Skeddly Blog

Skeddly news and announcements...

AWS re:Invent 2014

AWS re:Invent is Amazon’s largest gathering of Amazon Web Services users, developers, and representatives.

I had the opportunity to attend last year’s event and it was very worthwhile. You get the opportunity to meet users of the AWS community, learn use-cases and best-practices from many companies, and even get certified.

If you will be attending AWS re:Invent this year and you would like to meet up with us, feel free to contact us and we can arrange a time during that week.

EU (Frankfurt) Region Available in Skeddly

Today, Amazon announced the opening of a new AWS region in Germany. Please see the following blog post for more details about the new region.

We are happy to say that Skeddly now fully supports the new region as well. You can start and stop your EC2 instances, create and copy EBS snapshots, AMI images, and RDS snapshots. In addition, our unique Backup MySql Server action is supported.

If you have expanded your AWS accounts into the new EU (Frankfurt) region, Skeddly is right there with you.

Near-Term AWS Maintenance

Yes, we received that notice too. Amazon is rebooting many of it’s EC2 instances over the next few days. This is to apply some patches to the underlying host systems. There are some articles written with additional details it.

Unfortunately, the time windows in which the updates are going to happen are inconvenient to say the least.

Below are some tips that we have for minimizing the impact of this event.


Service Level Agreement and System Status

We are introducing a new Service Level Agreement. In basic terms, our commitment to all of our customers is the following:

  1. Your actions will start according to their scheduled start time, and
  2. Your actions will continue to execute without delay

If we don’t deliver on our commitments, then any delayed action executions will be free. You can read the details on our Service Level Agreement page.

This new Service Level Agreement is effective starting September 1, 2014.

In addition, in an effort to be completely transparent, we have set up a system status page. Similar to the system status pages for many other products, like Amazon Web Services, ours will give the current status for our various components. You can see the history of the last few days. If an event occurs, information will be posted there.

Resolved: Errors Copying EBS Snapshots using IAM Roles

Previously, we mentioned that there were errors when copying EBS snapshots from one region to another when using third-party IAM roles. More information about that can be found at the following post.

Errors Copying EBS Snapshots using IAM Roles

We are happy to say that the issue has been resolved and EBS snapshot copying is fully functional for both access key and role credentials.

New T2 Node Types for ElastiCache

Yesterday, Amazon announced support for the new T2 node types for ElastiCache. These node types are supported for both Memcache nodes and Redis nodes. More information about that announcement can be found at

Today, we are happy to say that Skeddly supports these new T2 node types for our ElastiCache actions. So now you can schedule the creation and deletion of a t2.medium ElastiCache cluster.

Happy caching!

Errors Copying EBS Snapshots using IAM Roles

We recently discovered that EBS snapshots will not copy correctly if the copy command was executed using a third-party IAM role. The issue does not exist if the copy command was executed using access keys. This problem appears to have started July 30, 2014.

The symptoms of the issue are that the copy initiates, a new snapshot is created in the new region, but the new snapshot results in an “error” status.

We are working with AWS support to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.

Once the issue is resolved, we will notify our customers.

In the meantime, if you are using an IAM role for your “Copy EBS Snapshots” action, you can switch your action to use IAM access keys instead. This is not an ideal situation since IAM roles are preferred over access keys, but it will work-around the problem until it is resolved.

AMI Image Creation Added to Managed Instances

Managed Instances is an easy way to manage your EC2 instances. Define your start/stop, backup and delete backups schedules and let Skeddly manage the actions on your behalf. Until now, the backups were done using EBS snapshots.

This week, Managed Instances has been enhanced to support AMI images as the backup mechanism. This new option is available in your managed instance configuration, so some instances in the same schedule group can create EBS snapshots and others can create AMI images. AMI image is the new default.

For those of you using Managed Instances, give the new option a try and let us know how it works for you.

Copy an EC2 Instance from One AWS Account to Another

For quite some time, Skeddly has included a “Copy EC2 Instance” action which duplicates an EC2 instance. This allows you to copy an instance between availability zones or VPCs. One of our customers used this action to migrate over 100 instances from t1.micro (EC2-Classic) to t2.micro (inside a VPC).

Recently, this action has been enhanced to allow copying an EC2 instance between AWS accounts.


Account Activity Split by AWS Credentials

If you are using multiple AWS credentials (access keys and roles) with a single Skeddly account, then this new feature may be useful to you.

Starting this month, when you view your account’s activity, you can optionally see the costs broken down by AWS credentials. For example, if you use 2 credentials and your total bill for the month was $10, then you can see that one set of credentials was responsible for $7 and the other credentials was responsible for $3.


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