Introduction to CloudWatch


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Lab Overview

In this Lab, you will explore CloudWatch, a monitoring service provided by AWS. CloudWatch makes it possible to monitor nearly anything inside or outside AWS. Common usage is to monitor EC2 instances for CPU and memory utilization, ephemeral or EBS volume disk usage and throughput, as well as network statistics. CloudWatch also enables you to configure alarms, so that when thresholds are violated for specific metrics a notification and/or action is automatically triggered.


Although this is a beginner level Lab, you should be familiar with:

  • Using the AWS Console
  • EC2 basics
  • Conceptual understanding of the type of metrics typically monitored (such as CPU, storage, and network resources)

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this Lab, you will be able to:

  • Explain key CloudWatch concepts and default EC2 metrics
  • Create and test an alarm
  • Add actions to an alarm
  • Install monitoring tools as EC2 User Data to send custom metrics to CloudWatch
  • Navigate about in CloudWatch and explore many other possibilities for monitoring AWS resources

Lab Environment

Before completing the Lab instructions, the environment will look as follows:




After completing the Lab instructions, the environment should look similar to:




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May 16th, 2018 - Updated several CloudWatch console images and details related to sharing CloudWatch metric graphs

Follow these steps to learn by building helpful cloud resources

Logging in to the Amazon Web Services Console

Your first step to start the Lab experience

Explore CloudWatch

Learn key concepts and explore the CloudWatch console

Monitoring EC2 Instances

Monitor EC2 instances and EBS volumes using CloudWatch defaults

Install the EC2 Monitoring Scripts

Install AWS provided Monitoring Scripts to enhance the monitoring capabilities of EC2 instances

Create your first CloudWatch alarm

Learn two ways to create an Alarm from the CloudWatch console

Create an Alarm using the EC2 console

Create an Alarm from the EC2 Console and add actions

Sharing CloudWatch Metrics with others

Share interesting metrics with other team members