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AWS Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions

Monitor Your AWS Infrastructure for Optimal Performance

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Overview: Infrastructure Monitoring

The AWS Marketplace offers a large variety of commercial and open source offerings to augment infrastructure monitoring within the AWS ecosystem. Sumo Logic’s AWS Marketscape looks at the pros and cons of the most common infrastructure monitoring tools and solutions from the Marketplace.

Modern software systems and solutions commonly incorporate more than a dozen distinct technology offerings. These can range from traditional application stack components like database engines, application servers, and middleware, along with newer techniques such as containers, microservices, and asynchronous application design methodologies.

Furthermore, these resources are often deployed on physical or virtual computers hosted internally, in the cloud, or in a hybrid configuration.

Service disruptions such as performance bottlenecks, application faults, or system outages can wreak havoc on an enterprise’s daily operations, particularly because it’s so difficult to identify the specific part of the n-tier modern application stack that’s to blame for a given problem.

In addition, major cost overruns are a constant risk from underutilized cloud-hosted assets. Consequently, infrastructure monitoring is a critical responsibility for any organization that builds, runs, and secures applications. There are a number of quality infrastructure monitoring solutions, some housed on the AWS Marketplace and others supplied by third party vendors.

AWS Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions

With dozens of their own cloud computing solutions serving as the foundation for mission-critical applications for more than one million customers, it’s natural that Amazon would invest in creating a robust infrastructure monitoring product.

AWS CloudWatch metrics can best be viewed as a centralized repository that’s closely integrated with the entire AWS cloud computing portfolio. Many of these products use it as a destination to register their own operational details; user-defined metrics can also be recorded by AWS CloudWatch.

CloudWatch provides guidance about application performance, resource utilization, and overall operational health, helping to identify and correct problems before they can get out of hand. AWS CloudWatch metrics aggregate the Amazon cloud computing environment’s time series metrics and displays its data in a series of configurable dashboards, as well as making it available through other channels like APIs.

Administrators can configure it to take direct action in many Amazon Web Services products based on pre-defined events that have been detected. These responses can include launching new compute instances, shutting down excess resources, and generating alarms, to name just a few.

AWS Infrastructure Monitoring Pricing

Amazon offers a free, basic AWS CloudWatch solution that furnishes useful dashboards and helpful metrics. For enterprises operating a more robust cloud computing portfolio, AWS CloudWatch expenditures will be driven by variables such as the number of active dashboards, alarms, custom metrics, instances, API requests, and log transfer volume.

CloudWatch Limitations

While AWS CloudWatch is an essential and worthwhile resource for understanding the status of Amazon’s own cloud computing technologies, many applications incorporate a broader blend of cloud and on-premise assets that reach far beyond AWS. This means that gaining complete insight into the entire operational landscape mandates monitoring everything, not just what’s hosted by AWS.

These constraints have opened the door to a number of third-party infrastructure monitoring providers that take a more holistic approach.

Third Party Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions

Although each vendor servicing the AWS infrastructure monitoring market has its own unique offering, collectively these products deliver notable new capabilities that help enterprises get a better picture of what’s happening across the entire application stack—regardless of what technology it is or where it’s hosted.

Along with furnishing much more compelling monitoring features, some third-party providers go a step further and are helping to bridge the gap between analyzing static logs and real-time operational metrics. This is a vital advance in a world where every element in the technology stack is now spawning enormous amounts of valuable diagnostic details.

Finally, pricing models for these new monitoring solutions range from tiered offerings (often including a free option for light workloads) to usage-based arrangements that can be driven by the number of resources that are being followed.

Major Third Party Monitoring Features

Improved ease-of-use Real-time dashboards Superior graphics Longer data retention
Visibility into all systems Correlated search Enhanced analytics More alerting options
Instrumentation APIs Audit-aware metrics Deeper security focus Machine learning

Third Party Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions

Company Name Summary
SumoLogic Sumo Logic was founded in 2010 by experts in log management, scalable systems, big data, and security. Today, its purpose-built, cloud-native service analyzes more than 100 petabytes of data, more than 16 million searches, and delivers 10s of millions of insights daily – positioning Sumo among the most powerful machine data analytics services that provides visibility into metrics, logs and events for modern applications.
Datadog With turn-key integrations, Datadog seamlessly aggregates metrics and events across the full DevOps stack. Data dog is a SaaS service for monitoring the applications. Datadog can monitor databases and common server components.
SignalFX SignalFX offers immediate insight with built-in alerts for each component in your environment. Instantly capture, visualize, and collaborate over the most relevant metrics—curated, validated, and intelligently aggregated.
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“Sumo Logic brings everything together into one interface where we can quickly scan across 1,000 servers and gigabytes of logs and quickly identify problems. It’s awesome software and awesome support.”

Jon Dokuli,
VP of Engineering

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