Skeddly Blog

Skeddly news and announcements...

Copy RDS Snapshots Between AWS Accounts

Amazon announced the ability to share and copy RDS snapshots between AWS accounts. More information about the announcement can be seen here:


Amazon Adds M4 Instance Classes to RDS

Today, Amazon has announced support for M4 instance classes in Amazon RDS managed database service. The announcement can be seen here:


Send SSM Command Action

EC2 Run Command (based on Amazon SSM) is a new feature added to EC2 which allows your DevOps and system administrators to send various commands to your EC2 instances without requiring them to login to the instances (eg. using RDP or SSH). Currently, EC2 Run Command is supported only by Windows instances, but Amazon says that Linux support is coming.

More information about EC2 Run Command and it’s announcement can be found on the AWS blog:

For example, using EC2 Run Command, you can issue Powershell commands to your EC2 instances as part of a maintenance schedule.


Erase Deleted S3 Objects Action

Object versioning is a powerful feature of Amazon S3. When you enable object versioning on your S3 bucket, S3 will automatically preserve previous versions of your objects. This allows you to retrieve previous versions in cases of incorrect overwrites or accidental deletion.

However, by preserving previous versions of your objects, you will be charged for the storage occupied by those older versions. For example, if you have an object of 100 megabytes and you overwrite it with an object of 50 megabytes, you will be charged for 150 megabytes.


Create Storage Gateway Snapshots Action

Using AWS Storage Gateway, you can connect your on-premises storage solutions with Amazon’s cloud-based storage solutions for backup, DR, and caching purposes.

AWS Storage Gateway allows you to create snapshots of your gateway volumes for backup purposes. But until today, creating these snapshots was a manual process using the AWS Management Console.


Cost Reduction for DynamoDB Tables

Amazon DynamoDB is a managed NoSQL database service from Amazon Web Services. Using DynamoDB, you can store data without requiring a fixed schema. Amazon DynamoDB is priced based on your desired read and write capacity. Meaning, you’ll pay more for more available reads and writes per second, and pay less for fewer available reads and writes per second.

For some databases with predictable performance requirements, scheduling the through-put of your DynamoDB tables may be an effective cost-reduction strategy. For example, if your database is predominantly used during business-hours, and rarely used after-hours or on weekends, then reducing your table’s read and/or write through-put can help reduce your AWS costs. Until today, adjusting your table’s read or write capacity needed to be done manually or by using and managing your own scripts.


New CloudFormation Actions

Amazon CloudFormation is a service that allows you to manage and provision AWS resources using a template file in JSON format. Using CloudFormation templates, you can create, update, and delete many related AWS resources as a single unit.

For example, in a CloudFormation stack, you can create an RDS instance, EC2 instances in an Auto Scaling group fronted by an Elastic Load Balancer. The JSON template file can be managed by developer and DevOps tools such as source control. This allows you to create the stacks in a predictable and easily-repeatable manner.

We use CloudFormation extensively with Skeddly development and production.

Today, we’re happy to announce two new actions in our ever-expanding collection of actions.


Visit With Skeddly at AWS re:Invent 2015

We are excited to announce that we will be taking part in this year’s AWS re:Invent 2015 conference. Join us October 6 - 9, 2015 at kiosk #K3 on the expo floor.

Visit the Skeddly kiosk to learn how Skeddly can schedule and automate your EBS, RDS, and Redshift snapshots, reduce your server costs, and much more.

At kiosk #K3, get:

  • a live demo of Skeddly,
  • personal assistance setting up your Skeddly account,
  • questions answered, and
  • friendly conversation.

A Business-Hours Only RDS Instance Is Possible

Amazon EC2 allows you to stop your EBS-based EC2 instances and restart them. While the instance is stopped, you’re not paying for the instance (with the exception of your EBS storage). If your EC2 instance only needs to be running during parts of the day, this ability to stop and restart the instance allows you to save some money during times that your EC2 instance is not needed.

Unfortunately, Amazon RDS does not have the same capabilities to stop and restart the instance. Instead, the only controls you have of your RDS instance is to restore a new instance from a previous snapshot, and to delete an RDS instance, creating a final snapshot in the process.

However, these minimal controls still allow you to achieve similar cost-savings with your RDS instance as you have with your EC2 instances. Skeddly allows you to use these building-blocks to save money on your RDS costs by restoring your RDS instance when it’s needed, and deleting it when it’s not.


Amazon API Gateway

Today at AWS Summit New York, Amazon announced Amazon API Gateway. This is a new service that allows you to create RESTful APIs and forward those requests to AWS Lambda functions or other HTTP/S endpoints. Amazon manages the infrastructure, security, request throttling, and monitoring for you.

We’re wondering what use-cases you have for Amazon API Gateway and how you may want it automated and scheduled.

Feel free to contact us and let us know what features of API Gateway you may want to schedule.