How to Select the Right AWS Monitoring Tools for Your Organization

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading and most comprehensive cloud computing platform offered by Amazon. It provides cloud-based services such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to individuals and businesses on a metered pay-as-you-go pricing scheme. Because of scalability, reliability, and flexible payment structures, AWS has become increasingly popular with businesses that want to leverage cloud-based services. However, organizations must prioritize performance and security by investing in appropriate AWS monitoring tools to achieve their goals.

Learn more about AWS monitoring tools and best practices when implementing such solutions in this article.

What is AWS Monitoring?

AWS monitoring entails continuously assessing, tracking, and evaluating the development and quality of different AWS resources as they develop. In order to detect cost, reliability, efficiency, and other sorts of irregularities before they escalate into an issue, it needs continuously monitoring the changing environment of the AWS cloud.

The AWS Well-Architected methodology for creating an effective and secure public cloud includes continuous monitoring as one of its main components.

Choose the Right AWS Monitoring Tools

As businesses continue their journeys towards cloud-native solutions, the volume of operational data they must process increases. While cloud-based solutions provide unlimited scalability with automatic and elastic provisioning of resources, it also means the individual components are dynamic and transient.

The transient infrastructure and distributed cloud workloads can alter the performance metrics. For example, typical monitoring tools cannot make sense of disparate sources generating data in real-time. Using the right AWS monitoring tools can help make sense of your cloud environment’s performance.

For example, you can detect anomalies in performance with specific workloads and make necessary adjustments to enhance their performances. You can collate and log the correct data to unearth meaningful insights about your organization’s competitive edge.

Additionally, you can forestall service disruptions by detecting abnormal behaviors early on and correcting them before customers notice them. Most importantly, monitoring the AWS infrastructure helps you to maintain regulatory compliance.

There is also the shared responsibility model issue that you have to address with AWS resources. Under the shared responsibility model, Amazon secures only the computing infrastructure, including the physical servers, storage devices, networking components, and the virtualization layer in its datacenters.

Amazon leaves the rest of the security issues to the organization, from client-side data encryption to networking traffic protection. Under such environments, monitoring AWS workloads can help you detect anomalies that can potentially lead to massive security problems.

Besides enhancing the performance and security, monitoring AWS workloads can also improve their functionalities. For example, you can check whether your legacy applications interoperate with the cloud environment.

Metrics to Consider for AWS Monitoring Tools

There are four primary metrics that you have to consider when monitoring an AWS workload:

There are two categories of AWS monitoring tools: proprietary and open-source solutions. Proprietary solutions such as Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail are easier to install and better suited for large companies. They also provide copyrighted customer-service guides, email updates, and vital customer-support specialists that you can use to manage AWS resources.

On the other hand, open-source AWS monitoring tools provide public forums to help you update the product and sort emerging issues. Open-source tools may be more appealing for smaller businesses with minimal IT budgets.

Monitor AWS Using Best Practices

The following five best approaches can help you optimize performance and mitigate risks when monitoring AWS workloads:

Evaluate Your AWS Tool Monitoring Needs

Monitoring your AWS workloads can help enhance operational performance and agility, security, and workload scalability. However, before embarking on such a move, you should take the time to assess your needs carefully. Below are some questions you need to ask when evaluating your needs:

Asking the above-mentioned questions helps you understand your current AWS monitoring requirements and prioritize metrics. Once you’ve established your needs, you can now develop a strategy to tag AWS resources. Tagging AWS resources can help you keep track of your cloud environment as you monitor workload usage and behavior.

However, since each project is unique, creating an all-purpose tagging system that various collaborators can use is essential for your bottom line. This is because all relevant parties can gain access to the AWS monitoring insights whenever they need to.

Learn about the Top 5 AWS Monitoring Tools

You can monitor various AWS workloads by using native and third-party solutions. Below are the top five monitoring tools that can help you save time and costs:

1. Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is a native monitoring tool that you can use to obtain actionable insights for AWS workloads. You can install it in your on-premises, public cloud, or hybrid environments. Amazon CloudWatch allows you to monitor your entire IT stack (virtual machines, applications, and services) when installed. You can automate actions that minimize mean time to repair (MTTR) by leveraging alarms, events data, and logs.

2. CloudZero

CloudZero is a third-party SaaS solution that you can use to detect cost anomalies and optimize costs. The platform decentralizes cloud costs to engineering teams, allowing them to determine the cost impacts of their work. This enables them to detect overruns and fix cost issues.

3. AWS Security Hub

AWS Security Hub provides IT teams with a single console in the cloud environment to aggregate and prioritize security alerts from multiple security services. It allows IT teams to have complete visibility over security alerts from Amazon Inspector, Amazon GuardDuty, Amazon Macie, and AWS Firewall Manager.

4. DataDog

DataDog is an open-source monitoring and analytics solution that software development and operations (DevOps) teams can use to evaluate performance metrics and monitor cloud services. You can deploy DataDog either on-premises or in the cloud. Besides supporting AWS, DataDog also supports Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

5. SolarWinds AppOptics

SolarWinds AppOptics is a SaaS-based application performance monitoring (APM) tool that you can use to monitor web applications. You can use SolarWinds AppOptics to gain insights into AWS workloads by collecting performance metrics and transaction traces and performing root cause analysis.

Parallels RAS: A Powerful Monitoring and Reporting Engine

AWS and other public clouds such as Azure and GCP are effective business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategies that organizations can use to minimize risks associated with disruptions. Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is an inclusive virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution that businesses can deploy flexibly from the AWS marketplace.

Its compatibility with different public clouds, alongside its easy deployment and configuration, allows organizations to deliver virtual desktops and applications to multiple heterogeneous devices and platforms efficiently. When installed, Parallels RAS provides robust monitoring and reporting infrastructure crucial to BCDR.

For example, IT teams can access detailed statistics regarding users, groups, applications, devices, and server health. This allows them to prepare adequately and respond to unexpected events.

Download your free, 30-day Parallels RAS trial today to learn more about its monitoring and reporting capabilities!

Download the Trial