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AWS Control Tower

What is AWS Control Tower?

  • A service for configuring and managing a multi-account AWS environment.

 

AWS Control Tower Concepts

  • Landing zone

    • A multi-account environment that is well-architected and adheres to security and compliance best practices.

    • Each organization can have one landing zone.

    • A container that holds the following:

      • Organizational Units (OUs)

      • Accounts

      • Users

      • Other Resources

    • Structure of a landing zone:

      • Root – parent that contains all OUs.

      • Security OU – contains the shared accounts.

      • Sandbox OU – contain the registered accounts used by your users to carry out their AWS workloads.

      • IAM Identity Center directory – scope of permissions of each user.

      • IAM Identity Center users – identities that your users can use to perform AWS workloads.

  • Guardrails

    • A high-level rule or policy that governs your AWS environment.

    • Applies to both OU and AWS accounts within the OU.

    • Guardrails are classified based on their behavior and guidance.

    • Behavior

      • Preventive

        • Prohibits actions that result in policy violations.

        • Implemented using AWS Organizations SCPs.

        • Status is either enforced or not enabled.

      • Detective

        • Detects noncompliance resources and provides alerts through the dashboard.

        • Implemented using AWS Config rules.

        • Status is either clear, in violation, or not enabled.

    • Guidance

      • Mandatory – always enforced.

      • Strongly recommended – enforce best practices.

      • Elective – track actions that are commonly restricted.

    • By default, mandatory guardrails are applied to top-level OUs.

    • The exception for guardrails is only for root or management accounts.

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  • Account Factory

    • Automates provisioning of new accounts.

    • It also helps you standardize the provisioning of new accounts by using pre-approved account configurations.

    • Shared accounts:

      • Management account – used for billing, provisioning of accounts, and managing OUs and guardrails.

      • Log Archive account – a repository for logs of API activities and resource configurations.

      • Audit account – a restricted account for security and compliance teams.

    • Member accounts are the accounts used by your users to perform AWS workloads.

    • You can also provision accounts using AWS Control Tower Account Factory for Terraform.

  • Dashboard

    • Offers continuous oversight to the following:

      • Accounts across your enterprise.

      • Guardrails enabled for policy enforcement.

      • Guardrails enabled for continuous detection of policy non-conformance.

      • Non-compliant resources organized by accounts and OUs.

AWS Control Tower Networking Features

  • AWS automatically creates an AWS-default VPC in every Region, even those not governed by AWS Control Tower, as part of the account creation process.

  • The default VPC is not the same as the VPC created by AWS Control Tower for a provisioned account.

  • You also have the option to remove AWS default VPCs in non-governed Regions.

  • Each AWS Control Tower VPC has three Availability Zones.

  • By default, an AZ has one public and two private subnets.

  • Supports VPC-to-VPC peering for multiple VPCs.

  • Region deny guardrail

    • Applies to a landing zone.

    • Blocks API calls to services in non-governed Regions.

    • IAM users can still connect to an AWS default VPC in a Region where AWS Control Tower is not supported.

    • If a guardrail is enabled, you will be unable to deploy resources in the denied Regions.

AWS Control Tower Monitoring

  • A log archive account is dedicated to collecting all logs centrally.

  • You can use AWS CloudTrail to capture the actions or events of AWS Control Tower.

  • With CloudWatch Logs and CloudWatch Logs Insights, you can view and query AWS Control Tower lifecycle events.

  • A lifecycle event is only recorded after a series of actions has been completed.

  • The event log for each lifecycle event indicates whether the originating Control Tower action was successful or unsuccessful.

  • Each lifecycle event is automatically recorded as a non-API AWS service event by AWS CloudTrail.

  • Each lifecycle event is sent to Amazon EventBridge.

 

AWS Control Tower Pricing

  • You are charged for AWS services that are configured to set up your landing zone and mandatory guardrails.

  • You are charged by AWS Config for running ephemeral workloads as it records configuration changes related to the creation and deletion of temporary resources.

References:
https://aws.amazon.com/controltower/
https://docs.aws.amazon.com/controltower/latest/userguide/what-is-control-tower.html

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