AWS Big Data Blog

Configure monitoring, limits, and alarms in Amazon Redshift Serverless to keep costs predictable

Amazon Redshift Serverless makes it simple to run and scale analytics in seconds. It automatically provisions and intelligently scales data warehouse compute capacity to deliver fast performance, and you pay only for what you use. Just load your data and start querying right away in the Amazon Redshift Query Editor or in your favorite business intelligence (BI) tool. Redshift Serverless measures data warehouse capacity in Redshift Processing Units (RPUs), and you can configure base RPUs anywhere between 8–512. You can start with your preferred RPU capacity or defaults and adjust anytime later.

In this post, we share how you can monitor your workloads running on Redshift Serverless through three approaches: the Redshift Serverless console, Amazon CloudWatch, and system views. We also show how to set up guardrails via alerts and limits for Redshift Serverless to keep your costs predictable.

Method 1: Monitor through the Redshift Serverless console

You can view all user queries, including Data Manipulation Language (DML) statements, Data Definition Language (DDL) statements, and Data Control Language (DCL), through the Redshift Serverless console. You can also view the RPU consumption to run these workloads on a single page. You can also apply filters based on time, database, users, and type of queries.

Prerequisites for monitoring access

A superuser has access to monitor all workloads and resource consumption by default. If other users need monitoring access through the Redshift Serverless console, then the superuser can provide necessary access by performing the following steps:

  1. Create a policy with necessary privileges and assign this policy to required users or roles.
  2. Grant query monitoring permission to the user or role.

For more information, refer to Granting access to monitor queries.

Query monitoring

In this section, we walk through the Redshift Serverless console to see query history, database performance, and resource usage. We also go through monitoring options and how to set filters to narrow down results using filter attributes.

  1. On the Redshift Serverless console, under Monitoring in the navigation pane, choose Query and database monitoring.
  2. Open the workgroup you want to monitor.
  3. In the Metric filters section, expand Additional filtering options.
  4. You can set filters for time range, aggregation time interval, database, query category, SQL, and users.

Query and database monitoring

Two tabs are available, Query history and Database performance. Use the Query history tab for obtaining details at a per-query level, and the Database performance tab for reviewing performance aggregated across queries. Both these tabs are filtered based off the selections you made.

Under Query history, you will see the Query runtime graph. Use this graph to look into query concurrency (queries that are running in the same time frame). You can choose a query to view more query run details, for example, queries that took longer to run than you expected.

Query runtime monitoring dashbaord

In the Queries and loads section, you can see all queries by default, but you can also filter by status to view completed, running, and failed queries.

Query history screen

Navigate to the Database Performance tab in the Query and database monitoring section to view the following:

  • Queries completed per second – Average number of queries completed per second
  • Queries duration –Average amount of time to complete a query
  • Database connections – Number of active database connections
  • Running and Queued queries – Total number of running and queued queries at a Resource monitoring

To monitor your resources, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Redshift Serverless console, choose Resource monitoring under Monitoring in the navigation pane.

The default workgroup will be selected by default, but you can choose the workgroup you would like to monitor.

  1. In the Metric filters section, expand Additional filtering options.
  2. Choose a 1-minute time interval (for example) and review the results.

You can also try different ranges to see the results.

Screen to apply metric filters

On the RPU capacity used graph, you can see how Redshift Serverless is able to scale RPUs in a matter of minutes. This gives a visual representation of peaks and lows in your consumption over your chosen period of time.

RPU capacity consumption

You also see the actual compute usage in terms of RPU-seconds for the workload you ran.
RPU Seconds consumed

Method 2: Monitor metrics in CloudWatch

Redshift Serverless publishes serverless endpoint performance metrics to CloudWatch. The Amazon Redshift CloudWatch metrics are data points for operational monitoring. These metrics enable you to monitor performance of your serverless workgroups (compute) and usage of namespaces (data). CloudWatch allows you to centrally monitor your serverless endpoints in one AWS account, or also cross-account and cross-Region.

  • On the CloudWatch console, under Metrics in the navigation pane, choose All metrics.
  • On the Browse tab, choose AWS/Redshift-Serverless to get to a collection of metrics for Redshift Serverless usage.

Redshift Serverless in Amazon CloudWatch

  • Choose Workgroup to view workgroup-related metrics.

Workgroups and Namespaces

From the list, you can check your particular workgroup and the metrics available (in this example, ComputeSeconds and ComputeCapacity). You should see the graph is updated and charting your data.

Redshift Serverless Workgroup Metrics

  • To name the graph, choose the pencil icon next to the graph title and enter a graph name (for example, dataanalytics-serverless), then choose Apply.

Rename CloudWatch Graph

  • On the Browse tab, choose AWS/Redshift-Serverless and choose Namespace this time.
  • Select the namespace you want to monitor and the metrics of interest.

Redshift Serverless Namespace Metrics

You can add additional metrics to your graph. To centralize monitoring, you can add these metrics to an existing CloudWatch dashboard or a new dashboard.

  • On the Actions menu, choose Add to dashboard.

Redshift Serverless Namespace Metrics

Method 3: Granular monitoring using system views

System views in Redshift Serverless are used to monitor workload performance and RPU usage at a granular level over a period of time. These query monitoring system views have been simplified to include monitoring for DDL, DML, COPY, and UNLOAD queries. For a complete list of system views and their uses, refer to Monitoring views.

SQL Notebook

You can download the SQL notebook with most used system views queries. These queries help to answer most frequently asked monitoring questions listed below.

  • How to monitor queries based on status?
  • How to monitor specific query elapsed time breakdown details?
  • How to monitor workload breakdown by query count, and percentile run time?
  • How to monitor detailed steps involved in query execution?
  • How to monitor Redshift serverless usage cost by day?
  • How to monitor data loads (copy commands)?
  • How to monitor number of sessions, and connections?

