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The NextGen AWS Managed Service Provider Checklist

To run a sustainable managed service business in today’s highly competitive business environment, Managed Service Provider (MSPs) must go the extra mile to differentiate their services from the competition. This is because fast-growing modern companies want to scale quickly while reaping all possible cost and performance benefits from their AWS cloud adoption.

MSPs who want to win customer’s trust must provide next-generation, comprehensive cloud solutions to meet and exceed their prospective clients’ expectations. Achieving this sounds like an uphill task, but this is exactly why AWS created the MSP program.

AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program

The AWS MSP Program was created to build MSP Partners capable of providing transformational cloud solutions to their customers. MSPs who successfully pass all the requirements of the MSP Partner Program stand to gain a lot of benefits like industry-wide marketing promotion from AWS, an AWS stamp of approval, and access to world-class resources that will help them run profitable businesses.

The Program also empowers MSP Partners to offer complete lifecycle cloud solutions that solve problems potential clients face at any stage of their cloud adoption journey. Whether they’re planning and designing, building and migration, running and operating, or even optimizing their cloud infrastructure.

Satisfying AWS MSP Partner Program Validation Checklist with nOps

nOps is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner, AWS Well-Architected Partner with an AWS Cloud Management Tools Competency.

We provide dedicated MSPs like you with an all-in-one GTM Cloud Practice that leverages AWS best practices to offer comprehensive solutions that satisfy your customers. Our automated features help MSPs quickly auto-discover HRIs, which you can then leverage to offer more services and boost your revenue margins. 

For example, see how we helped New Context, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, meet rigorous AWS best practices, expand and optimize their MSP operations. With nOps, MSPs can comfortably offer cost-optimized, agile, and secure managed services.

Mapping AWS MSP Partner Program Validation v.4.2 Checklist

To join the AWS MSP Partner Program, MSPs must, among other conditions, pass a full audit. This audit with a 1000 points scoring system examines how your service offerings align with the best practices specified in Validation Checklist. 

Let’s see how nOps helps you successfully attain MSP Program validation, demonstrating your capability to pass mandatory action items and avoid score-impacting action items.

AWS Partner has a company overview presentation to set the stage for customer conversations as applicable to its MSP practice, in addition to demonstration capabilities.


 

How nOps Helps

nOps runs an outstanding Partner Supercharger Program empowering our MSPs to run nextGen cloud practices. In this program: 

  • We run quarterly team training and strategy development briefings. 
  • We share in-depth co-branded resources and materials like Whitepapers, ebooks, reports, and blog posts, extolling the virtues of using AWS best practices to run optimized, Well-Architected AWS cloud resources. 
  • We also regularly run webinars, podcasts, and presentations sharing how MSPs can run automated cloud managed services offerings that provide the best customer’ cloud adoption experience. 

 

AWS Partner educates and evangelizes how managed services are different in an AWS environment vs. traditional on-premises or hosted managed services with emphasis on automation enabled by DevOps practices.


How nOps Helps

In addition to activities outlined in 1.1, we create brochures and video presentations sharing our illustrious relationship with AWS and how we leverage that to provide next-generation, automated MSP offerings.

AWS Partner has processes in place for financial planning, including forecasting, budgeting, and review of financial metrics and reports.


How nOps Helps

nOps provides extensive financial information and tools that can assist MSPs in preparing valuable financial plans and reports. For example, the nOps AWS Cloud ROI and Pricing Calculator help Partners provide ROI(Profit) forecasts and other essential financial metrics.

AWS Partner has ≥ 4 AWS Customer References including at least 2 that are publicly referenceable. These references should demonstrate material growth of the Partner’s MSP business on AWS. Evidence can be in the form of documented References, Case Studies, whitepapers, or internal briefings.


How nOps Helps

nOps also assists MSPs with case studies showing how other AWS partners and users had achieved significant growth in their business when they used nOps.

AWS Partner manages personnel capacity related to their AWS MSP practice. Evidence must be in the form of resource planning processes

detailing how AWS Partner ensures that appropriate resources are available to meet business demand, scoped to the AWS Partner’s AWS managed service practice.


How nOps Helps

The nOps platform provides MSPs with extensive insights into AWS users’ infrastructure, helping them make informed decisions about provisioning the right capacity mix to meet performance demands. 

We also have ShareSave, which Partners can use in ensuring business operations scale to meet future needs through effective Reserved Instances management. 

3.4.1 AWS Partner has defined processes for selection and evaluation of suppliers. 

3.4.2 Where AWS Partner uses SaaS solutions for systems that contain customer information or have access to AWS resources, AWS Partner must show that due diligence has been carried out to assess the security compliance of these solutions with a focus on customer privacy and security.


