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Top AWS Monitoring Tools in 2024

AWS is the biggest player in the cloud computing industry offering over 200 services and having more than 125 data centers spread across the world. Big organizations like Airbnb, Netflix, and Pfizer are some of the most successful clients of AWS. Even small companies and start-ups look up to AWS for handling their cloud storage needs.

With the high demand for AWS cloud, the need for monitoring tools also arises so that users can seamlessly manage and monitor their cloud resources. This article discusses the various tools you can use to monitor your AWS resources along with the best practices you can follow while monitoring the AWS resources.

Table of contents:

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What is AWS monitoring?

AWS monitoring is a collection of practices that you may use to ensure the safety and performance of your AWS data and resources. These techniques acquire, analyze, and disseminate data insights using a variety of technologies and services. These insights can subsequently be used to discover vulnerabilities and faults, predict performance, and optimize setups.

Why monitor AWS resources?

The main reason behind cloud monitoring is to check whether all the applications are working fine without any issues and whether your infrastructure is stable and operating as expected. 

Let’s discuss a few more major points about why you should monitor your AWS resources:

  • Manage the health of all of your AWS services through one single platform.
  • Locate any loopholes in security, performance, and operational efficiency.
  • Verify that your workload can be handled by the AWS public cloud. You can keep an eye on events, software performance, regulatory compatibility, and the configuration of your infrastructure.
  • Set up automatic responses to deal with anomalous circumstances before they become out of control or negatively impact client experiences.
  • To prevent overspending, monitor the effect of scaling and other technical decisions on your AWS budget.

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AWS monitoring best practices

AWS monitoring best practices

If you follow these simple yet very effective practices while monitoring the AWS resources, you can rest assured that none of the resources is missed and the whole troubleshooting process goes smoothly and efficiently.

  • Prioritize monitoring components – Making it a habit to prioritize monitoring areas on a regular basis is the first AWS monitoring best practice. To make sure there are no last-minute hiccups, identifying certain AWS platform components that will be hotspots for your specific application is essential.
    Engineers will be able to fix issues and check for system health while performing routine work with the help of policies for routine AWS monitoring. Regulatory compliance applies to online firms as well. Therefore, a frequent cloud monitoring policy will also address that issue.
  • Capturing Logs – The user’s data can be kept and retrieved as needed in a database that is created through logging. It is simpler to increase the observability of your AWS infrastructure when logging and real-time monitoring solutions are used together.
    Additionally, by avoiding the need to search through every log, this combination enables the engineers to determine the primary reason for a system failure.
  • Use Automation – AWS production deployments are often too huge and dynamic to manually monitor. Humans cannot effectively assess the number of metrics and log data that are created. You should automate the majority of your monitoring operations in order to prevent the loss of crucial data and ensure prompt answers.

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Steps for successful AWS resource monitoring

Steps for successful AWS resource monitoring

The best way for executing successful AWS resource monitoring you should stick to a phased approach. There are many important factors that are needed to be considered such as already existing infrastructure, compliance, compatibility problems, etc. for every tool you imply in the whole monitoring process.

Phase 1: Pre-assessment

When you carry out a pre-assessment of the monitoring requirements you can get answers to some important questions that will be later beneficial for the rest of the process.

Questions like whether your network is on the cloud or on-premise, your current security policies, metrics that you should monitor, and what industry standards you need to comply are some of the important discussion points you must be clear with before moving forward.

Phase 2: Strategy

The next stage is to strategically plan the whole monitoring procedure after you have completed the evaluation. To improve the monitoring process, you must employ a tagging technique. For data segmentation and filtering, tags assist in organizing the log events. These tags are metadata that can be readily embedded with any system and send data linked to an event.

Phase 3: The Right Tool

You may decide which tools are ideal for the process depending on the monitoring needs and AWS services. It’s important to consider the support for various services when choosing an AWS monitoring solution. For instance, before selecting a tool, you should evaluate all the options and determine whether it supports Amazon EC2.

Phase 4: Logs Aggregation

After you’ve chosen the tool, you must pick which metrics and logs to record or collect. Depending on the AWS resource, it will be necessary to monitor one of many distinct types of logs.

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First-Party AWS monitoring tools

AWS includes or offers third-party AWS monitoring solutions as an add-on. They support resource management, and metrics tracking, and even improve the efficiency of AWS services.

1. AWS Cloudtrail

CloudTrail is an AWS-provided service that is active when you log in to your account. It enables you to monitor various account actions and improve efficiency. Every action is recorded by CloudTrail, which also provides information on other factors. By using the event history link, you may quickly examine every event that has occurred via the console.

To assess and react to activity in your AWS account, find out who or what carried out each activity, what resources were used, when the event occurred, and other information.

You can identify who changed your apps by using CloudTrail.

AWS CloudTrail’s main function is to monitor activity in your AWS environment. CloudTrail additionally provides compliance assistance due to its ability to give a history of activity in your AWS environment.

