Last updated on Nov 18, 2023
Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring tool used by DevOps engineers, developers, project managers, and IT managers to provide data insights and what to do with your applications, infrastructure, and AWS resources. You collect all the data you need in metrics and logs, and you can access it in a single place. It comes with features like alarms and events data to help make the process successful and give developers more time to improve the business aspect of applications.
Amazon CloudWatch can do a lot of work with the data, like letting the users know the health of their applications and resources, troubleshooting errors, performing analysis, etc. After collecting data, it aggregates it and summarises useful information like computing resources, i.e., memory, disk size etc.
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Amazon Cloudwatch uses metrics in a repository. All the metrics come from different applications and AWS components like Amazon EC2. When a developer needs statistics, you need to visit the repository.
After calculating the metrics' statistics, you submit the data to the CloudWatch console. Amazon CloudWatch Alarm has different actions that you can take when the criteria you set get met. Some actions include starting, stopping, or terminating the Amazon EC2 instances. It also provides an option of auto-scaling using Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) actions.
It has data centres found in specific regions to avoid failure cases and increase stability.
There are several methods of accessing CloudWatch: These methods are
(i) AWS CLI (Command Line Interface)
(ii) AWS SDK
The SDK supports different programming languages that you can use to access CloudWatch.The commonly used language is Java. To use the SDK, you follow the following steps:
(iii)Amazon CloudWatch console
(iv) CloudWatch API
You can carry out API requests using HTTP or HTTPS. When carrying out the queries, don't worry about which one is right.CloudWatch supports all queries from POST, GET, DELETE and PUT requests, and they have the same result. When querying, you use several parameters like Action or Operation. To understand more about CloudWatch API, comprehensive documentation covers more about the API.
It uses simple rules when setting up events and routing them with streams. It enables developers to track real-time events that happen when using AWS services.CloudWatch Events notifies the user of any operational changes, and it takes action by using different ways like collecting state information, sending messages to the environment, etcc.
CloudWatch Events can sometimes use cron expectations to schedule different actions. Some of the AWS services that work well with CloudWatch Events include Amazon EC2 instances, CodeBuild projects, Amazon ECS tasks, Amazon SQS queues, AWS Batch jobs, etc.
When using CloudWatch Events, there are several terminologies you have to understand:
An event is when there is a change in the AWS environment. Most AWS resources generate events when there are state changes. Users can generate custom events and later publish them to CloudWatch Events. Users can also schedule these events to happen after a certain period.
Rules help match the coming events by routing them to their target for processing. They mostly get processed randomly, which helps different parts of a company focus on events they like or want. One rule has the option of routing several targets. One of the common methods is using a JSON file that you can customize and send to the target.
They are for processing events. Most of the targets are AWS services, i.e., AWS Lambda functions, Amazon SNS topics, Amazon ECS tasks, Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon SQS queues, etc. Most of the events are in JSON formats. We also have built-in targets that can process events.
Metrics measure the performance of the applications and systems using data. Most AWS services produce free metrics, and you can use them to monitor some of the resources. Amazon CloudWatch uses the metrics to analyse and create alarms and graphs after loading them into your account.
Metrics are useful, and you can access them for up to 15 months, both historical and real-time data either per second or minute. You can use the CloudWatch Metrics Insights tool to create graphs that can help in the identification of patterns and trends.
Dashboards are pages that you can use to view and monitor all the resources in one place. It gives users the power to customise them to meet their needs by changing the metrics and alarms of the AWS components. It helps company teams understand what to do when there is a suspicious incident or issue.
Teams can also use the application measurements and resources view to improve communications when performing operational events. You can check the health of the application resources either in one or multiple regions by using single views of metrics and alarms. Users can use display graphs or different colours when tracking multiple regions.
Creating a dashboard is easier. You can use the PutDashboard API or the AWS console or CLI. To access the dashboard, one must consider the three policies: AdministratorAccess, CloudWatchFullAccess, and custom policy.
CloudWatch logs help users monitor the log files from Amazon components like Amazon EC2 instance, Route 53, Cloudtrail, etc. It helps you put all the logs in one place. It gives you an easy option of viewing them, checking any error codes, filtering the logs, and archiving them for future use.
You collect all the logs from applications, AWS components and services, and systems. It helps you create dashboards using customised queries and visualisations. Some of the other features of CloudWatch logs include:
Some of the features of AWS CloudWatch include the following:
(i) Collection and storage of logs
AWS CloudWatch uses AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), which limits the users who can access certain data. It also has AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) that helps in the encryption of log groups to provide more compliance and security.
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It uses the pay as you use model, and it gets billed at the end of the month. It has two payment plans: the free tier and the Paid plan.
(I) Free tier
You use CloudWatch for free and enjoy other AWS services like Amazon Kinesis, Amazon EC2, and Amazon S3. Some of the features you enjoy include:
(ii) Paid plan
Paid tier uses different factors to come with the billing. Amazon provides an AWS pricing calculator to help you find the estimated costs. Some of the features it considers include
Some of the billing examples are:
For a more detailed pricing model, Amazon provides a comprehensive pricing guide.
Some of the challenges one can face when using AWS CloudWatch are:
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We now have a deeper understanding of AWS Cloudwatch and its features. Most developers who use AWS CloudWatch to monitor their applications are happy due to its automation. No manual setup is needed when deploying apps and using the AWS services. It has made it easier to get the errors and correct them quickly. It works well with the infrastructure and hybrid environments. If you desire to get a job in DevOps and Cloud technology field, this is one of the tools you can learn.Related Articles
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.
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