Amazon EC2 Monitoring — Things to Monitor, Challenges, and Best Practices
This article will explain what Amazon EC2 is and how you can do it better!
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Amazon EC2 is the core component of Amazon AWS that provides scalable cloud computing solutions similar to its competitors like Microsoft Azure VMs and Google Compute Engine. However, Amazon AWS holds 84% of the market share due to its overwhelming popularity.
Due to its immense popularity, businesses and enterprises worldwide prefer using it.
It offers a couple of benefits:
Unlike physical servers, where you need to install another server and consider what to do with the remaining resources, Amazon EC2 allows you to instantly extend or decrease your database’s infrastructure with only a few clicks.
EC2 is an excellent alternative to on-premises setup but not as effectively scalable as managed services since you don’t need to maintain the intricate configuration or think about adding another physical server while raising the hosting server’s capacity.
With AWS EC2, you can avoid paying upfront expenses by selecting a pricing model corresponding to your consumption spikes. That way, it only bills you for the actual usage, in contrast to an on-premises setup where you must pay upfront fees.
No matter whichever cloud platform you select, by the end of the day, all of them need to be monitored for optimal performance. However, monitoring every aspect of a computing cluster can pose a challenge. Amazon takes care of it for you and presents tons of metrics and analytics for you to monitor your EC2 instance. Today, we will learn about Amazon EC2 monitoring and how you can do it better!
Things to Monitor
Instance state and health
When multiple instances are running in your cluster, you need to be aware of the health of all the individual clusters. Amazon can easily help you with that. Look for the Amazon health indicators, which will tell you whether your instances respond to requests within a set interval without any errors.
Sometimes, servers become unavailable due to a lack of resources. For example, your server can suffocate and become unresponsive due to a lack of sufficient CPU or memory. In tough times like that, you need to hard reset your instance, which will put you at high risk of losing your system state. A good monitoring system will store metrics from the instances and can show an increase in resource usage.
You must check if you are hitting the CPU limit on a shared instance. You need to keep a buffer CPU for peak load conditions if it's crashing or even close to its limit. Additionally, make sure your CPU steal team to make sure if it’s not used by other shared instances.
Having the best hardware won’t make life easier unless you have the network bandwidth to support it. Consider upgrading to a larger instance to improve your network performance. Network usage is often overlooked and can later stages create performance bottlenecks. For example, whenever using EBS volumes, it can increase your network usage.
It is a good start and a healthy practice to monitor your EC2 performance. However, you need to closely monitor your application’s performance as it is closely tied to the user experience. When you examine your application and your system’s performance closely, you can figure out closely the root cause of the problem and how to manage your resources optimally.
Monitor Your Instance Type
When you are struck by performance bottlenecks, you immediately think of upgrading to a larger instance. This might not be the most feasible option for everyone, as upgrading to a larger system can burn huge holes in your financial budget.
You can save costs by opting for other smarter options like — reserved instances, on-demand instances, and on-spot instances.
Amazon EC2 Monitoring Challenges
Although Amazon’s cloudwatch makes monitoring much easier, it is nowhere near a perfect solution. There is plenty of other analytics for EC2 instances, like CloudWatch logs, CloudTrail and CostExplorer. These above-mentioned analytics help you to track additional information for your instance.
However, keep in mind that the analytics provided by Amazon provided solutions offer limited support. To get more information, you need to rely on aftermarket analytics solutions.
Best Practices for Amazon EC2 Monitoring
Optimizing EC2 Instance
In order to avoid huge bills, you need to optimize your EC2 instance. Check if your monitoring tool can notify you of idle EC2 instances. Any underutilized CPU or instance is not a good value for money. In such situations, you might consider terminating such instances or scaling down in size.
Also, you need to stay alert and check the CPU usage of your EC2 instance. By doing so, you can pinpoint highly utilized instances and change your instance size accordingly.
Enhancing Fault Tolerance
When you start auto-scaling, due to the termination policy of AWS, the old instances with older launch configurations start terminating. You need to leverage proactive AWS monitoring to safeguard your older instances from accidental deletion.
Audit IAM Roles for EC2 Monitoring
The application operating on EC2 instances needs to access resources hosted by other AWS services like S3, Lambda, or RDS. In order to do that, you have two options: either you can establish and distribute AWS credentials, or you can provide instances of the ability to submit API queries using IAM roles.
Utilize a monitoring tool to look at the settings of the EC2 instances under observation and find any resources lacking IAM roles. Using this knowledge, you can decide whether to designate permissions or authorize activities on your behalf by creating an IAM role for your EC2 instance.
Monitoring the key parameters of your EC2 instance is the way to go. By doing so, you can optimize the performance of your EC2 instance and make sure everything is running seamlessly. In this blog, I have narrated every minute detail that you need to know about EC2 instance monitoring and optimization. In case of any queries related to the same, let me know in the comments below.
Published at DZone with permission of Hiren Dhaduk. See the original article here.
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