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AWS Releases Health Aware Providing Automated Health Alerts for Accounts

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AWS recently announced the release of AWS Health Aware (AHA), an incident management and communications framework. AHA is an automated notification tool that sends AWS Health Alerts to a variety of endpoints. AHA is able to integrate with AWS Organizations to provide aggregated alerts across all accounts within the organization.

AWS Health provides visibility into both resource performance and the availability of AWS services and accounts. It provides a channel to share service degradation, scheduled changes, and other impacting issues. The Personal Health Dashboard (PHD), available within all AWS accounts to authenticated users, aggregates these AWS Health alerts into one location.

The alerts that are provided vary from large impacting service outages to account specific scheduled or operational impacts. As an example, an alert could be sent for a scheduled change such as impact to a long-lived EC2 instance due to an underlying infrastructure retirement. The alert will contain prescriptive instructions on what is happening and, if possible, how to mitigate any impact.

AWS Health Aware API events

AWS Health Aware API events (source: AWS)

 

For users of AWS Organizations, it is possible to aggregate PHD events from all accounts under the organization into one endpoint. AWS Organizations allows for centrally managing and governing multiple AWS accounts. For users not leveraging AWS Organizations, it is only possible to receive Service Health Dashboard (SHD) events only. These events are limited to service impacting events as provided via the AWS public dashboard.

AWS customers with a business or enterprise support plan can configure AHA to send the AWS Health alerts in real time to a number of communication platforms including Slack, Amazon Chime, and Microsoft Teams. This integration is performed by creating a webhook and providing that URL during AHA setup. It is also possible to send email alerts by integrating with Amazon Simple Email Service (SES).

AHA is also able to integrate with Amazon EventBridge. EventBridge is a serverless event bus that can be used to integrate event streams between AWS and third-party tooling. With the EventBridge integration, AHA can be connected to send events to over 35 applications, including NewRelic, DataDog, and PagerDuty.

By integrating AHA with third-party tooling via EventBridge it is possible to set up automated alerting and remediation of systems. Custom rules can be created within EventBridge to filter out unwanted events and target specific systems for handling other events.

Detailed instructions on configuring and setting up AHA are found within the GitHub repo. The system leverages a Lambda to read from the AWS Health API, send events to the endpoints and write to a DynamoDB table. The table stores the event ARNs, the most recent status for the event, and its time-to-live. EventBridge is used to trigger the Lambda once per minute. Webhook URLs and other secrets are written into AWS Secrets Manager.

AWS Health Aware architecture

AWS Health Aware architecture (source: AWS)

 

AWS Health Aware is available to all AWS customers with either business or enterprise support. While there is no additional cost for AHA, there is cost incurred from running the associated infrastructure.

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