The Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud management tool will from now on tell users about upcoming scheduled operational activities that will affect the availability of its cloud, the company said in blog post yesterday.
The upgrade is part of an effort by Amazon to give users better visibility into the status of their cloud resources. The functionality will be rolled out in several steps, starting with allowing users see what activities Amazon are planning in the AWS Management Console that will affect the availability of their instances, or virtual servers.
Today, there are three types of activities that Amazon can undertake on an instance: system reboot, instance reboot, or retirement.
So far, Amazon has only been able to tell users about what it is planning via email notifications. Keeping users informed via the Management Console and its APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) will allow them to review and respond either manually or programmatically.
A system reboot means that Amazon has to do some maintenance work on the hardware or software that is used to run the affected instance. This usually takes between two and 10 minutes depending on the configuration.
Amazon won't schedule system reboots very often, and only do them when absolutely necessary, it said.
An instance reboot is similar to a system reboot, though in this case a reboot of the affected instance, rather than the underlying system, is required. To increase control, users can perform these themselves.
When Amazon has scheduled an instance for retirement it means the company can no longer maintain it, due to, for example, a hardware failure. If it has been backed up using Elastic Block Store (EBS), users should be able to start and restart the instance and it will be migrated to different hardware.
The company didn't elaborate on what other features it is planning to add.