You can import this in Query Editor V2.0 and run the queries connecting to the Redshift Serverless workgroup you would like to monitor.

Set limits to control costs

When you are creating your serverless endpoint, the base capacity is defaulted to 128 RPUs. However, you can change it at creation time or later via the Redshift Serverless console.

  1. On the details page of your serverless workgroup, choose the Limits tab.
  2. In the Base capacity section, choose Edit.
  3. You can specify Base capacity from 8–512 RPUs, in increments of 8.

Each RPU provides 16 GB memory, so the lowest base 8 RPU is compute with 128 GB memory, and highest base 512 RPU is compute with 8 TB memory.

Edit base RPU capacity

Usage limits

To configure usage capacity limits to limit your overall Redshift Serverless bill, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Usage limits section, choose Manage usage limits.
  2. To control RPU usage, set the maximum RPU-hours by frequency. You can set Frequency to Daily, Weekly, and Monthly.
  3. For Usage limit (RPU hours), enter your preferred value.
  4. For Action, choose Alert, Log to system table, or Turn off user queries.

Set RPU usage limit

Optionally, you can select an existing Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic or create a new SNS topic, and subscribe via email to this SNS topic to be notified when usage limits have been met.

Query monitoring rules for Redshift Serverless

To prevent wasteful resource utilization and runaway costs caused by poorly rewritten queries, you can implement query monitoring rules via query limits on your Redshift Serverless workgroup. For more information, refer to WLM query monitoring rules. The query monitoring rules in Redshift Serverless stop queries that meet the limit that has been set up in the rule. To receive notifications and automate notifications on Slack, refer to Automate notifications on Slack for Amazon Redshift query monitoring rule violations.

To set up query limits, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Redshift Serverless console, choose Workgroup configuration in the navigation pane.
  2. Choose a workgroup to monitor.
  3. On the workgroup details page, under Query monitoring rules, choose Manage query limits.

You can add up to 10 query monitoring rules to each serverless workgroup.

Set query limits

The serverless workgroup will go to a Modifying state each time you add or remove a limit.

Let’s take an example where you have to create a serverless workgroup for your dashboards. You know that dashboard queries typically complete in under a minute. If any dashboard query takes more than a minute, it could indicate a poorly written query or a query that hasn’t been tested well, and has incorrectly been released to production.

For this use case, we set a rule with Limit type as Query execution time and Limit (seconds) as 60.

Set required limit

The following screenshot shows the Redshift Serverless metrics available for setting up query monitoring rules.

Query Monitoring Metrics on CloudWatch

Configure alarms

Alarms are very useful because they enable you to make proactive decisions about your Redshift Serverless endpoint. Any usage limits that you set up will automatically show as alarms on the Redshift Serverless console, and are created as CloudWatch alarms.

Additionally, you can set up one or more CloudWatch alarms on any of the metrics listed in Amazon Redshift Serverless metrics.

For example, setting an alarm for DataStorage over a threshold value would keep track of the storage space that your serverless namespace is using for your data.

To create an alarm for your Redshift Serverless instance, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Redshift Serverless console, under Monitoring in the navigation pane, choose Alarms.
  2. Choose Create alarm.

Set Alarms from console

  1. Choose your level of metrics to monitor:
    • Workgroup
    • Namespace
    • Snapshot storage

If we select Workgroup, we can choose from the workgroup-level metrics shown in the following screenshot.

Workgroup Level Metrics

The following screenshot shows how we can set up alarms at the namespace level along with various metrics that are available to use.

Namespace Level Metrics

The following screenshot shows the metrics available at the snapshot storage level.

Snapshot level metrics

If you are starting new, then please start with most commonly used metrics listed below. Please also Create a billing alarm to monitor your estimated AWS charges.

  • ComputeSeconds
  • ComputeCapacity
  • DatabaseConnections
  • EstimatedCharges
  • DataStorage
  • QueriesFailed


After you define your alarm, provide a name and a description, and choose to enable notifications.

Amazon Redshift uses an SNS topic to send alarm notifications. For instructions to create an SNS topic, refer to Creating an Amazon SNS topic. You must subscribe to the topic to receive the messages published to it. For instructions, refer to Subscribing to an Amazon SNS topic.

You can also monitor event notifications to be aware of the changes in your Redshift Serverless Datawarehouse. Please refer Amazon Redshift Serverless event notifications with Amazon EventBridge for further details.

Clean up

To clean up your resources, delete the workgroup and namespace you used for trying the monitoring approaches discussed in this post.



In this post, we covered how to perform monitoring activities on Redshift Serverless through the Redshift Serverless console, system views, and CloudWatch, and how to keep costs predictable. Try the monitoring approaches discussed in this post and let us know your feedback in the comments.

About the Authors

Satesh Sonti is a Sr. Analytics Specialist Solutions Architect based out of Atlanta, specialized in building enterprise data platforms, data warehousing, and analytics solutions. He has over 17 years of experience in building data assets and leading complex data platform programs for banking and insurance clients across the globe.

Harshida Patel is a Specialist Principal Solutions Architect, Analytics with AWS.

Raghu Kuppala is an Analytics Specialist Solutions Architect experienced working in the databases, data warehousing, and analytics space. Outside of work, he enjoys trying different cuisines and spending time with his family and friends.

Ashish Agrawal is a Sr. Technical Product Manager with Amazon Redshift, building cloud-based data warehouses and analytics cloud services. Ashish has over 24 years of experience in IT. Ashish has expertise in data warehouses, data lakes, and platform as a service. Ashish has been a speaker at worldwide technical conferences.