AWS Monitoring

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An Introduction to AWS Monitoring

AWS, one of the pioneers in providing cloud services, has been offering many exciting cloud services on the AWS platform. AWS S3 (Simple Storage Service), EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), Autoscaling are one of the few services provided by AWS.

When it comes to monitoring AWS, various types of activities take place on AWS infrastructure. Based upon the organization’s application, activity, and infrastructure, a particular monitoring service can be useful. CloudWatch, CloudTrail, and X-ray are a few AWS services that help organizations monitor their AWS infrastructure on the cloud.

Monitoring Metrics with AWS CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is an AWS service that lets you collect and monitor the performance metrics for all of your AWS cloud resources and applications running on AWS within a few clicks. AWS offers built-in metrics that help users get insights into various elements, while custom metrics can be generated with the help of EC2 instances. CloudWatch generated metrics are free of cost for five minutes of monitoring interval where one-minute interval metrics are charged. In addition, AWS CloudWatch provides organizations metrics that help monitor the resources, the number of EC2 instances, set up alarms on sensitive occurrences, check traffic patterns, etc.

AWS resources can be monitored in real-time with the help of CloudWatch. The available metrics can be collected and monitored, which can be used to measure the applications and resources. The programmed alerts can send notifications or make pre-programmed changes in the resources.

Working with AWS CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch collects all metrics and stores them in the repository. Metrics are collected for AWS services such as EC2 and sent to CloudWatch. CloudWatch store metrics in the repository and allow the user to retrieve statistics based on available metrics. CloudWatch console allows the user to calculate the data based on metrics and present the same data graphically in the console. Amazon CloudWatch lets the user configure alarms that can change the state of an EC2 machine when specific criteria are met. CloudWatch can initiate Auto Scaling and Simple Notification Service (SNS) on user behalf. AWS has different regions that consist of multiple availability zones. AWS CloudWatch cannot aggregate data from the different regions.

Here are a few CloudWatch elements that help organizations monitor the entire AWS infrastructure.

CloudWatch Events: It provides a near real-time stream of system events that describe changes in AWS resources. On the occurrence of specific events, they could be routed to one or more target functions. Users can also use CloudWatch events for scheduling an automated task that self-trigger at particular times with the help of cron or rate expressions.

CloudWatch Alarms: This feature of CloudWatch allows users to set the alarm on metrics and receive a notification when the specified threshold is crossed. It can also be used for taking automated action based on different predefined events.

CloudWatch Logs: CloudWatch Logs are used for monitoring logs, in near real-time, for specific patterns or values. With the help of this, users can view the original log data and get to know the source problem if needed.

Log Monitoring with CloudTrail

AWS CloudTrail is a cloud service that records API calls made on the account and delivers log files to the Amazon S3 bucket. CloudTrail can track or view all customer activities, i.e., API calls that are executed. Many API calls to various services within or across a region are made through AWS CLI or AWS management console. CloudTrail continuously records these API calls by creating log files and delivering the same to the S3 bucket. The events are stored in JSON format and hence are easily parseable.

AWS CloudTrail allows organizations to govern, comply, operate and risk auditing. It can log, monitor, and retain account activity related to the action across IT infrastructure on the cloud. It offers an event history of AWS account activity of the entire AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command-line tools, or other AWS services. It provides insights that help analyze security, track resources, and troubleshoot. Additionally, organizations can track down the unusual activities on AWS accounts and save themselves from potential damage.

Monitoring Applications with AWS X-Ray

Applications on the cloud are dependable on various aspects as the environments are highly distributed across the cloud services. Transactions take place between multiple servers and services. When any performance issue occurs in the background, the hardware could be the culprit, making it compulsory to monitor applications.

AWS X-Ray allows developers to debug the applications specially built in a distributed environment. This helps developers analyze their applications and find out the root cause of performance issues that they can resolve immediately. In addition, it provides insights into end-to-end requests traveling through the application and shows a map of the application’s underlying elements.

The AWS X-Ray can be helpful to analyze both types of applications in development and production, from a simple three-tier application to a complex application with a large number of services included. Where AWS X-Ray helps monitor application traces and connected services, CloudWatch Synthetics can be helpful to create canaries to monitor endpoints and CloudWatch ServiceLens to analyze the health of the application.

Monitoring AWS Environment with AIOps

The all-new next-gen AIOps offers real-time monitoring and insights into health metrics. The real-time unified dashboard of the AWS environment helps the operation team monitor the AWS ecosystem, and the advanced alerting system with the blend of AI and ML sends notifications before any potential damage takes place within the cloud infrastructure. It offers a built-in dashboard for AWS services and tracks the usage of service consumption.