AWS Systems Manager State Manager - AWS Systems Manager

AWS Systems Manager State Manager

State Manager, a capability of AWS Systems Manager, is a secure and scalable configuration management service that automates the process of keeping your managed nodes and other AWS resources in a state that you define. To get started with State Manager, open the Systems Manager console. In the navigation pane, choose State Manager.


State Manager and Maintenance Windows can perform some similar types of updates on your managed nodes. Which one you choose depends on whether you need to automate system compliance or perform high-priority, time-sensitive tasks during periods you specify.

For more information, see Choosing between State Manager and Maintenance Windows.

How can State Manager benefit my organization?

By using pre-configured Systems Manager documents (SSM documents), State Manager offers the following benefits for managing your nodes:

  • Bootstrap nodes with specific software at start-up.

  • Download and update agents on a defined schedule, including the SSM Agent.

  • Configure network settings.

  • Join nodes to a Microsoft Active Directory domain.

  • Run scripts on Linux, macOS, and Windows managed nodes throughout their lifecycle.

To manage configuration drift across other AWS resources, you can use Automation, a capability of Systems Manager, with State Manager to perform the following types of tasks:

  • Attach a Systems Manager role to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to make them managed nodes.

  • Enforce desired ingress and egress rules for a security group.

  • Create or delete Amazon DynamoDB backups.

  • Create or delete Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots.

  • Turn off read and write permissions on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.

  • Start, restart, or stop managed nodes and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances.

  • Apply patches to Linux, macOS, and Window AMIs.

For information about using State Manager with Automation runbooks, see Scheduling automations with State Manager associations.

Who should use State Manager?

State Manager is appropriate for any AWS customer that wants to improve the management and governance of their AWS resources and reduce configuration drift.

What are the features of State Manager?

Key features of State Manager include the following:

  • State Manager associations

    A State Manager association is a configuration that you assign to your AWS resources. The configuration defines the state that you want to maintain on your resources. For example, an association can specify that antivirus software must be installed and running on a managed node, or that certain ports must be closed.

    An association specifies a schedule for when to apply the configuration and the targets for the association. For example, an association for antivirus software might run once a day on all managed nodes in an AWS account. If the software isn't installed on a node, then the association could instruct State Manager to install it. If the software is installed, but the service isn't running, then the association could instruct State Manager to start the service.

  • Flexible scheduling options

    State Manager offers the following options for scheduling when an association runs:

    • Immediate or delayed processing

      When you create an association, by default, the system immediately runs it on the specified resources. After the initial run, the association runs in intervals according to the schedule that you defined.

      You can instruct State Manager not to run an association immediately by using the Apply association only at the next specified Cron interval option in the console or the ApplyOnlyAtCronInterval parameter from the command line.

    • Cron and rate expressions

      When you create an association, you specify a schedule for when State Manager applies the configuration. State Manager supports most standard cron and rate expressions for scheduling when an association runs. State Manager also supports cron expressions that include a day of the week and the number sign (#) to designate the nth day of a month to run an association and the (L) sign to indicate the last X day of the month.


      State Manager doesn't currently support specifying months in cron expressions for associations.

      To further control when an association runs, for example if you want to run an association two days after patch Tuesday, you can specify an offset. An offset defines how many days to wait after the scheduled day to run an association.

      For information about building cron and rate expressions, see Reference: Cron and rate expressions for Systems Manager.

  • Multiple targeting options

    An association also specifies the targets for the association. State Manager supports targeting AWS resources by using tags, AWS Resource Groups, individual node IDs, or all managed nodes in the current AWS Region and AWS account.

  • Amazon S3 support

    Store the command output from association runs in an Amazon S3 bucket of your choice. For more information, see Working with associations in Systems Manager.

  • EventBridge support

    This Systems Manager capability is supported as both an event type and a target type in Amazon EventBridge rules. For information, see Monitoring Systems Manager events with Amazon EventBridge and Reference: Amazon EventBridge event patterns and types for Systems Manager.

Is there a charge to use State Manager?

State Manager is available at no additional charge.

How do I get started with State Manager?

Complete the following tasks to get started with State Manager.

Task For More Information

Set up Systems Manager

Setting up AWS Systems Manager

Learn more about State Manager

About State Manager

Create and assign a State Manager association to your nodes

Working with associations in Systems Manager