The key components of the AWS multi account strategy

Cloud Management

February 1, 2024 • 5 min read

For security, governance, and scalability purposes, it is ideal to have a number of accounts working together in an environment for the various employees to have access, known as the AWS multi account strategy. This strategy is aligned with AWS best practices and helps you effectively scale seamlessly, manage security threats, optimize and control your cloud costs, and meet regulatory requirements. In this article, we will outline the benefit of adopting the AWS multi account strategy and explain why the cloud landing zone is the perfect multi account infrastructure that sets you up for cloud management success.

What is an AWS multi account strategy? 

An AWS multi account strategy is an organizational approach that involves creating and managing multiple AWS accounts to achieve resource segmentation, access control, and compliance requirements. This strategy enables organizations to isolate resources, allocate costs effectively, enforce security policies, and maintain distinct environments for different projects, business units, or applications. It is a framework for structuring AWS accounts to meet specific business and operational needs within a single AWS organization.

A breakdown of the five core accounts of the AWS multi account strategy

Implementing a cloud landing zone is the best approach to achieving the AWS multi account strategy because the landing zone is a specific implementation and set of best practices for creating and configuring the separated AWS accounts. An AWS landing zone is a tool and framework that helps organizations implement their multi-account strategy in a secure and standardized manner. It can be used as a starting point for deploying workloads and applications in the cloud, ensuring security, governance, full visibility, and compliance with any specific organization’s needs. 

The cloud management platform, StackZone, implements a landing zone perfectly within 2 working days with centralized monitoring and enhanced automation to keep it functional around the clock. There are five core accounts as part of the landing zone. As AWS describes in their whitepaper, each “account acts as an identity and access management isolation boundary.” This means that by default, you achieve tight segregation of your data in the cloud.

  1. Primary account 

Manage your organization and your workload accesses through AWS IAM Identity Center, and monitor your organizational units (OUs).

Your cloud management team will be able to centrally trigger specific policies for your OUs, administer access, and manage AWS billing from this account

  1. The AWS Security account 

Your central hub to check if your AWS infrastructure is secure. Monitor your security level across your AWS cloud environment without having to log into each account. This account channels notifications and alerts about security vulnerabilities in your AWS organization, so you’re always in the know.

  1. Networking account 

The networking account implemented by StackZone manages all of your organization’s data traffic. It is the backbone of all internal and external connectivity. It controls how your services communicate with each other across the AWS network. This saves costs and increases security because it reduces the need to duplicate networking resources in each AWS account, simplifies network management, and enhances security by implementing centralized security controls.

  1. Log archive account 

Never lose access to your logs, even if one of your accounts is compromised. Analyze and audit logs at any time. Isolation within a separate account follows AWS best practices, so there is no need to log into a specific account to audit logs. This account allows you to perform forensics securely.

  1. Shared services account 

With the Shared Services account, you can deploy and operate common services and resources that are used throughout your organization. StackZone’s Shared Services account includes Amazon S3 Antivirus, EC2 Image Builder, AMI Cleaner, and more. 

What is the best approach to achieving the AWS multi account strategy?

To achieve the multi account strategy we recommend you implement a cloud landing zone. This is because landing zones provide a standardized approach for setting up accounts, networking, security, identity and access management (IAM), compliance and workload segregation. It often involves the use of AWS organizations to create a hierarchy of accounts and apply policies across those accounts.

What is a landing zone?

A landing zone is the essential foundational framework needed to provide a secure and scalable configuration for an organization’s cloud adoption and ongoing use. A landing zone is used as a starting point for deploying workloads and applications in the cloud, ensuring security, governance, full visibility, and compliance with the specific needs of each organization.

It is the foundation of any best-practice cloud-centric framework, as it enables organizations to build a secure and scalable cloud foundation and effectively optimize their resources. The visibility it provides enables organizations to make data-driven decisions, identify potential bottlenecks, and ensure optimal resource allocation, resulting in greater operational efficiency and cost savings.

How does the landing zone achieve the multi account architecture?

The AWS landing zone is a critical architectural framework that facilitates the implementation of a robust multi-account strategy within an organization’s AWS environment. It achieves this by providing a standardized and scalable foundation for setting up multiple AWS accounts with the necessary security, compliance, and operational guardrails. By defining best practices, identity and access management policies, and network configurations, the landing zone ensures that each AWS account adheres to the organization’s security and compliance requirements while enabling agility and scalability. It streamlines the account creation process, automates the setup of essential services like AWS organizations, and helps centralize management, making it an essential tool for effectively implementing and maintaining a well-structured multi-account strategy in AWS.

What does a landing zone entail? 

