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AWS Support
User Guide (API Version 2013-04-15)

Getting Started with AWS Support

AWS Support offers a range of plans that provide access to tools and expertise that support the success and operational health of your AWS solutions. All support plans provide 24x7 access to customer service, AWS documentation, whitepapers, and support forums. If you need technical support and more resources to help plan, deploy, and optimize your AWS environment, you can select a support plan that best aligns with your AWS use case.

Features of AWS Support Plans

AWS Support offers four support plans: Basic, Developer, Business, and Enterprise. The Basic plan is free of charge and offers support for account and billing questions and service limit increases. The other plans offer an unlimited number of technical support cases with pay-by-the-month pricing and no long-term contracts, providing the level of support that meets your needs.

All AWS customers automatically have around-the-clock access to these features of the Basic support plan:

  • Customer Service: one-on-one responses to account and billing questions

  • Support forums

  • Service health checks

  • Documentation, whitepapers, and best-practice guides

Customers with a Developer support plan have access to these additional features:

  • Best-practice guidance

  • Client-side diagnostic tools

  • Building-block architecture support: guidance on how to use AWS products, features, and services together

In addition, customers with a Business or Enterprise support plan have access to these features:

  • Use-case guidance: what AWS products, features, and services to use to best support your specific needs

  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for controlling individuals' access to AWS Support

  • AWS Trusted Advisor, which inspects customer environments and identifies opportunities to save money, close security gaps, and improve system reliability and performance

  • An API for interacting with Support Center and Trusted Advisor, allowing for automated support case management and Trusted Advisor operations

  • Third-party software support: help with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance operating systems and configuration and performance of the most popular third-party software components on AWS

In addition, customers with an Enterprise support plan have access to these features:

  • Application architecture guidance: consultative partnership supporting specific use cases and applications

  • Infrastructure event management: short-term engagement with AWS Support to get a deep understanding of your use case and provide architectural and scaling guidance for an event

  • AWS Concierge

  • Technical account manager

  • White-glove case routing

  • Management business reviews

For more detailed information about features and pricing for each support plan, see AWS Support and AWS Support Features. Some features, such as around-the-clock phone and chat support, are not available in all languages.

Case Management

You can sign in to the Support Center at https://console.aws.amazon.com/support/home#/ by using the email address and password associated with your AWS account. To log in with other credentials, see Accessing AWS Support.

There are three types of cases you can open:

  • Account and Billing Support cases are available to all AWS customers. This case type connects you to customer service for help with billing and account-related questions.

  • Service Limit Increase requests are also available to all AWS customers. For information on the default service limits, see AWS Service Limits.

  • Technical Support cases connect you to technical support for help with service-related technical issues and, in some cases, third-party applications. If you have a Developer support plan, you can communicate via the web. If you have a Business or Enterprise support plan, you can also communicate by phone or live chat.

To open a Support case:

Example: Creating a Case

Here is an example of a Technical Support case (shown in two parts for readability). The lists that follow the form example explain some of your options and best practices.

  • Contact Information. In the CC box, enter the email addresses of people to be notified when the status of the case changes. If you are signed in as an IAM user, include your own email address. If you are signed in with your email address and password, you don't need to include your email address in the CC box.

    Note

    If you have the Basic support plan, the CC box is not available. However, the Operational contact specified in the Alternate Contacts section of the My Account page receives copies of the case correspondence.

  • Regarding. Select the type of case you want to create. In this example, we select Technical Support.

    Note

    If you have the Basic support plan, you cannot create a technical support case.

  • Service. If your question affects multiple services, choose the service that is most applicable. In this case, we select Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2 - Linux).

  • Category. Choose the most appropriate category. In this case, we’re having trouble connecting to an instance, so we choose Instance Issue. When you select a category, links to information that might help to resolve your problem appear below the Category selection.

    Based on your category choice, contextual text boxes often prompt for additional information. In this case, we’re prompted to provide Instance ID(s). In general, it’s a good idea to provide resource IDs even when not prompted.

  • Severity. All customers with a paid support plan can choose General guidance (1-day response time) or System impaired (12-hour response time) severity. Customers with a Business support plan can also choose Production system impaired (4-hour response) or Production system down (1-hour response). Enterprise plan customers can also choose Business-critical system down (15-minute response). Note that response times are for first response from AWS Support, and do not apply to subsequent responses. For third-party issues, response times can be longer, depending on the availability of skilled personnel. For details, see Choosing a Severity.

  • Subject. Treat this like the subject of an email message and sum up your issue as briefly as possible. In this case, we use the subject "Failed status checks."

  • Description. This is the most important information that you provide to Support. For most service and category combinations, a prompt suggests information that is most helpful for the fastest resolution. For more guidance, see Describing Your Problem.