2. AWS CloudWatch

AWS CloudWatch is AWS’s most basic and fundamental service. CloudWatch is generally free to use, although it offers certain in-depth monitoring capabilities for which you may need to pay. It is an AWS native tool that gives you useful information about the services available through your AWS account. CloudWatch Alarms are one of the most critical aspects of your AWS ClooudWatch.

You can configure alarms for CloudWatch metrics. You may, for example, establish an alert for an EC2 instance’s CPU use. As a result, anytime your instance’s CPU Utilization exceeds a particular threshold, an alarm will sound. This warning may also be integrated with a number of different services to alert the account user or repair the application environment automatically.

3. EC2 Dashboard

In the AWS cloud environment, Amazon EC2 provides scalable and adaptable processing power. The nicest thing about Amazon EC2 is its flexible pricing model that takes use instances into account. It also enables you to set up many virtual servers with improved networking, storage, and security.

Therefore, it becomes essential to keep an eye on several factors, including instances, network activity, security, and others. You may launch and keep track of each instance using the resources that are provided by the EC2 dashboard. Additionally, you may set alarms, keep tabs on planned events, and monitor instance status for efficient EC2 monitoring and the general well-being of various services.

4. AWS Config

Another monitoring tool is AWS Config. You may use it to construct rules that analyze, audit, and assess how your AWS resources are configured. This indicates that no metrics nor logs are shown on the AWS Config dashboard. Instead, you may establish certain guidelines that, if broken, will be noted in the Configuration panel.

5. Certificate Manager

You may handle several security certifications with the help of this tool and keep an eye on how well they’re working. To assist encrypt the communication between the browser and the server for safe data transmission, encryption-based protocols like secure sockets layer (SSL) or transport layer security (TLS) certificates are used.

This type of certification may be added, installed, activated, and managed for your systems with the help of a certificate manager. You may use a number of 3rd AWS monitoring tools in addition to these first-party ones to keep an eye on your resources.

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Third-Party AWS Monitoring Tools

AWS native monitoring has many useful capabilities and functionalities for tracking AWS performance.  There are also many third-party tools available in the market which offer even more features. Let’s discuss some of those best tools.

1. Datadog

Datadog provides a range of application monitoring features that enable users to swiftly search, filter, and examine logs for debugging and open-ended data exploration, improving the performance of the application, platform, and service.

Datadog effortlessly gathers data and events across the whole DevOps stack, thanks to its more than 350 vendor-supported interfaces (including 75+ AWS service integrations). On the same platform, Datadog offers a complete insight into on-premises and cloud settings.

The Datadog platform enables engineering teams to investigate application performance issues that affect either a single server or a large cluster. Customers can also use the service to communicate SLA/SLO adherence and KPIs to engineering teams, executives, and external stakeholders.

2. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) keeps track of all applications and servers in your on-premises, public cloud, and hybrid IT environments. It automatically identifies and maps the relationships between your apps, finds the sluggish programs that are causing end-user and business service downtime, and uncovers the underlying causes of application problems at different layers of the IT stack.

It enables the monitoring of server performance in public, private, and hybrid contexts. You can quickly monitor any service with the help of the service and application manager, and you can even design your own templates for the presentation of the statistics.

3. Zabbix

This additional open-source AWS monitoring tool gathers metrics from many resources, programs, and databases. Zabbix offers a dashboard with a ton of features and a sizable online community that provides trustworthy help. The program has one flaw, though, in that you can’t even produce analytic reports or import data.

One of the best monitoring tools is Zabbix because of its abundance of features. You can monitor almost anything, on any OS, with its agent-less methodology.

4. NetApp Cloud Insights

You can use the NetApp Cloud Insights monitoring tool to monitor your infrastructure.

Furthermore, you can use it to monitor, upgrade, and troubleshoot resources hosted in public and private clouds.

Predictive analytics, optimization recommendations, machine learning-based anomaly detection, conditional alerts, and compliance auditing are all features of Cloud Insights.

5. New Relic

New Relic provides a range of monitoring tools that should meet the majority of monitoring requirements. Two products, in particular, stand out: New Relic Infrastructure, a more “conventional” infrastructure monitoring module, and New Relic APM, an application performance measurement tool.

You may obtain a thorough understanding of the condition of your servers and hosts, as well as the apps and services they rely on, by combining New Relic APM and Infrastructure. You can simply track the inventory configuration status and link changes with possible effects on system and application performance as your applications scale and infrastructure changes.

Conclusion

There are several tools available for monitoring your AWS system, all of which are good choices. However, they are all quite distinct instruments, and attempting to compare them might be difficult. Look into the unique characteristics of numerous tools, maybe even give a few a try before choosing one, and you’ll be rewarded with the one that’s perfect for your own requirements.

If you have any doubts or queries related to this technology, do post on AWS Community.

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