(Well, sorta free)

If you’re anywhere around the web infrastructure world, then you’re likely familiar with the push for HTTPS everywhere.  In the name of privacy, consumers and all sorts of privacy groups are demanding that websites communicate using HTTPS.  In fact, the online digital rights advocate even publishes a browser plugin for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera so that your browser attempts to communicate over HTTPS by default (

If your customer base or your auditors are demanding technology, its usually best to give it to them.  Setting up SSL/TLS certificates aren’t that hard.  Most web applications don’t care how the actual server-client communications happen (following the OSI model), as long as the data arrives.  The problem has become managing these certificates.  If your company is only managing one certificate that expires once a year, its probably not that big of a deal.  But if you’re a medium to large size company and are now managing 5, 50, 500, etc certificates that probably all expire on different days, it can be a nightmare to manage all those certificates.

With the newly announced Amazon Certificate Manager (ACM), that problem is now gone.  For free.

The ‘sorta’ mentioned at the beginning of this post revolves around the fact that to use these free certs for your web and/or app servers, it requires an Elastic Load Balancer and/or a Cloudfront distribution which are obviously not free.  However, if your company is using those products, or intends to now, then SSL/TLS certificate management problems will become a thing of the past.

The process is simple:

  • Launch the ACM
  • Add your domain
  • Amazon sends an email to the domain owner (you)
  • You approve via email
  • Deploy the new cert into your ELB/Cloudfront distribution

The entire process can be completed for free in minutes!  And the (next?) best part is that going forward, the process can be managed entirely for you by Amazon.  You’ll never have to worry about renewing another certificate again.

This new ACM technology reinforces the Amazon Web Services goal of helping its customers worry less about the technology itself so that they can spend more time focusing on their businesses.  Additionally, it promotes additional safety and security for everyone, everywhere.  ACM is currently available in the US East region, with other regions quickly to follow.

This post originally appeared on Need help with your virtualization project? Let us help. Contact [email protected] for more information.