AWS Chatbot Review: An Essential for AWS Users


A pre-built bot that for Slack and Amazon Chime to keep an eagle eye on your AWS resources

Amazon
AWS Chatbot Review: An Essential for AWS Users

Way back in 2015, Amazon had announced that over 1 million customers across the globe use Amazon Web Services (AWS). Today, AWS is behind some of our favourite cloud-based applications, including Zoom, Slack, and even Netflix. AWS has also proved hugely popular in the public sector, further extending its range of use cases.

Given this diversity of applications, you’d expect AWS to provide some kind of conversational interface to stay on top of software updates and notifications. This is exactly what AWS Chatbot looks to achieve.

AWS Chatbot was launched in July 2019 as a Beta Service that lets you monitor and interact with your AWS resources through a conversational interface. At that time, it could extract notifications from AWS Health, Budgets, Security Hub, and a handful of other services. This list has expanded significantly since then – as you’ll see in this review.

Inside AWS Chatbot

AWS Chatbot targets developers and power cloud users who need to monitor resource utilisation and health regularly. To set it up, you need to create an alarm on Amazon CloudWatch and link it to an AWS Chatbot configuration. This lets you route notifications and actionables straight to your chat channel – either Slack or Amazon Chime.

Here’s a quick review of its key features:

  • Real-time notifications – You can pre-select specific event types for sending alerts to the conversation channel of your choice. AWS Chatbot will recognise important events according to these types and send you real-time updates in a natural language
  • Actionable notifications – Some of the messages received via AWS Chatbot aren’t static. You can act on them directly from the channel, making it a truly two-way conversation flow. An important use case is notification sharability on Slack or Amazon Chime, enabling better collaboration among developer teams
  • Permission personalisation – You can set up specific permissions depending on your Slack channels or Amazon Chime chat rooms, and their unique needs. This ensures that everyone gets the most relevant updates – and AWS Chatbot even comes with built-in permission templates to make personalisation easier
  • Channel support – As mentioned, AWS Chatbot is compatible with both Slack and Amazon Chime. This makes sense given that the Slack platform is already hosted on AWS Cloud, making interoperability that much simpler
  • Workflow configurations – Developers can initiate workflows for faster response to diagnostic updates received via AWS chatbots. To do this, you can invoke a Lambda function, or use Slack commands (as per the AWS Command Line Interface syntax) to create AWS support cases
  • AWS service support – Amazon has consistently grown the ambit of service integration with AWS chatbot. Right now, you can fetch updates from AWS Billing and Cost Management, AWS CloudFormations (an infra management tool), AWS developer tools like CodeBuild, CodeDeploy, etc., CloudWatch Alarms, and CloudWatch Events. Some of these services cover a variety of sub-services, which you can peruse here
  • Regional availability – AWS Chatbot is available across the world and you can use it as long as you are situated in a commercial AWS region. You can fetch notifications for those regionally available resources, effectively setting up a global control hun for your distributed AWS footprint.

Why AWS Chatbot Makes a Difference

The AWS service portfolio is massive. Companies relying on AWS for critical tasks like IT infrastructure management, billing, customer service, and the like need to stay on top of what’s happening in their cloud landscape. AWS Chatbot makes this simple – and that too free of cost. It supports most crucial AWS services and comes with Identity Access Management (IAM) controls. This turns Slack or Amazon Chime into a powerful IT management and developer collaboration centre, with easy sharing and ready actionables.

What We Think

AWS Chatbot is a handy addition on your UC toolkit if you (or your team) is an AWS power user. You can even maintain event logs for CloudWatch, streamlining your It and development activity roadmap. The only issue with AWS Chatbot could be its limited compatibility. For that, you would still need to leverage AWS Lambda and integrate with a third-party platform like Microsoft Teams.

Barring this, AWS Chatbot adoption is a no-brainer. It is free, it is comprehensive, it blends into your existing workflow, and it requires little to no effort to get started. For those already on Slack, with heavy AWS usage, Chatbot can help you optimise your resources and find those hidden utilisation inefficiencies that were holding back your organisation.

 

 

4.2 out of 5

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