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Key Points

  • AWS stands for Amazon Web Services.
  • AWS is a public cloud offered to developers, information technology professionals, and providers.
  • This service allows developers to test applications that are still in the development stage.

Amazon Web Services offers developers, IT professionals, and other technology providers access to a public cloud. Developers can build and test their applications on this public cloud while still developing. This means that they do not need to invest in large hardware infrastructures before the application is ready for production.

The service is used by more than 100 million active users worldwide and provides a wide spectrum of services for enterprises.

Let’s take a look at how AWS monitors your application’s performance, how these metrics are collected, and what you can do to optimize your performance.

AWS Amazon Web Services
AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs.

©Yu Chun Christopher Wong/Shutterstock.com

How AWS Collects Metrics

Several sources of information are available, but there is only one metric that all applications get: the average response time for each request.

The average response time is calculated by the Amazon API Gateway, which receives traffic from your application and forwards it to the appropriate origin or destination service. This forward traffic is the only thing you need to worry about here.

The API gateway will pick metrics for each call, like the requested URL, response code, and response time, and compile them into one metric per rule. Each origin or destination service will then pick metrics from the traffic it received from the API gateway and create a metric per resource. This way, you will have a metric per resource, and all resources share the same average response time.

If you would query directly to your origin, you might get more metrics than the API gateway will give you, but that is not recommended. This gateway exists to make sure that all requests are routed through a single entry point, making it easier to monitor and troubleshoot issues if they occur.

Types of Status Checks

There are several checks that you can perform on your applications and resources using AWS, including those listed below.

Instance Status Checks

Instance status checks allow you to check the health of your application instances and contact AWS. On instance status checks, you can check the health of your EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancer, or EBS volumes. You can get information about CPU utilization, the operating system, and memory.

System Status Checks

System status checks allow you to get information about the current state of these systems, like the operating system and memory usage of your server instances. You can also monitor EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancers, and EBS volumes. It will also tell you if your instances are within the expected operating parameters.

View Status Checks

View status checks allow you to monitor resource metrics and use them to check the load on your application’s infrastructure. You can get information about CPU utilization, the operating system, and also memory utilization on instance status checks. Load on the EBS volumes can be checked on volume status checks.

Report Instance Status

Report instance status allows you to get more information on the application’s health. It will be similar to instance status checks but also shows you all resource metrics, like the average response time and CPU utilization. It will also tell you if your instances are within the expected operating parameters.

You can also get information that you need to know about the health of your resources. You will be given information like the error code, error message, and time since the last successful request. You can inspect the internal workings of your application and check for any possible problems that might occur.

AWS System Status vs. Instance Status

To save on resources, you can either check the status of your instance –- the individual hardware you are using to run your application -– or the system’s status.

Below are the differences between instance status checks and system status checks.

Instance Status

Instance status checks allow you to check the health of your application instances and contact AWS services. With instance status checks, you can check the health of your EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancer, and EBS volumes. You can get information about CPU utilization, the operating system, and memory.

AWS Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services runs a variety of checks on your application so you can test and monitor its performance.

©Casimiro PT/Shutterstock.com

System Status

System status checks allow you to get information about the current state of these systems, like the operating system and memory usage of your instance, EC2 instances, and Elastic Load Balancers. You can also monitor EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancers, and EBS volumes. It will also tell you if your instances are within the expected operating parameters.

Anatomy of the AWS System Status Page

The system status page shows information about your AWS resources, like the EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancers, the EBS volumes, and their associated AWS services. The system status page also gives you an overview of the health of your application’s infrastructure and the environment in which it runs.

You can see an overview of the metrics by clicking on a specific resource. It will show you information like the average response time, downtime percentage, and CPU utilization. This will also display if the resource is within its expected operating parameters.

These metrics will include all errors which were encountered in the last 24 hours. You can also drill down any of the resources to see more information. A sub-section of this page is the health dashboard.

Status History

The history page shows the last five actions you performed on the resource. If there is an error, this will be displayed as well. This page is especially useful if you need to troubleshoot problems in your application.

By swiping right, you will be taken to the request details page. Here, you can get an overview of all the requests which have been made to your application. You can see the HTTP status code and all of the headers that have been sent when a request is made. You can click on a specific request to see more details and you can also perform a search.

The history page will show you how much time has passed between the response time and how many requests have been made. It will also display the errors which were encountered during that time period.

