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Infrastructure Monitoring With Amazon CloudWatch and OnPage Integration

Infrastructure Monitoring

Digitalization of business has transformed the world and its industries. Software that upkeep digital initiatives are no longer categorized as a support function. Rather, they are integral to every business process.

Modern organizations require infrastructure monitoring tools to detect anomalies and alerting systems to automate remediation processes. Today, Amazon CloudWatch is widely used to detect anomalous behavior in Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments and assist in keeping applications running smoothly.

In this post, we will discuss how CloudWatch helps IT teams minimize the time it takes to respond to issues occurring in AWS cloud environments.

What Is DevOps?

Amazon defines DevOps as, “The combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services … at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development … processes.”

Unified development and IT operations teams work across the entire application lifecycle including, development, testing and deployment stages. This helps create a fast and more responsive software delivery experience.

DevOps teams use tools to automate processes that were historically manual. They make use of advanced technologies to simplify infrastructure management and application monitoring.

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What Is Infrastructure and Application Monitoring?

Infrastructure monitoring collects and observes key metrics or logs across the complete technology stack. The “complete stack” consists of everything that makes up an IT environment, such as operating systems, devices and applications. Effective monitoring helps teams act before an issue escalates.

Monitoring tools are designed to maintain scalability and flexibility. They improve system performance and productivity while reducing downtime.

Examples of commonly monitored metrics include:

  • EC2 instances on Amazon CloudWatch
  • CPU loading levels
  • Disk input/output (I/O) operations

Benefits of Infrastructure Monitoring

As discussed, continuous infrastructure monitoring helps improve system performance and productivity. Monitoring maximizes efficiency and prevents downtime by quickly detecting critical cloud activities.

There are few vendors that deliver and provide reliable infrastructure monitoring. Amazon CloudWatch is one of the leading services in this space. CloudWatch continues to help DevOps engineers, IT managers and site reliability engineers (SREs) with AWS-based monitoring. 

What Is Amazon CloudWatch?

According to Amazon, CloudWatch is a, “Monitoring and observability service built for [modern IT teams].” With CloudWatch, teams can:

  • Set alarms
  • Visualize logs and metrics side by side
  • Take automated actions
  • Troubleshoot issues
  • Gain insight into keeping applications running smoothly

CloudWatch simplifies AWS-based monitoring. It allows IT teams to set alarms and automate actions based on predefined thresholds or anomaly criteria. Following anomaly detection, CloudWatch, in combination with Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), notifies teams of the critical activity.

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Alert Management With OnPage’s Amazon CloudWatch Integration

OnPage, an alert management system, now integrates with CloudWatch to provide real-time notifications of AWS cloud statuses. 

OnPage high-priority, mobile alerts are triggered when CloudWatch detects anomalies. OnPage notifies the right person using alerting policies, routing rules and on-call schedules. The integration minimizes the time it takes to identify and respond to AWS incidents.

The latest integration works by configuring OnPage as the endpoint in CloudWatch’s alerting chain.

The integration process is shown below:

1. All resources in the cloud environment, including the VPC, collect configuration, activity and access logs.

2. CloudWatch pulls the logs from AWS resources.

3. (a) These logs are compared against configured Rules and CloudWatch Metrics. When user-defined thresholds are passed, a CloudWatch Alarm (CWA) is triggered. The CWA then composes an alert message that is published (sent) to Amazon SNS.

3. (b) Logs are also evaluated by CloudWatch Events (CWE), which can trigger remediation via AWS Lambda functions. CWEs can also publish alerts to SNS.

4. SNS sends the message to OnPage’s server via an encrypted HTTPS connection, which in turn, sends the message as a high-priority OnPage alert.

OnPage is a pivotal tool to stay ahead of incidents before they escalate. The system enables on-call DevOps engineers to act in real time.

OnPage provides real-time audit trails and reports to give instant visibility into the incident lifecycle. Managers can get to the bottom of alerts and better analyze the IT team’s incident resolution performance. 

Conclusion

Infrastructure monitoring helps organizations run smoothly. It breaks down data silos to provide more insight into the health and performance of resources. This blog gave a deep dive into Amazon CloudWatch, the industry’s most popular monitoring tool, and how it is perfected with OnPage critical alerting.  

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