Nearly every Amazon Web Services (AWS) service has limits on how many resources you can launch in a specific AWS Region at a given time. AWS maintains service limits to help provide highly-available, reliable, and robust services to all of our customers, and also to minimize billing risk for new customers. Tracking service usage against limits can help identify resources that are no longer in use and serve as a reminder to proactively request a service-limit increase.

Customers can use the AWS Trusted Advisor service limits check to monitor their usage against specific service limits as they build and scale applications. Trusted Advisor is an online resource to help you reduce cost, increase performance, and improve security by optimizing your AWS environment.

In addition, AWS provides a solution that enables customers to track service usage against limits and automatically receive an email notification when usage exceeds 80% of a limit. The AWS Limit Monitor leverages Trusted Advisor service limits checks, and adds checks for Amazon DynamoDB and AWS CloudFormation. With this easy-to-deploy solution, customers can audit their usage and make informed decision regarding resources.


When running infrastructure on the AWS Cloud, have an active understanding of the number of resources launched in your account. Monitoring service usage can help you identify resources that are no longer in use. With this in mind, consider the following AWS best practices:

  • To minimize service usage in your account, launch only the AWS resources you need. Minimizing the number of resources in your account will prevent you from unintentionally exceeding a service limit.
  • To maintain usage under a limit threshold, regularly audit your resource usage and terminate resources that are not in use.
  • Automate the monitoring of your service usage against limits. Automated actions are more reliable than manual processes, helping to provide notification before you hit a limit.
  • Know how to request a service-limit increase. Some service limits are raised automatically as you build a history with AWS, though most AWS services require that you request limit increases manually.

AWS offers a solution that automatically checks service usage against limits and sends an email notification when usage approaches a service limit. The diagram below presents the AWS Limit Monitor architecture you can deploy in minutes using the solution's implementation guide and accompanying AWS CloudFormation template.

  1. This solution uses AWS Lambda to automatically check service usage and limits for Amazon DynamoDB, AWS CloudFormation, and, if you have premium support, all service limits included in Trusted Advisor.
  2. Then, AWS Lambda calculates actual usage against service limits.
  3. If actual usage exceeds 80% of a given service limit, AWS Lambda publishes a message to the Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic which is sent to an email address you specify during setup.
Deploy Solution
Implementation Guide

What you'll accomplish:

Deploy AWS Limit Monitor using AWS CloudFormation. The CloudFormation template will automatically launch and configure the components necessary to proactively track your usage of AWS resources against service limits and send email notifications as you approach limits.

Automatically receive email notification as you approach service limits. If usage exceeds 80% of a service limit, AWS Limit Monitor publishes a message to an Amazon Simple Notification Service topic which is sent to an email address you specify.

What you'll need before starting:

An AWS account: You will need an AWS account to begin provisioning resources. Sign up for AWS.

Premium support: To monitor usage for service limits included in Trusted Advisor, each account must have a Business- or Enterprise-level AWS Support plan in order to gain access to the AWS Support API. If you do not have a premium support plan, you can use this solution to monitor usage for Amazon DynamoDB and AWS CloudFormation.

Skill level: This solution is intended for IT infrastructure and networking professionals who have practical experience architecting on the AWS Cloud.

Q: Why should I track my service usage against limits?

Tracking your usage against AWS service limits will show you whether you are approaching a given limit so you can proactively request a service limit increase before you exceed a limit.

Q: Can AWS Limit Monitor check limits in multiple accounts?

Deploy the AWS Limit Monitor in a single account and it automatically monitors limits in any additional accounts you specify during setup, once you configure the appropriate permissions for each additional account.  

Q: Do I need premium support to use AWS Limit Monitor?

To monitor usage for service limits included in Trusted Advisor, each account must have a Business- or Enterprise-level AWS Support plan. If you do not have a premium support plan, you can use this solution to monitor usage for Amazon DynamoDB and AWS CloudFormation.

Q: Can I deploy the AWS Limit Monitor in any AWS Region?

Customers can deploy the AWS Limit Monitor CloudFormation template only in AWS Regions where AWS Lambda is available. However, once deployed, the Lambda function can monitor limits in any specified account in any AWS Region.

Need more resources to get started with AWS? Visit the Getting Started Resource Center to find tutorials, projects and videos to get started with AWS.

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