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AWS Cloud Monitoring Gets Closer to Actual 'Real Time'

Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers can now gather metrics from their cloud-based applications and resources in second-long intervals.

The company recently updated its CloudWatch monitoring tool to add support for "high-resolution custom metrics."

With the update, users can now publish data from their applications and resources running on the AWS cloud in increments as small as one second -- a drastic reduction from the minute-long increments that the service previously supported.

The change is designed to give users more detailed and up-to-date insights into their applications, including quick or temporary performance spikes that would be difficult to catch otherwise.

"Our customers are streaming video, running flash sales, deploying code tens or hundreds of times per day, and running applications that scale in and out very quickly as conditions change. In all of these situations, a minute is simply too coarse of an interval," said AWS evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post announcing the update. "Important, transient spikes can be missed; disparate (yet related) events are difficult to correlate across time, and the MTTR (mean time to repair) when something breaks is too high."

The one-second metrics are saved for up to three hours, compared to 15 days for one-minute metrics, 63 days for five-minute metrics, and 15 months for one-hour metrics.

The high-resolution metrics cost the same as standard-resolution ones, according to Barr. Users can store up to 10 metrics each month for free.

AWS also now lets users set up alarms in CloudWatch in as little as 10-second increments. These so-called "high-resolution alarms," which are designed to let administrators react more quickly to events, cost $0.30 per alarm each month.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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