How nOps Helps

The nOps platform provides MSPs with extensive insights into AWS users’ infrastructure, helping them make informed decisions about provisioning the right capacity mix to meet performance demands. 

We also have ShareSave, which Partners can use in ensuring business operations scale to meet future needs through effective Reserved Instances management. 

nOps has secured a couple of core AWS competencies along with multiple partnerships with AWS. In addition, our AI-powered platform helps Partners assess whether specified workloads meet various information security  industry certified standards like SOC2 and CIS 7.1

Also, our security dashboard is second to none. We help Partners with a full Cloud infrastructure health scan checking for compliance with Well-Architected security practices. MSPs can also use our platform to continuously monitor and manage cloud security risks and threats like poor authorization practices, disabled MFA, and absence of recommended backup and disaster recovery plans.

That’s not all; our automated reporting tool makes documentation of due diligence checks a seamless process.

All AWS accounts in which AWS Partner is managing production resources as well as all payer or AWS Organizations management accounts have Business, or Enterprise level of AWS Support.


How nOps Helps

The nOps Well-Architected tool allows MSPs to check for AWS accounts running production and mission-critical workloads without AWS Enterprise Support Plan enabled.

4.2.2 AWS Partner regularly assesses customer infrastructure cost and highlights opportunities to optimize these costs to its customers through reporting.


How nOps Helps

nOps is FinOps centric. We provide a 360, real-time view that allows MSPs to continuously monitor infrastructure cost changes by project, AWS account, resource, and employee. 

Partners can use nOps to assess how a customer’s cloud infrastructure complies with AWS cost optimization best practices highlighting gaps and opportunities to make better decisions. In addition, partners can use our custom reports to draft appropriate remediation proposals.

AWS Partner maintains a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE).


How nOps Helps

MSPs can use nOps to plan and adopt an excellent CCOE model. nOps empowers key decision-makers with detailed insights on various departments’ specific workloads. The CCOE team can use these insights to enforce operational accountability and align cloud operations with their cost goals.

The AWS Partner delivers a detailed design document to customers for major engagements.

5.1.4 Assessment of customer’s security requirements and procedures with gap identification. 

5.1.5 Detailed design that shows customer infrastructure is well-architected as per AWS Well-Architected Framework as outlined in https://aws.amazon.com/architecture/wellarchitected/.


How nOps Helps

MSPs can use nOps to appraise a customer’s workloads’ security policies in order to identify gaps in their security configurations. After that, findings can be included in creating a complete architecture design document.

As an AWS Well-Architected Partner, nOps is passionate about companies complying with AWS Well-Architected best practices. nOps accelerates the Review process by providing fast, automated discovery of your infrastructure’s alignment with AWS Well-Architected Framework guidelines. nOps not only gives recommendations to fix identified gaps but also offers continuous compliance feedback on the health of your AWS infrastructure. Partners can use these recommendations and feedbacks to deliver fact-based WAFR and remediation reports to their clients.

AWS Partners who hold the AWS DevOps Consulting Competency will automatically be granted all points in this section.


How nOps Helps

nOps is an AWS DevOps Competency Partner and can help MSPs provision and manage well-architected AWS infrastructure that is secure, cost-optimized, reliable, efficient, and operationally excellent.

We can also help Partners achieve the DevOps competency by implementing efficient IaC and CI/CD systems.

AWS Partners will be granted all points in this section if they hold the AWS Competency for Migration Consulting or Delivery Partners or are currently in good standing with the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program.

AWS Partner provides customers with an infrastructure architecture that is aligned with AWS Well-Architected Framework’s best practices and reference architectures.


How nOps Helps

nOps is an AWS Migration Competency Partner and an AWS Well-Architected Partner.

AWS Partners like IOLAP leverage nOps to enhance their infrastructure and application capabilities. With nOps, they can accelerate their AWS Well-Architected Framework Reviews and help their customers optimize their AWS migration and deployments in a secure, fault-tolerant, performance, and cost-efficient manner.

8.1.2 AWS Partner has a system that provides access to customer resources to its engineers based on the principle of least privilege.

8.1.4 AWS Partner does not access AWS accounts by use of root account credentials. 

8.1.5 AWS Partner has a documented Access Management Strategy.

8.1.7 AWS Partner makes use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect customer accounts for all methods of accessing those customer accounts by interactive users, by default.

8.1.8 AWS Partner provides encryption at rest services for AWS infrastructure 

8.1.10 AWS Partner ensures that multi-factor authentication is activated on all AWS Partner and customer AWS root accounts. 