  • Attachments. Screen shots and other attachments (less than 5 MB each) are often helpful. In this case, we’ve added one to show the failed status check.

  • Contact method. Select a contact method. The options vary depending on the type of case and your support plan. If you choose Web, you can read and respond to the case progress via Support Center. If you have a Business or Enterprise support plan, you can also select Chat or Phone. If you select Phone, you are prompted for a callback number.

  • Submit. Click the Submit button when your information is complete and you're ready to create the case.

Choosing a Severity

It might be tempting to open cases at the highest severity allowed by your support plan. However, we strongly encourage limiting the use of the highest severities to cases that cannot be worked around or that directly affect production applications. Plan ahead to avoid needing high-severity cases for general guidance questions. For information about how to build your services so that losing single resources does not affect your application, see Building Fault-Tolerant Applications on AWS.

Here is a summary of severity levels, response times, and example problems. For more information about the scope of support for each AWS Support plan, see AWS Support Features. Note: We make every reasonable effort to respond to your initial request within the indicated timeframe.

Severity First-Response Time Description / Support Plan
General guidance 24 hours You have a general development question, or you want to request a feature. (Developer*, Business, and Enterprise support plans)
System impaired 12 hours Non-critical functions of your application are behaving abnormally, or you have a time-sensitive development question. (Developer*, Business, and Enterprise support plans)
Production system impaired 4 hours Important functions of your application are impaired or degraded. (Business and Enterprise support plans)
Production system down 1 hour Your business is significantly impacted. Important functions of your application are unavailable. (Business and Enterprise support plans)
Business-critical system down 15 minutes Your business is at risk. Critical functions of your application are unavailable. (Enterprise support plan)

* For the Developer plan, response targets are calculated in business hours. Business hours are generally defined as 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM in the customer country as set in the contact information of My Account, excluding holidays and weekends. These times can vary in countries with multiple time zones.

Describing Your Problem

Your description should be as detailed as possible and include relevant resource information, along with anything else that would be beneficial, depending on the case. For example, to troubleshoot performance, include time stamps and logs. For feature requests or general guidance questions, include a description of your environment and purpose. In all cases, follow the Description Guidance that appears on your case submission form.

When you provide as much detail as possible, you increase the chances that your case will be resolved quickly.

Monitoring and Maintaining Your Case

You can monitor the status of your case in Support Center. A new case begins in the "Unassigned" state. When an engineer begins work on a case, the status changes to "Work in Progress." The engineer responds to your case, either to ask for more information ("Pending Customer Action") or to let you know that the case is being investigated ("Pending Amazon Action").

Whenever your case is updated, you receive email with the correspondence and a link to the case in Support Center—you cannot respond to case correspondence via email. When you are satisfied with the response or your problem has been solved, you can select Close Case in Support Center. If you do not respond within six days, the case is closed automatically. You can always reopen a resolved or closed case.

It is important to create a new case for a new issue or question. If case correspondence strays from the original question or issue, a support engineer might ask you to open a new case. When opening cases related to old inquiries, it is helpful to include the related case number so that we can refer to previous correspondence.

Case History

Case history information is available for 12 months after creation.

Accessing AWS Support

There are two ways to access Support Center: by using the email address and password associated with your AWS account or—the preferred method—by using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Customers with a Business or Enterprise support plan can access AWS Support and Trusted Advisor operations programmatically by using the AWS Support API.

AWS Account

You can use your AWS account information to access Support Center. Simply sign in at https://console.aws.amazon.com/support/home#/ and enter your email address and password. However, AWS recommends that you avoid using this method as much as possible and use IAM instead. For more information, see Lock away your AWS account access keys.

IAM

You can use IAM to create individual users or groups, and then give them permission to perform actions and access resources in Support Center.

Note

IAM users who are granted Support access can see all cases that are created for the account.

By default, IAM users do not have access to Support Center. You give users access to your account’s Support resources (Support Center cases and the AWS Support API) by attaching IAM policies to users, groups, or roles. For more information, see IAM Users and Groups and Overview of AWS IAM Policies.

After you create IAM users, you can give those users individual passwords. They can then sign in to your account and work in Support Center by using an account-specific sign-in page. For more information, see How IAM Users Sign In to Your AWS Account.

The easiest way to grant permission is to attach the AWS managed policy AWSSupportAccess to the group, role, or user. Support does not let you allow or deny access to individual actions; therefore, the Action element of a policy is always set to support:*. Similarly, Support does not provide resource-level access, so the Resource element is always set to *. An IAM user with Support permissions has access to all Support operations and resources.

For example, this policy statement grants access to Support:

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{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "support:*", "Resource": "*" }] }

This policy statement denies access to Support:

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{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Deny", "Action": "support:*", "Resource": "*" }] }

If the user or group already has a policy, you can add the Support-specific policy statement illustrated here to that policy.

