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Amina Ibrahim
Amina Ibrahim

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Understanding AWS Control Tower: Part 2 - Implementation and Deployment


Welcome back to part two of our series on understanding AWS Control Tower. In part one, we discussed how AWS Control Tower simplifies the management of multi-account AWS environments, addressing challenges like inconsistent security policies. We also explored its core features, including landing zones and guardrails. In this segment, we'll consider important factors for implementing AWS Control Tower and provide a hands-on tutorial for deploying a landing zone.

Factors to Consider Before Implementation

Before AWS Control Tower implementation, it's important to consider several key factors to ensure a smooth deployment. Here's a high-level overview for organizations to think about:

Assess Organizational Readiness

It's essential to assess your organization's readiness for the transition. Evaluate factors such as your team's familiarity with cloud technologies and existing IT infrastructure. Determine if your organization has the necessary resources, skills, and commitment to support the implementation process effectively.

Identify Stakeholders and Their Roles

Successful implementation requires active involvement and collaboration from various stakeholders within your organization. Identify key stakeholders and business leaders.

Reviewing Existing AWS Architecture and Policies

Examine the current state of your AWS environment, including account structure, resource configuration, security measures, and governance practices. Identify areas for improvement and determine how AWS Control Tower can address any gaps or challenges in your existing setup.

Design Account Structure

Plan your account structure and organizational units within AWS Control Tower. Decide on the hierarchical structure of organizational units (OUs) based on business units, departments, projects, or applications. Define the placement of resources, such as production, development, testing, and sandbox environments, to ensure proper isolation and resource management.

These considerations are very important before deploying AWS Control Tower. In the next section, we'll provide a brief, beginner-friendly tutorial on how to deploy a landing zone.

Deploy Landing Zone

Log in: Use the Management account.

Error Handling: If you encounter an "AWS environment is not ready" error, launch a Free tier eligible EC2 instance, wait 10-15 minutes, and retry the setup. Terminate the instance once setup and proceed.

Review Pricing and Select Regions

Home Region: Choose a region for deploying key resources like IAM Identity Center and S3 buckets. This selection is crucial and cannot be changed post-setup.

Pricing and Home Region

Additional AWS Regions: Select any additional regions for governance.

Additional AWS Regions

Region Deny Setting: Optionally restrict usage to specific regions by enabling this setting.

Region Deny

Configure Organizational Units (OUs)

Foundation OU: Default name is "Security." This contains shared accounts like the log archive and security audit accounts.

Foundational OU

Additional OU: Default name is "Sandbox." You can change these names later if needed.

Additional OU

Configure Shared Accounts

Management Account: Confirm you are using the planned account.

Log Archive Account: This stores immutable logs. Create a new account with a unique email address.

Audit Account: Restricted for security and compliance teams. Create a new account with a unique email address.

Log Archive


Additional Configurations

AWS Account Access Configuration: IAM Identity Center is recommended for scalable access management.

AWS CloudTrail Configuration: Enable the creation of an organizational trail by AWS Control Tower.

Log Configuration for Amazon S3: Set retention policies for logging data.

KMS Encryption: Optionally manage cryptographic keys.

IAM Identity Center


S3 Logs


Review and Set Up Landing Zone

Review Settings: Check all configurations before finalizing.

Service Permissions: Understand and acknowledge the roles and permissions required by AWS Control Tower.

Set Up Landing Zone: Start the setup and monitor progress on the AWS Control Tower Dashboard. A green banner will indicate successful setup completion.

Service Permissions


Implementing AWS Control Tower can significantly streamline the management of multi-account AWS environments, providing a centralized and automated way to enforce best practices and governance. By carefully considering factors such as organizational readiness, stakeholder roles, existing AWS architecture, and account structure design, you can ensure a smoother deployment process.

The hands-on tutorial we provided for setting up a landing zone offers a practical guide to getting started with AWS Control Tower. Following these steps will help you establish a robust foundation for your AWS environments, enhancing security, compliance, and operational efficiency.

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