8.1.13 Any systems owned and developed by the AWS Partner that make programmatic calls to customer AWS accounts use temporary access keys obtained by assuming an IAM role for authentication


How nOps Helps

nOps ensure AWS infrastructure run by MSPs and AWS users comply with the best practices outlined in the AWS Well-Architected Framework’s security pillar. We also check that accounts are implementing appropriate access privilege permissions.

nOps scans workloads and notifies owners when root account credentials usage is detected.

nOps has a comprehensive IAM strategy that checks for users that don’t follow IAM policies best practices.

nOps checks for AWS account users without MFA enabled and notifies owners of such violations.

nOps provides Encryption at Rest status for EBS, S3, and RDS resources.  It also recommends that encryption at rest be enabled.

nOps checks for root and other accounts without MFA enabled and notifies account owners of such violations.

nOps uses minimal access privilege when making programmatic calls to customers’ AWS accounts.

8.2.1 Security events are stored in a log for regulatory and analysis purposes.

8.2.3 AWS Partner has AWS CloudTrail enabled on all managed accounts, and a process is in place to maintain log Integrity.


How nOps Helps

nOps lists all discovered security issues and violations in the Security Dashboard. Recommended fixes accompany these highlighted issues.

nOps checks whether AWS Accounts don’t have AWS CloudTrail enabled and have disabled file integrity check.

How nOps Helps

nOps continuously monitors customers’ AWS accounts for compliance with security best practices.

AWS Partner has an ITSM ticketing system

How nOps Helps

MSPs can assign tickets for issues discovered by nOps using our third-party integrations like AWS Service Catalog, Jira Software, Slack, and email.

The AWS Partner configures monitoring with alerting on all managed customer workloads.

How nOps Helps

MSPs can use nOps continuous monitoring to manage their customers’ infrastructure health and proactively resolve issues. They can also subscribe to security alerts on PagerDuty.

AWS Partner offers next generation monitoring for critical customer workloads.

How nOps Helps

nOps allows MSPs to provide monitoring of workloads for compliance as well as management of cloud security breaches. That’s not all. nOps is equipped with a next-level, machine learning-based detection of anomalies.

AWS Partner provides continuous compliance solutions to its customers that apply to AWS managed resources.

How nOps Helps

nOps provides comprehensive continuous monitoring of all workloads leveraging AWS CloudTrail to provide real-time notifications of security risks and non-compliance, plus detailed audit trails.

9.9.1 AWS Partner has a process for detecting, categorizing, and taking action on all events.

How nOps Helps

nOps Security dashboard efficiently categorizes detected security violations and issues along with necessary recommended actions to fix them.

AWS Partner has a strategy for tracking and managing its AWS deployed assets.

How nOps Helps

MSPs can use nOps to track all provisioned resources and manage specific ones that are or are about to become non-compliant.

9.13.1 AWS Partner has configuration and change management processes.

How nOps Helps

nOps’ change management report and audit trail help you identify and track critical changes to resources, configurations, and security groups essential to many compliance requirements.

AWS Partner provides web accessible customer reports. Reports should allow customers to self-select parameters such as devices and thresholds.

How nOps Helps

MSPs can use nOps’ Reports dashboard to generate web-accessible reports for their customers. From our cloud inventory report, where customers can query, filter, and navigate all of their Cloud accounts and resources to reports on performance, cost, security, and compliance management, nOps empowers MSPs to make fact-based communication with their customers.  

AWS Partner has established a regular cadence to review internal performance and provide recommendations for improvement. Internal optimization involves looking for efficiencies within the AWS Partner’s AWS managed services operations that result in financial efficiencies, process efficiencies, additional automation, and/or greater customer satisfaction.

How nOps Helps

nOps is passionate about automation. MSPs can leverage nOps automated discovery tools for resource and cost optimization. This involves improving their operational efficiencies using highlighted cost, performance, security, and performance gaps.

AWS Partner leverages third-party ISV, or AWS Partner developed solutions for billing management and cost optimization to strengthen AWS Partner’s ability to provide proactive recommendations to customers

How nOps Helps

MSPs can achieve significant cost efficiencies by using nOps to centralize various cloud accounts into a consolidated billing model. They can also leverage the nOps AI system’s cost optimization recommendations like removing unused, underutilized resources, doing instance rightsizing, and using our spot advisor.

AWS Partners are required to provide End User Reporting to AWS

How nOps Helps

nOps Well-Architected tool provides an interface allowing MSPs to share their WAFR findings with AWS.

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