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AWS Free Tier includes 10 Metrics, 10 Alarms, and 1,000,000 API requests with Amazon CloudWatch.

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Amazon CloudWatch provides monitoring for AWS cloud resources and the applications customers run on AWS. Developers and system administrators can use it to collect and track metrics, gain insight, and react immediately to keep their applications and businesses running smoothly. Amazon CloudWatch monitors AWS resources such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS DB instances, and can also monitor custom metrics generated by a customer’s applications and services. With Amazon CloudWatch, you gain system-wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health.

Amazon CloudWatch provides a reliable, scalable, and flexible monitoring solution that you can start using within minutes. You no longer need to set up, manage, or scale your own monitoring systems and infrastructure. Using Amazon CloudWatch, you can easily monitor as much or as little metric data as you need. Amazon CloudWatch lets you programmatically retrieve your monitoring data, view graphs, and set alarms to help you troubleshoot, spot trends, and take automated action based on the state of your cloud environment.

For Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon CloudWatch Basic Monitoring collects and reports metrics for CPU utilization, data transfer, and disk usage activity from each Amazon EC2 instance at a five-minute frequency. Amazon CloudWatch Detailed Monitoring provides these same metrics at one-minute intervals, and also enables data aggregation by Amazon EC2 AMI ID and instance type. If you use Auto Scaling or Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon CloudWatch will also provide Amazon EC2 instance metrics aggregated by Auto Scaling group and by Elastic Load Balancer, regardless of whether you have chosen Basic or Detailed Monitoring. Monitoring data is retained for two weeks, even if your AWS resources have been terminated. This enables you to quickly look back at the metrics preceding an event of interest to you. Basic Monitoring is already enabled automatically for all Amazon EC2 instances, and you can access these metrics immediately in either the Amazon EC2 tab or the Amazon CloudWatch tab of the AWS Management Console.

  • Sign in to the AWS Management Console.
  • On the Amazon EC2 tab, click the Launch Instances button.
  • Select an AMI to launch an instance, select the key pair and configure the firewall.
  • On the last step, click the “Enable CloudWatch Detailed Monitoring for this instance” checkbox.
  • Click the Launch button.
  • Within minutes, the instance you just launched will show as running.
  • You can also enable Detailed Monitoring for an existing running instance by right-clicking the instance in the Amazon EC2 tab and selecting “Enable Detailed Monitoring.”

Amazon CloudWatch automatically monitors Elastic Load Balancers for metrics such as request count and latency; Amazon EBS volumes for metrics such as read/write latency; Amazon RDS DB instances for metrics such as freeable memory and available storage space; Amazon SQS queues for metrics such as number of messages sent and received; and Amazon SNS topics for metrics such as number of messages published and delivered. For more details about AWS resource metrics, please see the Amazon CloudWatch Developer Guide.

Amazon CloudWatch can also monitor metrics that are generated by the applications you run on AWS resources. Using a simple Put API call, you can immediately send and store any metrics that are important to your business performance or your application’s operational performance. You can submit as much or as little custom metric data as you need. All the same Amazon CloudWatch functionality will be available at up to one-minute frequency for your own custom metric data, including statistics, graphs, and alarms. For more details about supplying your own custom metrics, please see the Amazon CloudWatch Developer Guide.

You are now ready to access your metrics in Amazon CloudWatch:

  • On the Amazon CloudWatch tab of the AWS Management Console, click the Metrics link. All your AWS resource metrics and your own custom metrics will be listed. Find and select a metric of interest.
  • An interactive graph for that metric will be displayed. Select a time range and choose to display values for Average, Minimum, Maximum, Sum, or number of Samples.
  • Select additional metrics to add them to the graph in order to correlate behavior or discover patterns.
  • Click the Create Alarm button to initiate automatic notifications or Auto Scaling actions when the metric reaches a level you set.
  • Click the Dashboard link to view status overviews for all your alarms and AWS resource metrics.

Amazon CloudWatch charges apply; see pricing information below.