While more organizations are migrating their applications to the cloud, they also need to ensure that cloud-based services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other resources are available to the business. So, how do you ensure that these cloud services are not disabled? You can do that using an application monitoring tool like Amazon CloudWatch. In this article, we are going to all about What is Amazon CloudWaatch?.
The Amazon CloudWatch service is among the efficient ways of monitoring AWS applications and resources running on the AWS platform. Using cloud-based monitoring, CloudWatch collects operational data through logs, metrics, and events that provide a unified view of AWS resources and applications.
In this AWS Cloudwatch Tutorial, you will learn below topics:
Designed as an AWS component, Amazon CloudWatch provides cloud-based monitoring of AWS resources including – EC2 instances, elastic, load balancers, auto-scaling groups – along with other Amazon services like Amazon S3, SNS, SQS, and RDS. Amazon administrators can easily monitor multiple AWS instances and applications from a centralized dashboard.
Additionally, CloudWatch can also be used to:
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The Amazon CloudWatch primarily performs the following four actions:
In the first step, CloudWatch collects metrics and logs from all your AWS services (example, AWS EC2 instances). CloudWatch retrieves these metrics from the repository. This can also include custom metrics entered into the repository.
Here are some AWS services that publish CloudWatch metrics – Amazon API Gateway, AppStream version 2.0, Amazon Athena, and Amazon CloudFront.
Next, CloudWatch monitors and visualizes this data using CloudWatch dashboards that provide a single unified view of all your AWS applications, resources, and services (running in premise or on the cloud). Additionally, you can correlate your collected metrics and logs to perform a visual analysis of the overall health and current performance of your resources.
In this step, CloudWatch executes an automated response to any operational changes using alarms. For instance, you can configure an alarm to start or terminate an EC2 instance when selected conditions are satisfied. You can also use alarms to start services like Amazon EC2 auto scaling or Amazon SNS.
If a configured alarm is triggered, you can set up automated actions like auto scaling.
The final step is to analyse and visualize your collected metric and log data – that can enable better insight and understanding. You can perform real-time analysis using CloudWatch Metric Math that helps you dive deeper into your data.
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Be it on the premise or on the cloud, every business needs to ensure that their applications and services are running smoothly and productively. In addition to both web and cloud applications, a cloud-based monitoring tool is essential for monitoring cloud platforms, infrastructure, and networks.
For any web application deployed on the cloud, every business owner has questions related to the:
Cloud-based monitoring services like CloudWatch enable you to track how your application is performing on the cloud. Additionally, you can identify any performance bottlenecks or issues, thus enabling you to eliminate them and improve your application performance. This can help in business growth in the long run.
With the increasing number and complexity of AWS services, it’s no longer feasible to manually monitor your applications and services, hence you need an automation tool like CloudWatch.
Amazon CloudWatch offers the following 5 benefits to businesses:
Amazon CloudWatch allows you to monitor data from different services using a single dashboard. CloudWatch is natively integrated with over 70 AWS-related services.
Cloud-based applications including AWS applications generate large volumes of data through metrics and logs. CloudWatch allows you to easily collect and integrate all data from various applications and services and provide a visual representation of the analysed data on the dashboard.
Thanks to its seamless integration with over 70 AWS services, CloudWatch can collect and publish metric data automatically. This includes 1-minute native – and customized – metrics with 1-second granularity. CloudWatch is also supported on a hybrid AWS architecture that uses both on-premises and cloud-based resources.
Using this metric and log data, you can now optimize your AWS services and resources to achieve the best performance and throughput.
The Amazon CloudWatch service provides real-time insights into cloud operations that enables you to optimize operational efficiency and reduce costs. By monitoring the utilization of AWS resources, you can be better informed of the kind of workload capacities that you require for your applications.
Through the use of configured alarms, CloudWatch can automate your actions based on preconfigured thresholds or on the basis of machine learning algorithms that can detect anomalies in your metric data.