  • Networking forms the backbone of a cloud landing zone, enabling secure connectivity between various cloud resources. It involves designing and implementing a network architecture that provides reliable communication channels while maintaining isolation and segregation of resources. This ensures that workloads and applications can communicate efficiently while maintaining strict security boundaries.
  • Security is a critical aspect of any cloud landing zone. It encompasses the implementation of security policies, access controls, and encryption mechanisms to safeguard data and resources from unauthorized access or breaches. A well-designed security framework mitigates potential risks and protects against cyber threats, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information.
  • Identity and access management (IAM) is another vital component of a cloud landing zone. It involves establishing and managing user identities, roles, and permissions within the cloud environment. IAM enables organizations to enforce fine-grained access controls, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access specific resources and perform permitted actions. This helps maintain data privacy and prevents unauthorized modifications or unauthorized access to critical systems.
  • Effective logging and monitoring capabilities are essential for maintaining visibility and ensuring operational efficiency within the cloud landing zone. Logging enables the collection and analysis of relevant logs, including system logs, application logs, and security logs. Monitoring allows organizations to proactively detect and respond to anomalies, performance issues, or security incidents in real time, minimizing the impact on operations.
  • Governance within the cloud landing zone involves establishing policies, procedures, and controls to ensure compliance with industry regulations and internal governance frameworks. It enables organizations to enforce standardized practices, maintain accountability, and ensure consistency across cloud deployments. Governance also facilitates effective resource management, cost optimization, and risk mitigation.
  • Cost management is a crucial consideration within a cloud landing zone. It involves monitoring and controlling cloud resource usage to optimize costs without compromising performance or security. By implementing cost management practices, organizations can track resource utilization, identify cost-saving opportunities, and ensure efficient allocation of cloud resources. 

How does StackZone enhance the AWS landing zone?

The cloud management platform StackZone, deploys a perfectly set up landing zone in days. Not only does StacckZone achieve the principles of the AWS landing zone but the user-friendly console enhances the landing zone further with advanced features such as automated cost reports, real-time security optimization suggestions, customizations for different industries for their compliance requirements, powerful auto-remediations to prevent spiraling cloud bills and emerging security threats, and much more! The mission of StackZone is to simplify cloud management. The creators of StackZone have worked on countless cloud migrations and therefore know exactly what needs to be built into the tool to meet business needs and help users get exactly what they need from the cloud in a way that requires minimal human effort. 

Why should you adopt a multi account strategy for AWS with a landing zone?

Adopting a multi-account strategy to the way you work in the cloud provides many benefits, but the 3 key areas that radically improve are:

  • Security  by limiting the exposure of vulnerabilities 
  • Organization by assigning accounts to specific projects 
  • Resource management by simplifying the management and control of resources in separate environments 

Let’s find out some more. 

Increase your cloud security 

A multi-account strategy allows you to isolate the different environments of your workload. This limits access and consequently the risk of exposure decreases. With the StackZone landing zone, you are proactively limiting access to data, controlling the level of access of each user and role, and centrally managing the security of the organization. At the same time, you are effortlessly meeting specific security requirements for your industry.  This segmentation and more precise control are key advantages in terms of cloud security. In simple terms: 

  • Achieve centralized and standardized security administration and monitoring
  • Achieve environment and project segregation
  • Implement centralized and standardized access management (Zero Trust)
  • Limit access to information
  • Define security policies and deployment by environment (SCPs and OUs)
  • Reduce the impact of an incident
  • Maintain monitoring and response capabilities to act in the event of an incident

Improve your organization 

A multi-account strategy allows for standardizing and centralizing the way workloads are managed in the cloud. It speeds up deployments through automation, provides the necessary capacity and autonomy to each team in its specific environment, and implements changes at the organizational level quickly and systematically. These aspects foster a more orderly, efficient, and agile organization. In simple terms: 

  • Achieve centralized management of the organization and access everything you need from one place in the StackZone console
  • Group workloads based on their purpose and owner to define rules and compliance monitoring (Standards, Regulations, etc.)
  • Segregate and identify different work environments with the ability to centrally manage them
  • Centrally manage costs, maximizing benefits, but with granular monitoring capabilities
  • Promotes innovation and agility through automated deployments that ensure compliance with policies and processes
  • Achieve rapid and standardized workload scalability
  • Achieve segregation of core activities (access management, security monitoring, networking traffic management, cost management, etc.)

Streamline your resource management 

A cloud multi account strategy primarily allows for streamlined workload management in the cloud through automated change deployment and automated deviation remediation. It provides granular assurance that workloads are deployed and managed according to the policies defined by the organization and/or identifies deviations and those involved in them for remediation. The landing zone improves cost management by providing greater visibility and information for decision-making and sharing benefits between workloads. All of this contributes to efficient, controlled, and adaptable resource management. In simple terms: 

  • Ensure monitoring and compliance with the policies defined by the organization
  • Achieve automation of repetitive and maintenance tasks such as tagging, patching, backup, etc.
  • Distribute the limits of AWS service quotas and API request rates
  • Enable standardization across the organization of both deployments and how workloads are managed
  • Increase and accelerate workload scalability
  • Accelerate workload expansion capacity
  • Add automation and centralized resource management in a few clicks
  • Achieve a global vision and centralized management capacity for the entire infrastructure
  • Optimize all cost management with complete visibility to maintain a 360-degree view of costs. You’ll understand your price agreements and optimization of resources from the user-friendly interface.

The impact of the landing zone with a cloud management platform 

The AWS multi account strategy, achieved with StackZone drastically improves your overall cloud management. The multi-account approach improves every area, and StackZone streamlines the deployment and maintenance of this strategy. Here is what you can expect with and without the landing zone. 

Next steps on your AWS multi account strategy 

The adoption of an AWS multi account strategy, coupled with the implementation of a cloud landing zone and enhanced through the StackZone cloud management platform, presents a transformative approach to cloud management. This strategic framework offers numerous advantages that StackZone ensures you don’t miss out on. Fast-track your landing zone deployment with the cloud management platform that is transforming the future of cloud usage for businesses. To find out more about StackZone’s landing zones and the impact they have, you can download our free eBook.

This article was written by Fernando Hönig, Founder of StackZone

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