Status Alerts

You can also set up alerts for any application, system health checks, or instance status checks. This will send you an email if a specific status has changed and isn’t within your expected parameters, which is useful for monitoring and troubleshooting.

Current Status

This simple status shows you the current status of your assigned resources. You will see the resource’s name and an icon that shows whether the status is good, needs warning, or is critical. The AWS System Status page is a powerful tool that provides you the flexibility and freedom to monitor your entire infrastructure without having to contact third parties or outside agencies.

heroku vs aws
Amazon Web Services is a popular cloud computing provider used by developers to test apps.

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Getting Started with the AWS System Status

To get started, you need to create a bucket for the configuration. You will see this main menu where you can choose what you want to do. The default option chosen is “Create bucket.”

Here, you can also create or delete an Amazon S3 bucket or change the settings of your bucket. You need to do this if you want to use your own DNS settings. The second option is configuring the S3 buckets. You can create a new bucket and configure the Amazon S3 settings for buckets.

The next step is configuring your AWS account to monitor the system status. This can be done by clicking on the “Configure AWS account” button. You will see a screen that will ask you to enter your AWS credentials. You can choose to monitor your applications, nodes, or instances in your existing EC2 instances or Elastic Load Balancers. Now, your AWS account will be configured to monitor the system status.

You can now create a system status check. You will see a list of all available checks on the left-hand side. You can also use pre-defined checks to get more information about your resources. When you click the “Create system status check” button, a box will pop up allowing you to choose your resource. The next button is to create new status checks. You can define what you want to check for and the type of monitoring and configure a threshold for alerts.

The next step is configuring the threshold for alerts. This is useful to define what you want the system status page to send an alert for. You can choose between one, two, or three levels of alerts. If the thresholds are too high, your email volume will increase. If they are too low, you might not receive an alert when the status has changed.

Get to Know the Personal Health Dashboard

The Personal Health Dashboard is a page that gives you an overview of your AWS resources and their current status. If a resource is within the threshold set, it will display the status icon. If a resource is not within the thresholds, it will display an error icon. By clicking on each resource, you can see an overview of the metrics for that specific resource.

You can also navigate this page by visiting the status tab and the Health Dashboard. This page gives you a clear view of the threshold set and each resource’s current status. AWS is constantly updating its services and adding new ones, so always keep yourself up to date on the latest news.

The Personal Health Dashboard gives you a quick overview of how your EC2 instance and Elastic Load Balancer are performing. And, if something is not within the thresholds, you will see it highlighted in red. The Personal Health Dashboard gives you a clear view of your current status.

If you see a red icon, it means that the associated resource is below the threshold. If you hover over it, it will tell you the error message. If the error is in the form of a specific word, you will be able to click on it. The Personal Health Dashboard gives you a clear view of your current status.

Bottom Line

The AWS System Status page has many powerful functions that you can use to monitor your resources. AWS is constantly updating its services and adding new ones, so always keep yourself up to date on the latest news. This page has a powerful alerting function that you can use to set up convenient alerts to detect changes in the application’s health. Then, you will receive emails if there is a change in the application health.

All in all, AWS is a fantastic option for monitoring and testing your applications.

NEXT UP…

AWS Status – Monitoring the Web’s Biggest Cloud Provider FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are the features of AWS Cloud9?

The features include time-saving code templates, built-in tools, library sharing to get feedback, best coding practices, and more.

What does the AWS Cloud9 Community mean?

It means that you can learn from the experience of other developers and get help from them. The AWS Cloud9 Community is a group of people who are interested in AWS and willing to share their knowledge and experience.

When did AWS last go down?

In November 2020, there was a problem with Amazon’s functionality when their product Autonet — a network of fully redundant data centers, one in each region — went down. Some services were lost, and this led to problems at various levels within the company. However, the company sorted out the issues before they became major and affected customers.

Is there a separate tool for AWS users who do not work only with Amazon?

There are many other tools that you can choose from. For instance, you can use GitHub. GitHub is a website where you can invite your friends to become collaborators, or you can create your own projects. You can use code or libraries from different contributors and get suggestions from other users on improving the code’s quality.

What do serverless applications mean?

Serverless applications are computer programs that don’t have a virtual machine behind them. They cannot be stopped, down, or restarted. So, you can say that they are just a way to organize the use of resources in AWS.

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