AWS Official Blog

New: CloudWatch Metrics for Amazon EBS Volumes

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

If you already have some EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes, stop reading this post now!

Instead, open up the AWS Management Console in a fresh browser tab, select the Amazon EC2 tab and click on Volumes (or use this handy shortcut to go directly there). Click on one of your EBS volumes and you’ll see a brand new Monitoring tab. Click on the tab you’ll see ten graphs with information about the performance of the volume.

For those of you without any EBS volumes (what are you waiting for?), here’s what you are missing:

Effective immediately, we now store eight metrics in Amazon CloudWatch for each of your EBS volumes. The metrics are stored with a granularity of five minutes and each data point represents the activity over the period. Here’s what we store for you:

  • VolumeReadBytes – The number of bytes read from the volume over the five minute period.
  • VolumeWriteBytes – The number of bytes written to the volume over the five minute period.
  • VolumeReadOps – The number of of read operations performed on the volume in the period.
  • VolumeWriteOps – The number of write operations performed on the volume in the period.
  • VolumeTotalReadTime – The total amount of waiting time consumed by all of the read operations which completed during the period.
  • VolumeTotalWriteTime – The total amount of waiting time consumed by all of the write operations which completed during the period.
  • VolumeIdleTime – The amount of time when no read or write operations were waiting to be completed during the period.
  • VolumeQueueLength – The average number of read and write operations waiting to be completed during the period.

You can access all of this from the CloudWatch API and the CloudWatch command-line (API) tools of course.

You can use these metrics to diagnose performance issues, learn more about the level of usage of each of your volumes, or to track long-term performance trends for your application.

There is no additional charge for monitoring EBS volumes and the metrics are stored for two weeks.

– Jeff;