What is AWS X-Ray
Updated on 07th Jun, 22 115 Views

Cloud computing is the most trending technology in the world right now. We all know that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s largest cloud service provider. It has lots of services that could make people’s lives easier. One of those services includes AWS X-Ray. In this blog, we will try to explain the same.

What is AWS X-Ray?

AWS X-Ray is a service that helps developers analyze and debug distributed applications. Customers use X-Ray to monitor application traces, including the performance of calls to other downstream components or services, in either cloud-hosted applications or from their machines during development.

AWS X-Ray combines the information of the architecture of an application with a service map. These service maps also include the connection to the components and dependency trees.

By using AWS X-Ray, it is much easier to identify the root cause of the problem by highlighting only the problematic part of the whole application. The root cause analysis also offers the request details such as latency, number of errors, and HTTP response status.

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AWS X-Ray Features:

The features of AWS X-Ray are:

Simple Setup

AWS X-Ray can be used with multiple other applications running on Amazon EC2, Amazon ECS, EC2 Container Service, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Lambda. It is much easier to start the application creation process with X-Ray. You just need to integrate the application with X-Ray’s SDK and install the X-Ray. In the case of Amazon EBS, and X-Ray agent will be preinstalled on it, so all you need to do is just integrate the X-Ray SDK with your application.

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End-to-end Tracing

AWS X-Ray provides an end-to-end view of requests in your application. It gives you an application-driven view of requests that are streaming through your application. This is done by accumulating the gathered data from individual services in your application to a single unit. This unit is generally called a trace.

Service Map

X-Ray usually creates a service map that was utilized by the application with all the data of traces. This is much helpful in identifying the issues and errors in the application.

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Server and Client-side Latency Detection

AWS X-Ray enables you to detect node and edge latency distribution visually and directly from the service map. With the help of this, you can just quickly find the problems that are affecting the application and bothering the end-users. This latency detection helps you to better understand the application’s performance.

Data Annotation and Filtering

X-Ray allows you to add annotations to the emitted data from the particular component or services that are deployed in your application.

Console and Programmatic Access

AWS X-Ray can be used with AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI,) and many AWS SDKs. AWS X-Ray API allows you to access the data programmatically so that you can export the trace data.

Security

In AWS X-Ray, you have the ability to control which users and resources have access to traces since the X-Ray was integrated with (identity and access management) AWS IAM.

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How does AWS X-Ray Work?

So, basically, AWS X-Ray does a four-step workflow. The workflow consists of:

  • Collect traces: X-Ray collects the required data from the service used in the application. An HTTP header is added to the request if it does not have one in order to perform an end-to-end trace. Later, this header is passed along to further tiers of request handlers.
  • Record traces: AWS X-Ray combines all gathered data into a single unit called a trace, and these traces span right from the start to the end of the entire application workflow.
  • View service map: X-Ray creates service maps used by the application using trace data. This gives you a visual representation of the connections between services in the application and aggregated data for each service.
  • Analyze issues: After all, traces are collected and formatted into a service map, developers are able to drill down into the service to find exactly where and what problem is taking place. Developers will be able to identify performance flaws, detect segments of high latency, and see the number of occurring errors.

Benefits of AWS X-Ray

  • Review request behavior: AWS X-Ray traces user requests as they travel through your entire application. Since this request aggregates the data generated by various services and resources in your application, you have the chance to get an end-to-end view of how your application is proceeding.
  • Ready-to-use with AWS: It works with many services in AWS. AWS X-Ray can be integrated with Amazon EC2, EC2 Container Service, Lambda, and Elastic Beanstalk.
  • Detect application issues: With X-Ray, you can obtain insights into how your application is performing and find root causes for any issues. With X-Ray’s tracing feature, you can find where the issues are that are causing performance dips in your application.
  • Improve application performance: X-Ray helps you to identify performance bottlenecks. The service map feature helps you to see the relationship between resources and services in your application. You can look at specific services and paths that are affecting application performance by detecting where high latencies are occurring.

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AWS X-Ray Pricing

Now, let us take a look at the pricing of X-Ray.

Like every other AWS service, X-Ray also has a free tier. In the free tier, 100,000 traces can be recorded each month for free and 1,000,000 traces can be retrieved or scanned each month for free. After the completion of the free tier, the cost of an X-Ray is around US$5 for every 1,000,000 traces recorded but the traces scanned or received only cost $0.50 for every 1,000,000 transactions.

Career Transition

Conclusion

I hope this blog gives you some insights on AWS X-Ray. We all know cloud computing is the future. Cloud-based technology firms are rising like never before. There are many job openings in this field right now. So, if you have the knowledge of any cloud service, such as AWS, you have a bright future ahead of you.

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