AWS Service Catalog (Amazon Web Services Service Catalog)

The AWS Service Catalog (Amazon Web Services Service Catalog) is a product that allows cloud administrators to provision applications for end users by setting configurations within product portfolios. Administrator-defined service catalogs are used to create and manage commonly deployed IT services, such virtual machines (VMs), servers, databases and software.

The AWS Service Catalog helps enterprises and managed service providers govern their cloud services by giving business units and other end users limited access to services. AWS Service Catalog also helps administrators meet security and compliance needs by immediately assigning identity and access management (IAM) roles. The service also helps IT teams maintain a standard test-and-development environment.

The AWS Service Catalog consists of portfolios, which are collections of products. Administrators add and configure products, which are AWS resources, within a portfolio. Products may consist of simple Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances or elaborate multi-tiered applications. Administrators can add or manage multiple versions of products to keep apprised of software updates or configuration changes.

Administrators must establish an AWS account before creating a portfolio, and then create IAM individual IAM roles for an "Administrator" and "End User," as well as an IAM "Engineering" group. Administrators prepare an AWS CloudFormation template to declare the resources that will be used when a product launches. All resources used are region-specific.

Once the template is ready, administrators log in to the AWS Management Console, where they define a portfolio name, description and owner. Administrators define product parameters, such as region and other customizations. Launch constraints can also be applied to instances or to specify a role for a product within a portfolio. When a portfolio is established, administrators grant access to users designated with "End User" roles. These end users can then discover and launch products through a portal as a stack of AWS resources.

The AWS Service Catalog also allows for tags, which are words or phrases labeled to a resource similar to metadata. Each tag consists of a key and a value to help organize services. Portfolios and products are each limited to three tags. Administrators can apply up to 10 tags to a resource.

AWS users pay $5 per month for each portfolio, regardless of how many products or end users are assigned to it. Users also pay for the associated AWS resources used, such as EC2 instances.

This was last updated in September 2015

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