Note

Access to Trusted Advisor in the AWS Management Console is controlled by a separate trustedadvisor IAM namespace. Access to Trusted Advisor via the AWS Support API is controlled by the support IAM namespace. For more information, see Controlling Access to the Trusted Advisor Console.

AWS Trusted Advisor

AWS Trusted Advisor draws upon best practices learned from the aggregated operational history of serving hundreds of thousands of AWS customers. Trusted Advisor inspects your AWS environment and makes recommendations when opportunities exist to save money, improve system availability and performance, or help close security gaps. All AWS customers have access to four Trusted Advisor checks. Customers with a Business or Enterprise support plan can view all Trusted Advisor checks. For more information, see AWS Trusted Advisor.

For information about using Amazon CloudWatch Events to monitor the status of Trusted Advisor checks, see Monitoring Trusted Advisor Check Results with Amazon CloudWatch Events.

Trusted Advisor can be accessed in the AWS Management Console; programmatic access to Trusted Advisor is available with the AWS Support API.

Troubleshooting

For answers to common customer troubleshooting questions, see the AWS Support Knowledge Center.

For troubleshooting Amazon CloudFront streaming video, you can use the Amazon CloudFront Streaming Diagnostic Client.

For Windows, EC2 offers EC2Rescue, which allows customers to examine their Windows instances to help identify common problems, collect log files, and help Support troubleshoot issues. It can even be used to analyze boot volumes from non-functional instances. For more information, see How can I use EC2Rescue to troubleshoot and fix common issues on my EC2 Windows instance?

Service-specific Troubleshooting

Most AWS service documentation contains troubleshooting topics that can get you started before contacting Support. The following table provides links to troubleshooting topics in AWS documentation, arranged by service.

Service Link
Amazon Web Services Troubleshooting AWS Signature Version 4 Errors
Amazon AppStream Troubleshoot Amazon AppStream
Auto Scaling Troubleshooting Auto Scaling
AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) Troubleshooting
AWS CloudFormation Troubleshooting AWS CloudFormation
Amazon CloudFront Troubleshooting | Troubleshooting RTMP Distributions
AWS CloudHSM Troubleshooting
Amazon CloudSearch Troubleshooting Amazon CloudSearch
AWS CodeDeploy Troubleshooting AWS CodeDeploy
AWS Data Pipeline Troubleshooting
Amazon DevPay Example Request to Use When Troubleshooting
AWS Direct Connect Troubleshooting AWS Direct Connect
AWS Directory Service Troubleshooting AWS Directory Service Administration Issues
Amazon DynamoDB Troubleshooting
AWS Elastic Beanstalk Troubleshooting
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Troubleshooting Instances | Troubleshooting Windows Instances | Troubleshooting VM Import/Export | Troubleshooting API Request Errors | Troubleshooting the AWS Management Pack | Troubleshooting AWS Systems Manager for Microsoft SCVMM | AWS Diagnostics for Microsoft Windows Server
Amazon EC2 Container Service (Amazon ECS) Amazon ECS Troubleshooting
Elastic Load Balancing Troubleshoot Your Application Load Balancers | Troubleshoot Your Classic Load Balancer
Amazon EMR (Amazon EMR) Troubleshoot a Cluster
Amazon ElastiCache Troubleshooting Applications
AWS Flow Framework Troubleshooting and Debugging Tips
AWS GovCloud (US) Troubleshooting
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Troubleshooting IAM
Kinesis Troubleshooting Amazon Kinesis Streams Producers | Troubleshooting Amazon Kinesis Streams Consumers
AWS Lambda Troubleshooting and Monitoring AWS Lambda Functions with CloudWatch
AWS OpsWorks Debugging and Troubleshooting Guide
Amazon Redshift Troubleshooting Queries | Troubleshooting Data Loads | Troubleshooting Connection Issues in Amazon Redshift | Troubleshooting Amazon Redshift Audit Logging
Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) Troubleshooting | Troubleshooting Applications
Amazon Route 53 Troubleshooting Amazon Route 53
Amazon Silk Troubleshooting
Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) Troubleshooting Amazon SES
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) Troubleshooting CORS Issues | Handling REST and SOAP Errors
Amazon Simple Workflow Service (Amazon SWF) AWS Flow Framework for Java: Troubleshooting and Debugging Tips | AWS Flow Framework for Ruby: Troubleshooting and Debugging Workflows
AWS Storage Gateway Troubleshooting Your Gateway
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) Troubleshooting
Amazon WorkMail Troubleshooting the Amazon WorkMail Web Application
Amazon WorkSpaces Troubleshooting Amazon WorkSpaces Administration Issues | Troubleshooting Amazon WorkSpaces Client Issues
Amazon WorkSpaces Application Manager (Amazon WAM) Troubleshooting Amazon WAM Application Issues