Getting Started with Dashbird
Dashbird is an observability, debugging, and intelligence platform designed specifically to help serverless developers build, operate, improve, and scale their modern cloud applications on AWS environment fast, securely, and with ease.
Serverless architecture fundamentally changes how we build, deploy, and maintain software. Although AWS CloudWatch can be used to monitor cloud resources, it was not designed for the challenge and doesn’t have all the necessary data readily available. Dashbird fills the gaps left by CloudWatch and other traditional monitoring tools by offering enhanced out-of-the-box monitoring, operations, and actionable insights tools for architectural improvements, all in one place.
Dashbird monitors multiple cloud components in AWS cloud, such as Lambda functions, API Gateways, SQS queues, ECS containers, DynamoDB tables, Step Function state machines, Kinesis data streams, and more.
Developers can track the Inventory of their cloud components in one single place. This allows for an effective and effortless observability process over the entire serverless cloud stack.
Dashbird started out as an AWS Lambda focussed observability platform and to this day, Lambda observability is our bread and butter. Different from AWS CloudWatch, Dashbird individualizes each invocation log and includes metrics and traces to make it easier to debug any potential issues or performance bottlenecks.
Aggregated metrics are also provided for each function. Detailed statistics include average, minimum, maximum, and 99th percentile.
Multiple dimensions are aggregated for each function:
- Memory utilization
These metrics support not only function health analysis but also resource and cost improvements.
Dashbird monitors cloud components in serverless applications and continuously runs all your infrastructure data against 100+ AWS Well-Architected Framework’s (WAF) best practices checks, giving you actionable insights broken down by the five pillars of the WAF – Security, Cost Optimization, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, and Operational Excellence.
Checks are categorized by criticality and vertical, giving users a structured overview of the findings and a clear overview on a single pane of glass.
Insights are automatically generated when:
- Anomalies, making your infrastructure is likely to fail, are detected (such as increased latency, error rate, or being close to a memory limit)
- Our system identifies opportunities for improvement (such as unused resources or lack of security practices)
All of the checks are also published in the Events Library, with details on intervals, conditions, reasoning, and for some insights, remedy steps.
Error Tracking and Alerting
Dashbird helps users track errors in real-time and receive proactive alerts by email, Slack, webhooks, and SNS immediately when issues are detected in your serverless stack.
Dashbird has automated issue detection algorithms so that developers don’t have to worry about what they should monitor.
Dashbird automatically detects all types of application errors and exceptions, in every runtime supported by AWS Lambda: NodeJS, Python, Java, Ruby, Go, .NET. We also monitor errors related to the Lambda platform and its limits, such as timeout, out-of-memory error, etc.
Other cloud components also have their own set of monitors. For example, SQS queues are checked for a growing number of pending messages, DynamoDB tables have throttling and resource capacity consumption verified, ECS containers have resource-usage tracked (e.g. memory, CPU utilization level).
Dashbird also integrates with AWS X-Ray, so that AWS Lambda functions’ logs can be analyzed in connection with application traces and errors in a single interface.
With Dashbird you can monitor each function behavior with customized policies based on performance and resource usage.
For example, an incident can be raised when one or more Lambda functions start using more than 90% of memory, on average, and the situation persists for a period of 15 minutes.
Under the Hood your Serverless Stack
Dashbird requires zero instrumentation (no code changes) and you can start working with your data immediately after connecting your AWS account – Dashbird only requires read-only access, so your data is safe and secure within your Amazon account. Lambda costs, execution time, and speed, as well as latency, will not be affected.
It takes only 2 minutes to connect Dashbird to your AWS account privately. Dashbird will then start automatically monitoring your whole serverless stack and CloudWatch Log groups for Lambda logs, and stitch your whole serverless stack together on the Dashbird app.