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InfoQ Homepage News Preventing Inadvertent Changes, Amazon Adds Change Calendar to AWS Systems Manager

Preventing Inadvertent Changes, Amazon Adds Change Calendar to AWS Systems Manager

In a recent blog post, Amazon announced a new capability has been added to AWS Systems Manager called Change Calendar. This feature allows administrators to create change windows that either block or enable changes to be made, within a specific timeframe, and is beneficial to organizations that have deployment freezes such as during the holidays or key business events.

AWS Systems Manager is a tool that allows organizations to automate and gain visibility into the state of their infrastructure. It includes many modules such as Inventory, AppConfig, Parameter Store, Resource Groups and Documentation. Change Calendar is the latest feature to be added to this management tool.

Using Change Calendar allows organizations greater control over change management activities within their AWS subscription:

Change Calendar is a new capability that helps you prevent changes to your AWS resources during important business events. Using Change Calendar, you can schedule calendar events to control the changes made to your AWS resources during events, such as public marketing promotions, when you expect high demand on your resources.

There are two modes included within Systems Manager Change Calendar including: 

  • Open by default which allows actions to be performed anytime except during a scheduled event that is captured in the Change Calendar. For example, changes can be made at any time except during periods when a freeze has been implemented.
  • Closed by default which prevents actions from being performed, except during a scheduled event. For example, an organization may only allow changes to be deployed every Wednesday night between 7pm and 9 pm.

Amazon cites some of the benefits of Change Calendar as preventing inadvertent changes by avoiding accidental deployments during key business events and a communication vehicle for sharing information about activities that may impact other teams.

Administrators can create a scheduled event from within AWS Systems Manager and can include the event name, a start date, end date and time zone.

Image source: in-product screenshot

Once the event has been created, it will be added to a calendar that can be shared with others in the organization.

Image source: in-product screenshot

In addition to the visual calendar that is provided in AWS Systems Manager, an API also exists which provides developers with a way to programmatically get access to scheduled events. Nick Triantafillou, cloud engineer and instructor at A Cloud Guru, explains how developers may choose to use the Change Calendar API:

It can be done programmatically; for example before an AWS Lambda function is involved, which may change some resources, it can automatically check the calendar to see if it is a good time to do so and if not, it won’t execute.

AWS Systems Manager Change Calendar is currently available wherever Systems Manager is deployed. Please refer to the AWS Regions Table for additional information.



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