Leveraging AWS Business Support as a Startup
Imagine this scenario: It’s the weekend, and your infrastructure team is making a key decision to scale your environment in order to support your customers and give them a top-notch experience with your product. At the same time, a newly-launched feature for your application is driving traffic to your website. Are you worried that it may cause downtime or slower response times while resizing parts of your tech stack?
You don’t have to go it alone. AWS Business Support can help you avoid problems and make sure your business is operating smoothly.
Whether you are testing out an integration with a new AWS service, requesting increases in service limits, obtaining best-practice guidance, or minimizing risk when making changes to enhance the customer experience, AWS Business Support can help you make time-sensitive decisions to keep your startup running smoothly. We offer a range of services, including troubleshooting errors, improving performance, providing AWS’s recommended best practices, and empowering your team to be successful while using our products and services.
How do I get in touch with Business Support?
Startup customers can interact with AWS Business Support via the support console. Each support case is classified according to severity, which ranges from General Guidance to Production System Down. The priority level you select should reflect the urgency of your request with respect to your infrastructure running on the cloud. Examples and a breakdown of severity can be found here.
Getting in touch with a cloud support engineer is the next step. AWS Business Support allows communication in three ways:
- Call – Calling AWS Business Support puts you on the line with a cloud support engineer. Whenever you are having production issues or need to mitigate high-severity risk, we recommend using the call or chat option. If necessary, Business Support will use our screen-sharing tool to remotely view your screen to identify and troubleshoot problems.
- Chat – Chatting live with a cloud support engineer is also a convenient way to address issues quickly, and makes it easy to share information such as resource IDs and error messages while having a conversation to get more insight into your support case.
- Web (Email) – The web communication method allows you to have asynchronous email communication with a cloud support engineer. This is a useful way to ask questions about service features, obtain information about how to set up products, and receive general guidance.
Quick tip: If you would like to submit your support ticket in advance and have a conversation later, feel free to leave a phone number and a suitable time for our support engineers to call you. Email communications may cause time to be lost in critical situations. Therefore, it’s best to provide contact information whenever necessary.
Whats on the inside?
AWS Business Support teams are staffed 24/7 by highly trained engineers, and each support case is routed to an engineer who knows the ins and outs of the service in question. For example, a case revolving around AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway would be directed to someone who supports the serverless domain.
These are the same support engineers who work with our enterprise customers, so you can have confidence in the fact that as a startup you’re getting the same world-class level of assistance as our biggest customers. Support teams can also escalate requests to subject matter experts, and if needed, to the service team for product bug fixes and anomalies. These mechanisms help us provide the best in-house support while running your workloads on AWS.
What information do support engineers need?
Great support ticket writing helps ensure the fastest possible turnaround from the AWS Business Support team. A good support ticket includes relevant information about the issue at hand, which can help avoid some back and forth and allow the support engineers to get straight to solving your problem. Elements of a good support ticket include details such as the Amazon Resource Name (ARN), instance IDs, the timestamp of when you faced an issue, any relevant log files, specific Amazon CloudWatch metrics you may have observed, and error codes. These details give our support team a crucial head-start and help them identify exactly where the problem may lie.
But I’m just a small startup. Is it really worth the cost?
From a cost perspective, AWS Business Support starts at $100 per month. The price scales to 10% of monthly charges when AWS spend is up to $10,000, 7% for monthly AWS charges between $10,000 – $80,000, and so on. More details can be found on the pricing page. This asymmetrical cost relationship is advantageous for businesses, as customers are not charged on the number of tickets submitted or the number of conversations they have with AWS Business Support. We encourage customers to reach out with questions about any and all services that they use on our platform. Startups benefiting from AWS Activate also have credits toward Business Support which provide a great way to explore the offering.
AWS Business Support should be used to resolve blockers, answer questions, and help fix critical issues. The different severity levels and methods of communication allow us to tailor our response according to each scenario. Support cases are routed to domain-specific engineers, and we recommend providing detailed descriptions of problems for the fastest possible turnaround. These services are cost effective and can save startups hundreds of hours of time for a relatively small monthly fee. Think about it: How much does your engineering time cost?
AWS Business Support is here to help you build successfully, robustly, and according to best practices. We hope to interact with you soon through the AWS Support Center.
Parth Shah is a Startup Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. He enjoys working with startup customers in cloud adoption and business strategy as well as helping them design applications and services on AWS. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, soccer, traveling, and spending time with his friends and family.