With the Amazon CloudWatch service, you gain operational visibility across all your running applications, networks, infrastructure stacks, and other AWS services. For instance, you can use CloudWatch to monitor the memory usage and bandwidth for any application, so as to optimize them for better performance.
Additionally, you can perform metric-related mathematical operations to derive operational insights from your data. For instance, you can aggregate memory usage across multiple EC2 instances. As a result, you gain complete visibility of your entire system and can detect and resolve any performance issues.
Finally, Amazon CloudWatch enables you to extract valuable and actionable insights from generated logs of different AWS services and applications. You can explore, analyse, and then visualize your log data to monitor data like memory usage, CPU utilization, and capacity usage.
With CloudWatch, you only need to pay for the log queries that you run, which can also scale with higher log volume and complexity.
Amazon CloudWatch dashboards are customizable dashboards that provide a unified view of all your AWS resources – including those that are located in different AWS regions. As an AWS administrator, you can create an unlimited number of CloudWatch dashboards on your AWS account.
You can create the dashboard using the:
Here’s how you can create a CloudWatch dashboard using the CloudWatch console:
1. Open the CloudWatch console.
2. From the navigation pane, click Dashboards > Create dashboard.
3. From the “Create new dashboard” box that appears, enter your dashboard name and then click “Create dashboard.”
If you enter the dashboard name as “CloudWatch-Default,” your dashboard will be displayed on the CloudWatch home page. Alternatively, if you use the name “CloudWatch-Default-<Resource Group Name>,” the dashboard appears on the CloudWatch home page when you open the particular AWS resource group.
4. As required, perform any of the following actions in the “Add to this dashboard” box:
a. To add a graph to the dashboard:
b. To add a number that displays a metric on the dashboard:
c. For adding a text block to the dashboard:
5. Repeat Step 4 to add more dashboard widgets if required.
6. Save your dashboard.
You can also create or modify a CloudWatch dashboard using the PutDashboard API function. Here are some of the common parameters that are using with this API:
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Amazon CloudWatch allows you to create both the following types of alarms:
Metric alarms that monitor a single metric or a math metric that is based on a mathematical expression.
Composite alarms that are triggered only if the condition for all other configured alarms are satisfied.
You can also create an alarm that is based on:
Here’s how you can create a CloudWatch alarm – based on a single metric - using the CloudWatch console:
1. Open the CloudWatch console.
2. From the navigation pane, click Alarms > Create Alarm.
3. Select your metric and then perform either of the following actions:
4. From the “Graphed metrics” tab, perform the following actions:
5. From the “Conditions” tab, perform the following actions:
6. From the “Notification” tab, select the Amazon SNS topic that should be notified when the alarm is triggered.
7. Select the respective options if you want the alarm to perform auto scaling or any other EC2 actions.
8. In the “Preview and create” tab, preview the alarm settings and then click “Create alarm.”
Here’s how you can create a CloudWatch alarm – based on anomaly detection - using the CloudWatch console:
1. Perform Steps 1 to 4 as specified above.
2. From the “Conditions” tab, perform the following actions:
3. Perform Steps 6 to 8 (as specified above) to create the alarm.
Finally, here’s how you can create a CloudWatch alarm – based on a metric math expression - using the CloudWatch console:
1. Perform Steps 1 to 4 as specified in the first procedure.
2. Click “Add a math expression” to add a new row for the expression:
3. Click “Select metric” to display the “Specify metric and conditions” page that shows all information of the metric math expression that you have specified.
4. Perform the remaining steps (as detailed from Steps 2d in the previous procedure.
5. Perform Steps 6 to 8 (as specified in the first procedure) to create the alarm.
Using the Amazon CloudWatch service, you can monitor cloud-based applications and other AWS services and troubleshoot any performance issues. With its single and centralized dashboard, AWS administrators now have complete visibility into applications and services running in the same or different AWS regions.
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Pooja Mishra is an enthusiastic content writer working at Mindmajix.com. She writes articles on the trending IT-related topics, including Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud computing, AI & Machine learning, and so on. Her way of writing is easy to understand and informative at the same time. You can reach her on LinkedIn & Twitter.