How AWS Regions Work With AWS Control Tower - AWS Control Tower

How AWS Regions Work With AWS Control Tower

Currently, AWS Control Tower is supported in the following AWS Regions:

  • US East (N. Virginia)

  • US East (Ohio)

  • US West (Oregon)

  • Canada (Central)

  • Asia Pacific (Sydney)

  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)

  • Europe (Frankfurt)

  • Europe (Ireland)

  • Europe (London)

  • Europe (Stockholm)

  • Asia Pacific (Mumbai)

  • Asia Pacific (Seoul)

  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)

  • Europe (Paris)

  • South America (São Paulo)

  • US West (N. California)

  • Asia Pacific (Hong Kong)

  • Asia Pacific (Jakarta)

  • Asia Pacific (Osaka)

  • Europe (Milan)

  • Africa (Cape Town)

  • Middle East (Bahrain)

  • Israel (Tel Aviv)

  • Middle East (UAE)

  • Europe (Spain)

  • Asia Pacific (Hyderabad)

  • Europe (Zurich)

  • Asia Pacific (Melbourne)

  • Canada West (Calgary)

About your home Region

When you create a landing zone, the Region that you're using for access to the AWS Management console becomes your home AWS Region for AWS Control Tower. During the creation process, some resources are provisioned in the home Region. Other resources, such as OUs and AWS accounts, are global.

After you've selected a home Region, you cannot change it.

Controls and Regions

Currently, all preventive controls work globally. Detective and proactive controls, however, only work in Regions where AWS Control Tower is supported. For more information about the behavior of controls when you activate AWS Control Tower in a new Region, see Configure your AWS Control Tower Regions.

Configure your AWS Control Tower Regions

This section describes the behavior you can expect when you extend your AWS Control Tower landing zone into a new AWS Region, or remove a Region from your landing zone configuration. Generally, this action is performed through the Update function of the AWS Control Tower console.

Note

We recommend that you avoid expanding your AWS Control Tower landing zone into AWS Regions in which you do not require your workloads to run. Opting out of a Region does not prevent you from deploying resources in that Region, but those resources will remain outside of AWS Control Tower governance.

During configuration of a new Region, AWS Control Tower updates the landing zone, which means that it baselines your landing zone —

  • to operate actively in all newly-selected Regions, and

  • to cease governing resources in deselected Regions.

Individual accounts within your organizational units (OUs) that are managed by AWS Control Tower are not updated as part of this landing zone update process. Therefore, you must update your accounts by re-registering your OUs.

When configuring your AWS Control Tower Regions, be aware of the following recommendations and limitations:

  • Select Regions in which you plan to host AWS resources or workloads.

  • Opting out of a Region does not prevent you from deploying resources in that Region, but those resources will remain outside of AWS Control Tower governance.

When you configure your landing zone for new Regions, AWS Control Tower detective controls adhere to the following rules:

  • What exists stays the same. Guardrail behavior, detective as well as preventive, is unchanged for existing accounts, in existing OUs, in existing Regions.

  • You can’t apply new detective controls to existing OUs containing accounts that are not updated. When you’ve configured your AWS Control Tower landing zone into a new Region (by updating your landing zone), you must update existing accounts in your existing OUs before you can enable new detective controls on those OUs and accounts.

  • Your existing detective controls begin working in the newly configured Regions as soon as you update the accounts. When you update your AWS Control Tower landing zone to configure new Regions and then update an account, the detective controls that already are enabled on the OU will begin working on that account in the newly configured Regions.

Configure AWS Control Tower Regions
  1. Sign in to the AWS Control Tower console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/controltower

  2. In the left-pane navigation menu, choose Landing zone settings.

  3. On the Landing zone settings page,in the Details section, choose the Modify settings button in the upper right. You are directed to the update landing zone workflow, because governing new Regions, or removing Regions from governance, requires you to update to the latest landing zone version.

  4. Under Additional AWS Regions for governance, search for the Regions you want to govern (or stop governing). The State column indicates which Regions you currently govern, and which ones you don't.

  5. Select the checkbox for each additional Region to govern. Deselect the checkbox for each Region from which you are removing governance.

    Note

    If you opt not to govern a Region, you can still deploy resources in that Region, but those resources will remain outside of AWS Control Tower governance.

  6. Complete the rest of the workflow, then choose Update landing zone.

  7. When the landing zone setup completes, Re-register the OUs to update the accounts in your new Regions. For more information, see When to update AWS Control Tower OUs and accounts.

An alternative method of provisioning or updating individual accounts after configuring new Regions is by using the API framework of Service Catalog and the AWS CLI to update the accounts in a batch process. For more information, see Provision and update accounts using automation.

Avoid mixed governance when configuring Regions

It is important to update all accounts in an OU after you extend AWS Control Tower governance to a new AWS Region, and after you remove AWS Control Tower governance from a Region.

Mixed governance is an undesirable situation that can occur if the controls governing an OU are not a complete match to the controls governing each account within an OU. Mixed governance occurs in an OU if accounts are not updated after AWS Control Tower extends governance to a new AWS Region, or removes governance.

In this situation, certain accounts within an OU may have different controls applied in different Regions, when compared to other accounts in the OU, or when compared to the landing zone's overall governance posture.

In an OU with mixed governance, if you provision a new account, that new account receives the same (updated) Region and OU governance posture as the landing zone. However, existing accounts that are not yet updated do not receive the updated Region governance posture.

In general, mixed governance may create contradictory or inaccurate status indicators in the AWS Control Tower console. For example, during mixed governance, opt-in Regions are shown with Not governed status, in registered OUs, for accounts that are not yet updated.

Note

AWS Control Tower does not permit controls to be enabled during a state of mixed governance.

Behavior of controls during mixed governance
  • During mixed governance, AWS Control Tower cannot consistently deploy controls that are based on AWS Config rules (that is, detective controls) in Regions that the OU already shows as Governed, because some accounts in the OU have not been updated. You may receive a FAILED_TO_ENABLE error message.

  • During mixed governance, if you extend the landing zone's governance to an opt-in Region while any account in the OU has not yet been updated, the EnableControl API operation on the OU fails for detective and proactive controls. You will receive a FAILED_TO_ENABLE error message, because non-updated member accounts within the OU have not yet been opted into those Regions.

  • During mixed governance, controls that are part of the Security Hub Service-managed Standard: AWS Control Tower cannot report compliance accurately in Regions where there is a mismatch between the landing zone configuration and the accounts that are not updated.

  • Mixed governance does not change the behavior of SCP-based controls (preventive controls), which apply uniformly to every account in an OU, in every governed Region.

Note

Mixed governance is not the same as drift, and it is not reported as drift.

To repair mixed governance
  • Choose Update account for each account in the OU that shows Update available status on the Organizations page in the console.

  • Choose Re-Register OU on the Organizations page, which automatically updates all accounts in the OU, for OUs with fewer than 300 accounts.

Considerations for the OU-level Region deny control

The primary consideration about the OU-level Region deny control is to determine how it will interact with the landing zone Region deny control, if both are activated. For more information, see Region deny control applied to the OU.