AWS Storage Blog

Monitor performance of Amazon FSx for Windows File Server with Amazon CloudWatch

Last year I co-authored a post with Helen Lin, Sr. Product Manager for Amazon CloudWatch, when we released Metric Math for Amazon CloudWatch. In that post we showed how easy it is to perform math analytics on your metrics to derive additional insights into the health and performance of your Amazon EFS file systems. Well, I’m just as excited today to announce CloudWatch integration with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server. This new release makes it easy to monitor how actively your Windows workloads are using Amazon FSx for Windows File Server. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can start using CloudWatch to see performance metrics of your FSx file systems.

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server publishes six metrics in CloudWatch with per minute granularity. The metrics we publish are DataReadBytes, DataWriteBytes, DataReadOperations, DataWriteOperations, MetadataOperations, and FreeStorageCapacity. As with other AWS services, you can use Metric Math to simplify near real-time monitoring of your file system. Let’s see what this looks like.

Using Metric Math for Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

The metrics referenced above are sent to CloudWatch at one-minute intervals and are available for the next 15 months, so you can access historical information about your Windows file storage workloads over time. The different *Bytes metrics give you the number of bytes for file system operations, like read and write. The different *Operations metrics give you the number of operations. To display throughput or IOPS of the different operations, you can use math calculations on these metrics. These are known as math expressions within CloudWatch. New metrics can be developed using math expressions, as you combine and perform different math calculations on existing metrics. For example, to find the total number of bytes for file system operations, you add DataReadBytes and DataWriteBytes. And to find the total number of file system operations, you add DataReadOperations, DataWriteOperations, and MetadataOperations. You can also add a time element to math expressions to calculate metrics like throughput in MB/s and file system operations per second. Below are a few examples of some of the math expressions you can build with FSx metrics in CloudWatch.

Data read throughput (MB/s) = Sum(DataReadBytes) / seconds in period

Data write throughput (MB/s) = Sum(DataWriteBytes) / seconds in period

TotalThroughput = Sum(DataReadBytes+DataWriteBytes)

Total throughput (MB/s) = TotalThroughput / seconds in period

Here are the throughput math expressions in CloudWatch metrics:

Percent data read throughput (%) = Sum(DataReadBytes) x 100 / TotalThroughput

Percent data write throughput (%) = Sum(DataWriteBytes) x 100 / TotalThroughput

Here are the percent throughput math expressions in CloudWatch metrics:

Data read operations per second = Sum(DataReadOperations) / seconds in period

Data write operations per second = Sum(DataWriteOperations) / seconds in period

Metadata operations per second = Sum(MetadataOperations) / seconds in period

TotalOperations = Sum(DataReadOperations+DataWriteOperations+MetadataOperations)

Total operations per second = TotalOperations / seconds in period

Here are the operations per second math expressions in CloudWatch metrics:

Percent data read operations = Sum(DataReadOperations) x 100 / TotalOperations

Percent data write operations = Sum(DataWriteOperations) x 100 / TotalOperations

Percent metadata operations = Sum(MetadataOperations) x 100 / TotalOperations

Here are the percent operations math expressions in CloudWatch metrics:

Free storage capacity (Bytes) = Minimum(FreeStorageCapacity)

Here is the free storage capacity widget in CloudWatch metrics:

CloudWatch also supports alarms, so you can create an alarm to email an administrator when the free storage capacity of a file system drops below a user-defined threshold.

Here is the low free storage capacity alarm in CloudWatch alarms:

To make it even easier to help you monitor FSx file systems using CloudWatch, you can use a CloudFormation template that I created to build a CloudWatch Dashboard for an FSx file system. You can find this CloudFormation template in my amazon-fsx-tutorial github repo.

Available Now – Amazon CloudWatch support for Amazon FSx for Windows File Server is available now on new file systems, in all regions where FSx for Windows File Server is available.

Darryl Osborne

Darryl Osborne

Darryl is a Solutions Architect for file services at Amazon Web Services (AWS). He is a member of the Amazon EFS and Amazon FSx service teams and is responsible for evangelizing AWS native file service offerings. He enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state of Texas.