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Adding your AWS payer account to nOps with Automatic Setup

nOps requires safe, secure, and AWS-approved access to your AWS accounts in order to give you the analysis, dashboards, and reports that you need. We only see what we need, no more, and we need you to give us permission first.

In order to get started with nOps, the first step is to subscribe to nOps on the AWS marketplace. Next, you’ll create an nOps login and set up your AWS payer account. We’ve made the setup process as easy as possible for you while complying with AWS security best practices.

In Automatic Setup, nOps takes care of creating the S3 bucket, Cost and Usage Report (CUR), and IAM policy through a CloudFormation stack.

Watch the video on how to configure your Payer account with automatic setup:





Prerequisites

To successfully set up the AWS account(s), the AWS user must possess:

  • An accepted AWS Marketplace offer.
  • Access to the Payer account, if you are using AWS Organizations.
  • Permission to create and run an AWS CloudFormation stack.
  • Permission to create AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles in your account.
  • The name of an Amazon S3 bucket where your AWS Cost and Usage Reports (CURs) will be written. (nOps will create a bucket with the provided name if one does not exist)
  • CURs enabled in the organization.

Onboarding the AWS Payer Account

When you log in to your nOps account for the first time, a pop-up screen will appear. This pop-up screen will guide you on how you can add your AWS Payer account to nOps. The screen consists of three distinct sections:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Link AWS Accounts
  3. Fetching

Getting Started

In this section, you need to select the account setup method. In the scope of this article, we will deal with the Automatic Setup. Select the nOps Wizard Setup and click Next.

To learn more about Manual Setup, see Manual Setup. To learn more about IaaC Setup, see Onboarding with CloudFormation.

In the case of an AWS Organization account:

  • Make sure that you are logged into your AWS Master Payer Account.
  • Select the AWS Organization option.
  • Fill out the AWS Master Payer Account Name and S3 Bucket Name fields.
  • Click Setup Account.

If you select AWS Organization account, in the next section Link Cloud Account, you will have the option to onboard the child accounts associated with your AWS Organization Account.

In the case of the Payer Account:

  • Make sure that you are logged into your AWS account with admin rights.
  • Select the Single Account option.
  • Fill out the AWS Account Name and S3 Bucket Name fields.
  • Click Setup Account.

When you click Setup Account, you will be redirected to your AWS > Create Stack page. All the fields on this page will be pre-populated. Click on the checkbox for “I acknowledge that AWS CloudFormation might create IAM resources”. nOps needs this permission to automate the creation of the IAM role.

After you click the checkbox, click on the Create button to start the data ingestion.

Once the stack is created, come back to nOps. nOps will check the account connectivity with AWS and check the CloudFormation stack permissions, and start the ingestion:

When data ingestion starts, in the AWS console CloudFormation > Stacks > Stack Detail:

  1. If you have all the required permissions, as mentioned in the prerequisites section, the setup will start creating the stack with the status “CREATE_IN_PROGRESS”. Once the stack is created the “Status” will change to “CREATE_COMPLETE”. You can click the browser refresh button to check progress. Normally it takes 1 to 2 minutes to complete the process.
  2. If you don’t have proper permissions then you will see errors as shown in the screenshot below, and the stack will not be created. You can assign the necessary permissions to the AWS user or ask other teammates to rerun the setup.
  3. Once the stack creation is successful, log in to nOps Dashboard after the nOps integration (stack) creation process is completed

Fetching

Once your AWS accounts are linked successfully, you will see the following screen:

Once you log back into nOps, after data ingestion is complete, in the case of AWS Organization Account you will see the Setup Child Account page. With the help of your CUR, the setup process will automatically pull in the child accounts associated with your organization account.

To onboard a child account, click the Automatic Setup button against the child account that you want to add. If you don’t want to add a specific child account, click Skip Setup.

If you click Automatic Setup, the setup process will show you a confirmation popup.

Before you click Proceed, make sure that you are logged in to the child account you are onboarding. When you click Proceed, you will be redirected to the AWS CloudFormation console with all the fields pre-filled:

Check the I acknowledge that AWS CloudFormation might create an IAM resources checkbox, and click Create Stack.

To take a look at the nOps CloudFormation template, see CloudFormation YAML Template.

In case, nOps detects more than 10 child accounts, you will get a prompt to use the nOps Terraform Setup. nOps recommends that in this case, you use the CloudFormation Setup instead of the Automatic Setup.

Once all the linked accounts are added or skipped, click Next.

The setup process is now complete. It can take up to 24 hours before you start seeing the different nOps dashboards and compliance views populated with data from your workload.

On initial ingestion, nOps will pull the data from AWS accounts based on the following durations:

  • Cost data: 6 months look back + current month.
  • Rules: Current date.
  • CloudTrail Events: 14 days look back.

IAM and CloudFormation:

The IAM policy used by nOps is scoped to read and write permissions only.

Lambda function automates the creation of Role and Bucket (if it’s absent) for nOps integration to work.

The code for the Lambda function is available for your review. Click the link to get the YAML file.

If you are not comfortable with using the automated setup, you can use the manual setup instead.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Do you have a pop-up blocker on your browser? A pop-up blocker on your browser will stop nOps from redirecting you to an AWS account to create a stack.
  • There may have been a disconnect when creating the S3 stack causing the stack to have an error of ROLLBACK_ERROR. In this case, re-try the automatic setup, then delete the first one.
  • Is it pulling in incorrect data? Make sure that you are logging into the correct account. When you have multiple access to AWS accounts, it can import the wrong data. Ensure that you’re logged in to the correct account prior to starting the integration process.
  • If you belong to an Organization ( multiple accounts linked to a Master Account) ensure that you are logged into the Master account before running the wizard (so the billing data is populated) or having organizational billing data files exported to one of your buckets.
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