontend OU. In the tree view, I can choose any OU and immediately view and take action on the contents of that OU. This new view makes it easier to quickly view OUs and navigate the relationships between OUs in your organization.

Screenshot of the new tree view

If you would prefer not to use the tree view, you can hide it by choosing the Tree view toggle in the upper left corner of the main pane. The following screenshot shows the console with the tree view turned off.

Screenshot of the console with the tree view hidden

You can toggle between the old view and the new tree view at any time. For the rest of this post, though, I will show the tree view.

Additional Organizations console improvements

In addition, we made a few other console improvements. First, we added more detail to the right pane when you choose an account or an OU. In the following screenshot, I have chosen the Application 1 OU in the main pane of the console and then the new Accounts heading in the right pane. As a result, I now can view the accounts that are in the OU without having to navigate into the OU. I can also remove an account from the OU by choosing Remove next to the account I want to remove.

Screenshot showing the accounts in the OU

Secondly, we have made it easier for you to attach SCPs to entities such as individual accounts and OUs. For example, to attach to the Application 1 OU an SCP that blocks access to Amazon Redshift, I choose Service Control Policies in the right pane. I now see a list of SCPs from which I can choose, as shown in the following screenshot.

Screenshot showing SCPs that are attached and available

The Blacklist Redshift policy is an SCP I created previously, and by choosing Attach, I attach it to the Application 1 OU.

The third console enhancement is in the Accounts tab. The right pane displays additional information when you choose an account. In the following screenshot, I choose the Accounts tab and then the DB backend account. In the right pane, I now see a new option: Organizational units.

Screenshot showing the new "Organizational units" choice in the right pane

When I choose Organizational units in the right pane, I see the OUs of which the chosen account is a member—in this case, Application 1. If the account should not be in that OU, I can remove it by choosing Remove next to the OU name, as shown in the following screenshot.

Screenshot showing the OUs of which the account is a member

We have also made it possible to attach SCPs to accounts in this view. When I choose Service Control Policies in the right pane, I see a list of all SCPs in my organization. The list is organized such that all the policies that are directly attached to the account are at the top of the list. You can detach any of these policies by choosing Detach next to the policy.

At the bottom of the list, I see the SCPs that I can attach to accounts. To do this, I choose Attach next to a policy. In the following screenshot, the Blacklist Redshift SCP can be attached directly to the account. However, when I look at the policies that are indirectly attached to the account via OUs, I see that the Blacklist Redshift SCP is already attached via the Application 1 OU. This means it is not necessary for me to attach this SCP directly to the DB backend account.

Screenshot showing that the Blacklist Redshift SCP is already attached via the Application 1 OU

Summary

The new Organizations user interface makes it easier for you to manage your accounts and OUs as well as attach SCPs to accounts. To get started, sign in to the Organizations console.

If you have comments about this post, submit them in the “Comments” section below. If you have questions about or issues implementing this solution, start a new thread on the Organizations forum.

– Anders