Why AWS Trusted Advisor Fails to Live Up to Its Name

19 March 2019 | Posted by Cass Information Systems, Inc.

AWS claims its native tool, Trusted Advisor, can help organizations reduce costs, increase performance, and improve security – here we put its name to the test.

What is AWS Trusted Advisor?

At its most basic, AWS Trusted Advisor is an online tool built to deliver proactive recommendations to AWS customers. Designed to optimize the cloud environment across five key areas – cost, performance, security, fault tolerance, and service limits – it helps businesses eliminate unused and idle resources and make commitments to reserved capacity to reduce costs.

5 Key Limitations of AWS Trusted Advisor

While, in theory, a highly valuable and useful service, AWS Trusted Advisor has numerous flaws that prevent it from effectively carrying out cloud cost optimization at the enterprise level.

To provide some insight into where it falls short, and the level of service you should expect from cloud management platforms, here are five key limitations of Trusted Advisor.

1. Utility

On its website, AWS claims that Trusted Advisor offers a “rich set of best practice checks and recommendations across five categories: cost optimization; security; fault tolerance; performance; and service limits.”

Comprising a grand total of 72 line-items – cost optimization: 9; security: 17; fault tolerance: 24; performance: 10; service limits: 12 – the term ‘rich set’ is quite subjective, and, in fact, market-leading tools routinely offer in excess of 550 best-practice health checks.

2. Support

Trusted Advisor is a tool – thus its value is only as great as the knowledge of the person operating it. While its ability to optimize cloud environments can (and should) be questioned, what it is and what it’s designed to do cannot.

For organizations that lack cloud computing knowledge and resources – an increasingly large number by all accounts – Trusted Advisor lacks depth.

For effective cloud management, the best provision goes beyond tools designed to help the user solve the challenges themselves, instead providing the full expertise of a team of accredited experts who can help you gain financial visibility and control over a more secure environment.

3. Independence

The clue’s in the name “AWS Trusted Advisor” – as in, created, developed, and belonging to AWS.

Regardless of the overcompensation present in the phrase “Trusted Advisor,” it’s important to realize that when cloud management is performed by a cloud services provider, a conflict of interest has already emerged.

To avoid having to answer questions such as: “does this tool work for AWS or does it work for the enterprise?” sourcing an independent cloud management services provider that doesn’t partner with CSPs is a must.

4. Suitability

AWS, and by extension, Trusted Advisor, are now synonymous within the business sphere – with organizations spanning different industries, territories, and magnitude all making use of Amazon’s cloud services and tools.

However, due to the universality of the users, Trusted Advisor has been designed with the layman in mind. While suitable for companies that manage servers in the range of 20-30, when it gets to the enterprise-level, whereby thousands of AWS services are provisioned across multiple business units and in availability zones around the world – the usability of the tool greatly diminishes, as does its suitability.

Which dovetails us nicely into applicability.

5. Applicability

Trusted Advisor is a native AWS tool, meaning it operates solely across AWS cloud environments.

While not a foible in itself, for enterprise organizations who adhere to a multi-cloud strategy – which Gartner predicts will be the vast majority in the near future – it provides a limited view over the cloud environment.

For businesses to truly understand the inner-workings of their entire cloud estate – and effectively reduce costs, increase performance, and improve security – they require a cloud management service that delivers data and insight across all cloud providers, inclusive of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

Ready for Better?

AWS Trusted Advisor claims to help organizations reduce costs, increase performance, and improve security over their cloud configurations. But, when examined more closely – and compared to industry yard-sticks – it’s clear the native tool fails to provide the level of service that enterprise organizations require.

Thankfully, there is another way, Cass cloud management services. Offering an independent service that dwarfs AWS Trusted Advisor, includes support and guidance from cloud-accredited experts, and eclipses industry standards, Cass CMS is the service you need to gain financial visibility and control over a more secure environment.

To discover the value of Cass, why not request your free Cloud Expense & Security Assessment? Or, to delve deeper into the costs associated with AWS, and how to better manage your resources – download our free guide to public cost management.

A guide to public cost management

Topics: Cloud Management Services

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