AWS News Blog

New Amazon CloudWatch log class for infrequent access logs at a reduced price

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Amazon CloudWatch Logs announces today a new log class called Infrequent Access. This new log class offers a tailored set of capabilities at a lower cost for infrequently accessed logs, enabling customers to consolidate all their logs in one place in a cost-effective manner.

As customers’ applications continue to scale and grow, so does the volume of logs generated. To limit the increase of logging costs, many customers are forced to make hard trade-offs. For example, some customers limit the logs generated by their applications, which can hinder the visibility of the application, or choose a different solution for different log types, which adds complexity and inefficiencies in managing different logging solutions. For instance, customers may send logs needed for real-time analytics and alerting to CloudWatch Logs and send more detailed logs needed for debugging and troubleshooting to a lower-cost solution that doesn’t have as many features as CloudWatch. In the end, these workarounds can impact the observability of the application, because customers need to navigate across multiple solutions to see their logs.

The Infrequent Access log class allows you to build a holistic observability solution using CloudWatch by centralizing all your logs in one place to ingest, query, and store your logs in a cost-efficient way. Infrequent Access is 50 percent lower per GB ingestion price than Standard log class. It provides a tailored set of capabilities for customers that don’t need advanced features like Live Tail, metric extraction, alarming, or data protection that the Standard log class provides. With Infrequent Access, you can still get the benefits of fully managed ingestion, storage, and the ability to deep dive using CloudWatch Logs Insights.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the features that the new Infrequent Access and the Standard log classes have.

Feature Infrequent Access log class Standard log class
Fully managed ingestion and storage Available Available
Cross-account Available Available
Encryption with KMS Available Available
Logs Insights Available Available
Subscription filters / Export to S3 Not available Available
GetLogEvents / FilterLogEvents Not available Available
Contributor, Container, and Lambda Insights Not available Available
Metric filter and alerting Not available Available
Data protection Not available Available
Embedded metric format (EMF) Not available Available
Live Tail Not available Available

When to use the new Infrequent Access log class
Use the Infrequent Access log class when you have a new workload that doesn’t require advanced features provided by the Standard log class. One important consideration is that when you create a log group with a specific log class, you cannot change that log group log class afterward.

The Infrequent Access log class is suitable for debug logs or web server logs because they are quite verbose and rarely require any of the advanced functionality that the Standard log class provides.

Another good workload for the Infrequent Access log class is an Internet of Things (IoT) fleet sending detailed logs that are only accessed for after the fact forensic analysis after the event. In addition, the Infrequent Access log class is a good choice for workloads where logs need to be stored for compliance because they will be queried infrequently.

Getting started
To get started using the new Infrequent Access log class, create a new log group in the CloudWatch Logs console and select the new Infrequent Access log class. You can create logs groups with the new Infrequent Access log class not only from the AWS Management Console but also from the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), AWS CloudFormation, AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), and AWS SDKs.

Create log group

Once you have the new log group created, you can start using it in your workloads. For this example, I will configure a web application to send debug logs to this log group. After a while of the web application executes for a while, you can go back to the log group, where you see a new log stream.

View log group

When you select a log stream, you will be directed to CloudWatch Logs Insights.

Log insights

Using the same familiar CloudWatch Logs Insights experience you get with Standard Class, you can create queries and search those logs to find relevant information, and you can analyze all the logs quickly in one place.

Available now
The new Infrequent Access log class is now available in all AWS Regions except the China and GovCloud Regions. You can start using it and enjoy a more cost-effective way to collect, store, and analyze your logs in a fully managed experience.

To learn more about the new log class, you can check the CloudWatch Logs user guide dedicated page for the Infrequent Access log class.


Marcia Villalba

Marcia Villalba

Marcia Villalba is a Principal Developer Advocate for Amazon Web Services. She has 20 years of experience working in the software industry building and scaling applications. Her passion is designing systems that can take full advantage of the cloud and embrace the DevOps culture.