AWS Launches Service Catalog For IT Departments

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AWS Service Catalog allows users to browse internal ‘marketplace’ of AWS products to run at their own will, with permission from an IT admin

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has today officially launched its Service Catalog tool, a platform that lets organisations deliver AWS applications internally.

Users of Service Catalog can browse products that they have access to, and run it on their own. The catalogues themselves are curated by IT administrators in the organisation, and use AWS Identity and Access Management to control access.


awsAWS pulled up one customer, Lockheed Martin, to portray the benefits of using Service Catalog. Garland Garcia, a Fellow and the aerospace firm, said: “I believe that the AWS Service Catalog will become an invaluable tool for enabling DevOps teams. It will enable developers to provision AWS resources in a self-service model while allowing central IT to simplify and control the configuration of these resources. This will help organisations to ensure compliance with business goals and reduces the time-to-market for solutions.”

AWS cloud evangelist Jeff Barr explained on his blog that the Catalog introduces a top-down way of working for users running with AWS.

“Years ago, early adopters brought AWS in to their organisations in a quiet, bottom-up fashion. Their agile, cloud-powered success stories spread quickly and came to the attention of upper-level folks sooner or later,” said Barr. “While “shadow IT” is a well-proven model for technology adoption, there inevitably comes a time when more discipline is required.”

Barr claims the Service Catalog is the antidote for this. “This product is designed to address the needs and challenges that I just outlined! It is a tool that will allow any IT department to deliver AWS-powered services to internal users while maintaining consistency and control,” he wrote. “I believe that the AWS Service Catalog has the potential to reduce support costs, encourage reuse, and to help organisations to realise the benefits of cloud computing that I’ve been writing about in this blog.”

Whilst only launching today in the US East (Northern Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions, AWS said it will expand to other regions over time, prioritised by customer demand.

The platform consists of six main parts. The Service Catalog exists within one single AWS account, managed by an admin, said AWS. That administrator is responsible for uploading and maintaining products in the catalogue. The third part is the users, who browses the catalogue and launches what they want to use. You then have the portal, which is used to view the catalogue of products. A portfolio is the collection of products within the Service Catalog, and then you have the products themselves.

“A Product is a collection of AWS resources (EC2 instances, application servers, databases, and so forth) that are instantiated and managed as a unit (a Stack in AWS terms). Product can be described by a CloudFormation template. Multiple independent versions of a Product can exist simultaneously within a single Portfolio,” said Barr.

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