AWS Config Cheat Sheet

1. AWS Config Overview:

  • AWS Config provides a detailed view of AWS resource configurations.
  • It helps track changes, compliance, and resource relationships.

2. Key Concepts:

  • Resources: AWS entities like EC2, S3, VPC, etc.
  • Config Rules: Define compliance checks for resources.
  • Conformance Packs: Groups of Config Rules for easier management.
  • Configuration Items (CIs): Snapshots of resource configurations.
  • Configuration History: Records changes to resource configurations.
  • Configuration Snapshot: A point-in-time resource configuration view.
  • Aggregators: Centralized view of resource data across accounts and regions.

3. Setting Up AWS Config:

  • Sign in to AWS Management Console.
  • Specify resource types to monitor.
  • Configure an S3 bucket for storing snapshots and history.
  • Set up an SNS topic for configuration stream notifications.
  • Grant necessary IAM permissions for S3 and SNS access.

4. Config Rules:

  • Create custom rules or use AWS-managed rules.
  • Define desired configurations and actions on noncompliance.

5. Conformance Packs:

  • Bundles multiple Config Rules for consistent compliance.
  • Simplifies management and monitoring.

6. Aggregators:

  • Use aggregators for centralizing data across accounts and regions.
  • Collect configuration and compliance data into one account and region.

7. Advanced Queries:

  • Write custom queries to analyze current resource configurations.
  • Gain insights into resource relationships and configurations.

8. AWS Config Dashboard:

  • Provides an overview of resources, rules, compliance, and metrics.
  • Identify top resources, compliance issues, and Config usage.
  • Compliance and Resource Inventory:
  • Conformance Packs by Compliance Score: Users can see up to 10 conformance packs with the lowest compliance scores. A compliance score reflects the percentage of compliant rule-resource combinations within a conformance pack compared to the total possible combinations. This metric helps identify and track compliance levels in conformance packs, monitor remediation progress, and assess the impact of changes on compliance.
  • Compliance Status: Users can view the number of compliant and noncompliant rules and resources. Resources are categorized as compliant or noncompliant based on rule evaluations. This information provides an overview of the compliance status of resources.
  • Rules by Noncompliant Resources: The dashboard displays the top noncompliant rules, sorted by the number of noncompliant resources associated with each rule. Users can select a rule to access its details, parameters, and the affected resources.
  • Resource Inventory: The dashboard shows the total number of resources recorded by AWS Config, categorized by resource type. Users can explore resources of a specific type by selecting it. Resource types can include AWS resources, third-party resources, or custom resources.
  • AWS Config Usage and Success Metrics:
  • Configuration Items Recorded: This metric reveals the number of configuration items recorded for each resource type or all resource types. Configuration items represent a snapshot of resource attributes at a specific point in time. Users can select a specific resource type to view. Note that this metric includes both billable and non-billable configuration items.
  • AWS Config Success Metrics:
  • Change Notifications Delivery Failed: This metric shows the number of failed change notification deliveries to the Amazon SNS topic for the delivery channel. It provides insights into issues with change notification deliveries and can help users diagnose problems related to configuration changes.
  • Config History Export Failed: Users can see the number of failed exports of configuration history to their Amazon S3 bucket. Configuration history includes historical data about resource configurations over time. Monitoring this metric helps users identify problems with exporting historical configuration data.
  • Configuration Recorder Insufficient Permissions Failure: This metric indicates the number of failed permission access attempts due to inadequate IAM role policy permissions for the configuration recorder. It highlights issues related to recording AWS resource configurations due to insufficient IAM permissions.
  • Config Snapshot Export Failed: This metric displays the number of failed exports of configuration snapshots to the Amazon S3 bucket. Configuration snapshots are collections of configuration items for supported resources. Monitoring this metric helps identify problems with exporting configuration snapshots.
  • Users can customize the time range for viewing data, adjust the refresh interval, and even add AWS Config usage and success metrics to Amazon CloudWatch dashboards for further analysis. Overall, the AWS Config Dashboard provides users with valuable insights into the compliance, configuration, and performance of their AWS resources and rules.

9. Common Use Cases:

Resource Administration:

  • Use Case: Gain visibility into resource configurations and changes.
  • Benefit: Easily monitor and manage resource configurations without manual tracking.

Auditing and Compliance:

  • Use Case: Ensure resource compliance with policies and best practices.
  • Benefit: Automatically detect and report noncompliance, reducing manual audit efforts.

Managing Changes:

  • Use Case: Assess the impact of configuration changes on related resources.
  • Benefit: Understand how changes affect your infrastructure and prevent unintended consequences.

Security Analysis:

  • Use Case: Analyze security-related configurations and historical data.
  • Benefit: Identify security weaknesses, unauthorized changes, and access control issues.

10. Tips:

  • Enable AWS Config in all AWS regions for comprehensive coverage.
  • Regularly review the AWS Config Dashboard for compliance and configuration changes.
  • Leverage AWS Config with AWS Organizations for centralized management of multiple accounts.

11. References:

Note: Always refer to the latest AWS Config documentation and guidelines for the most up-to-date information and best practices.

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