Monitoring AWS Usage and Maintaining Effectiveness

In 2018, AWS pulled in $25.7 billion. Amazon’s serverless cloud-computing platform keeps growing every year, and with that growth comes the same types of problems every massive effort faces: the limits and deterioration of performance as time goes on.

With the rise of serverless technology, developing applications and new services have never been easier. The caveat is, when building on something that gets provisioned for you and you don’t get to manage the resources yourself, you end up going into battle blind. This is why Dashbird makes so much sense, it provides that extra bit of insight you need to sleep well at night knowing you’ll know when something goes sideways.

What Is AWS?

If you’ve heard of cloud computing, you may have heard of Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is essentially a cloud system that connects applications and services together. AWS adds together IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS to create an infrastructure that’s extremely powerful.

AWS is a living breathing ecosystem of every service you might need to build powerful products.

AWS Cloudwatch

CloudWatch is essentially the AWS monitoring service for AWS cloud resources for all applications that you run on your AWS cloud. Therefore, CloudWatch will provide you with alerts in case something goes down the rails. CloudWatch allows you to collect and track metrics so that you can get the system-wide visibility, resource usage, application performance along with the overall operational health. These insights will allow you to stay ahead of potential problems and to keep your application running smoothly.

The AWS Cloudwatch alarm is a good place to start when defining Cloudwatch features. AWS includes all its internal resources, your processes, and the applications you’re using at a given time. Cloudwatch keeps an eye on these processes and your applications and reports metrics back to you.

Cloudwatch is flexible, allowing you to make changes to the updates you get. If you want to get updates at specific times for events that have layered conditions, that’s possible too.

Cloudwatch events or alarms let you know how much RAM a given application is using, how much CPU usage pops up across your entire system, and more. If you cross the point of data you want to use for a given application, you can pre-determine events to notify you when you’ve made it to this point.

Common Issues

Almost all system performance deteriorates as time passes. Here are the most common system performance issues you’ll probably run into, issues that can be tracked or resolved with Dashbird

  • Uncontrolled growth
  • Inaccurate or poor load balancing
  • Connectivity issues
  • Unreliable 3rd parties
  • Lack of observability into the application

Let’s try outlining a couple of these to better see why it’s a problem, and if there’s a way to remedy a solution.

Load Balancing

Proper load balancing is meant to distribute traffic across many back-end servers. The ideal version of this process is meant to effectively move across client requests and network loads.

If you’re using the right monitoring service, you can receive accurate updates about the processes underlying your traffic and network connectivity. AWS gets you past any issues that spring up, taking care of load balancing for you so that your applications run smoothly.

This is one place where AWS Lambda shines brightest. Its ability to scale gracefully in order to meet requirements is amazing and it’s all done without having you lift a finger.

Unreliable 3rd Parties and connectivity issues

Many 3rd party services promise their SaaS material will improve your back-end activity, but it’s important that you find some that prove their effectiveness before a purchase is made. If you intend on having your applications run faster with fewer errors, try finding 3rd party services that match your needs specifically and this is easier said than done.

Most SMB’s use about 20 SaaS tools on average and many of those are connected via an API to the service itself and often play a crucial role in the business logic. The problem arises when one of those endpoints go down without you knowing. Understanding what doesn’t work or where the bottleneck is, is imperative to running a business and having insight into applications, especially those using serverless is very hard. This is why using Dashbird is a great idea. It not only notifies you about the problem, but it also pinpoints the error where it happened, saving you tens of hours searching through endless logs.

showing all issues in one view

Lack of observability

While there are lots of good reasons why you should consider going serverless, it’s important to acknowledge that there are going to be some shortcomings. Since you don’t get to mess with the actual server that runs your serverless applications you are stuck with limited monitoring and observability options.

Enter Dashbird. A one-stop solution for your serverless monitoring needs. The setup is easy and you can use it for free.

Finding Solutions to Lambda Issues

It’s not just getting the alert, but you should be able to acutely spot invocations errors and where things went awry. Jumping off of this point, it’s imperative to have clarity on your AWS lambda logging. You need to track and trace your logs back to their origin in order to resolve the issue at hand.

If you’re especially concerned about Lambda functions, services like have many features to optimize your statistics and profitability. Their service also aims to improve overall health and keep a close eye on cost.

Dashbird helps businesses and developers monitor and make changes to analytics. If you have a single application running on an AWS, signup and receive real-time task reports and error metrics to find out how you can improve and maintain your stack more efficiently.

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Made by developers for developers

Dashbird was born out of our own need for an enhanced serverless debugging and monitoring tool, and we take pride in being developers.

What our customers say

Dashbird gives us a simple and easy to use tool to have peace of mind and know that all of our Serverless functions are running correctly. We are instantly aware now if there’s a problem. We love the fact that we have enough information in the Slack notification itself to take appropriate action immediately and know exactly where the issue occurred.

Thanks to Dashbird the time to discover the occurrence of an issue reduced from 2-4 hours to a matter of seconds or minutes. It also means that hundreds of dollars are saved every month.

Great onboarding: it takes just a couple of minutes to connect an AWS account to an organization in Dashbird. The UI is clean and gives a good overview of what is happening with the Lambdas and API Gateways in the account.

I mean, it is just extremely time-saving. It’s so efficient! I don’t think it’s an exaggeration or dramatic to say that Dashbird has been a lifesaver for us.

Dashbird provides an easier interface to monitor and debug problems with our Lambdas. Relevant logs are simple to find and view. Dashbird’s support has been good, and they take product suggestions with grace.

Great UI. Easy to navigate through CloudWatch logs. Simple setup.

Dashbird helped us refine the size of our Lambdas, resulting in significantly reduced costs. We have Dashbird alert us in seconds via email when any of our functions behaves abnormally. Their app immediately makes the cause and severity of errors obvious.