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YLastic: The Tool that Leverages The AWS Cloud Computing Enviroment

Posted by Davide Palumbo on Wed, Dec 10, 2014

ylastic_icon_twitter2_400x400Ylastic is a great web based tool that allows IT Technicians to manage all of the components of AWS (Amazon Web Services) from either a web browser or mobile device, including iPhone and Google’s Android platform.

NSK’s IT Technicians use the product to provide an intuitive and powerful single user interface for managing our clients who are using AWS. This application allows NSK to manage multiple accounts, backup multiple zones and EBS, analyze the spending and resource costs associated with AWS and schedule cloud infrastructure tasks.

Ylastic provides a dashboard that displays the current state of the entire AWS environment along with the service health status. There are four custom panels, one each for EC2, S3, SQS and SimpleDB displaying the relevant info for each service, and a data-table that displays the current service health, as it is shown in the screenshot below. There is a lot of stuff going on in the background of this page including multiple data sources for retrieving the information asynchronously, a loading modal dialog, a monitor that knows when all the info has been retrieved, animation to fade in the panels as data arrives. 

Ylastic offers monitoring capabilities with alerts, live visualization and scheduling functionality, including automated backups. The AWS cloud-watch alarms are fully integrated with YLastic sending you notifications for any Cloud-watch alarm, which in turn lets you notify selected users to receive notifications through email, twitter or SMS. It also provides AWS Account Advisor, Amazon Simple Email Service and AWS Spending Analytics tools, as well as security and disaster recovery features.


Ylastic offers a set of tools that helps to migrate AMI (Amazon Machine Images) across regions. The AMI are like templates that are configured with an operating system and other software, which determine the user’s operating environment. AMI types are categorized according to region, operating system, system architecture (32- or 64-bit), launch permissions, and whether they are backed by Amazon EBS or by the instance store. Users can also create their own AMIs and share them.

More importantly, Ylastic simplifies EBS Instance Back-ups. If you are running any decent size in deployment on EC2, you probably have some of these or several of these in your fleet. To back them up, you create an AMI from an instance, and tag the resulting AMI and snapshots. Now that you have a backup for that instance, in order to actually find that backup, you need to search through a massive list of AMIs, which could take a while. In addition, that backup will go stale rather quickly, so you need to repeat and rinse the above steps, and eventually remove older backups. Of course, you also want these backups to also be in other regions, so in case of emergency, like a power outage, you can launch instances from those backups, and continue on.

choose-easy-hardYlastic has made this whole process much easier. For example, let’s say we have 3 instances of a production environment in our AWS account. We give them all a name tag, so it is easy for us to identify them. In this case, we name them all production-xyz. They are all running in beautiful Ireland. We want to back up these instances to Ireland, as well as in three other regions, like Sydney, Tokyo and Virginia. That way we will have backup AMIs created from these instances in 4 regions. We run this once a day at 1 AM. We keep the 10 latest backups in EACH region.

The task now goes off and backs up those instances. You can view ALL backups made for an instance across ALL regions. No searching needed. They are all in one place, easy to access and peruse.

I could not have written this article without the help of the following sources:

  1. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Amazon-Web-Services-AWS
  2. http://ylastic.com/features.html
  3. http://blog.ylastic.com/
  4. https://aws.amazon.com/customerapps/1705
  5. http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2008/10/28/ylastic/
  6. http://www.serverwatch.com/server-tutorials/8-trending-third-party-management-tools-for-amazon-web-services.html
  7. http://blog.ylastic.com/post/98394183106/simplifying-ebs-instance-back-ups
  8. http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240226041/Five-Signs-that-Amazon-is-the-new-Microsoft
  9. http://www.macworld.com/article/1138793/amazonwebservices_iphone.html
  10. http://searchaws.techtarget.com/definition/Amazon-Machine-Image-AMI

Tags: Cloud Computing

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