Skip to main content
Last updated: 19 Feb 2024

Common AWS tasks for Technical 2nd Line

This document details some of the tasks that GOV.UK Technical 2nd Line may carry out regarding AWS.

Logging into the AWS web console

Once you’ve set up AWS access, you can log into the AWS console for the relevant environment by running:

gds aws govuk-<environment>-<role> -l

See these notes about the different AWS IAM roles e.g.

gds aws govuk-integration-readonly -l

It will then ask you to supply your aws-vault password, followed by your 2FA code.

Getting help with AWS

Read the docs

The AWS docs are comprehensive, and the GOV.UK developer docs explain how to do common tasks.

Raise an AWS support request

We pay AWS for Premium Support. You are strongly encouraged to contact AWS to help you solve problems when using AWS products. Contacting AWS Support is a very common procedure.

See our documentation on how to escalate to AWS support

Internal support

Usually, 2nd-line Tech Support should be able to investigate issues related to AWS.

During working hours, one of the Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) on the Platform Engineering or Platform Security and Reliability teams may be able to provide advice or expert knowledge. Outside office hours, you should escalate to AWS Support if the engineers on call can’t resolve an issue themselves.

If you are experiencing an incident, refer to the So, you’re having an incident documentation.


How to view ALB metrics

You can see metrics for load balancers in CloudWatch. See the AWS documentation on load balancer CloudWatch metrics for more detail.

How to query Athena logs

See how to query CDN logs

How to identify AWS managed DB performance issues

If you find an AWS managed DB is experiencing performance issues, it’s often worth having a look at the CloudWatch metrics for the service. This might tell you which resource is the limiting factor impacting performance.

It is also worth looking at AWS’s troubleshooting documentation, such as the DocumentDB documentation.

How to restore an AWS managed DB from a backup

View the documentation on how to backup and restore in AWS RDS.