Amazon has released two new support mechanisms for Amazon Web Services
(AWS) that will be very welcome to developers and businesses that rely
on these services. These announcements demonstrate that the AWS
environment is maturing rapidly as Amazon responds to feedback about
their services and addresses key weaknesses.
Service Health Dashboard
The Service Health Dashboard (http://status.aws.amazon.com/) is a web site that displays the current and historical health status of the AWS infrastructure services. This site will make it much easier to determine whether any issues you experience are specific to your application or network, or are related to a broader AWS fault.
The dashboard will replace the developer forums as the central place for tracking service faults, and for receiving updates from the AWS team about resolutions and work-arounds:
...we plan to use the Service Health Dashboard as the single place to update you about the onset of an issue, status, outlook, recovery, and post mortems.
Here is an example of feedback provided by the AWS team during an EC2
An RSS feed is available for each service status category, so you don't even need to visit the web site to be informed of status changes.
Importantly, the dashboard page also includes a Report an Issue link that provides a clear, unambiguous way to inform the AWS team of service issues. This is a great improvement over having to post a message to the developer forums, or send an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org "technical enquiries" address.
Unfortunately, you are required to log in to your AWS account before you can report an issue. If there is a fault with the AWS log in authentication mechanism, as there was earlier this year, it will be difficult to submit a fault report.
AWS Premium Support
In addition to the health dashboard, Amazon has announced a new for-pay technical support service called AWS Premium Support. For businesses running on Amazon's S3, EC2 or SQS infrastructure services, it promises rapid, personalised support and on-demand technical assistance with the ability to escalate issues to service specialists.
There are two levels of support, Silver and Gold. Both are provided on a monthly contract basis with no long-term commitment. The Gold level includes 24 x 7 x 365 support and telephone access, while the Silver level provides U.S. business day support and access to a n online ticketing system.
Pricing for premium support is based on a percentage of your monthly service usage fees, with a minimum cost of $100 per month for Silver or $400 per month for Gold. Refer to the AWS Premium Support home page and the AWS blog for more information.
The prior AWS support mechanisms, including the developer forums, remain free of charge.