Monitoring ECS Resources with Amazon CloudWatch - AWS ECS Tutorial

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Monitoring is crucial for maintaining the health and performance of your Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) resources. Amazon CloudWatch provides a comprehensive monitoring solution that enables you to collect, analyze, and visualize metrics and logs from your ECS containers and clusters. This tutorial will guide you through the process of monitoring ECS resources using Amazon CloudWatch.

Monitoring ECS Resources with Amazon CloudWatch

To monitor ECS resources using Amazon CloudWatch, follow these steps:

  1. Enable Container Insights: Enable the Container Insights feature for your ECS cluster to collect detailed performance metrics and logs.
  2. Configure Log Group and Stream: Create a log group and stream in Amazon CloudWatch Logs to store container logs.
  3. Create CloudWatch Alarms: Set up CloudWatch alarms to monitor specific metrics and trigger notifications or automated actions when thresholds are breached.
  4. Create Dashboards: Create custom dashboards in CloudWatch to visualize key performance indicators and gain insights into your ECS resources.
  5. Set up Event Rules: Configure event rules in CloudWatch Events to monitor specific events and trigger actions based on predefined conditions.
  6. Explore Insights and Analysis: Utilize CloudWatch Insights and analysis features to gain deeper visibility into your ECS resources and troubleshoot performance issues.

Example: Enabling Container Insights

Here's an example of enabling Container Insights for an ECS cluster using the AWS Management Console:

  1. Open the ECS console and navigate to your cluster.
  2. Go to the "Monitoring" tab.
  3. Click on "Enable Container Insights."
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the setup.

Example: Creating a CloudWatch Alarm

To create a CloudWatch alarm for a specific ECS metric, you can use the AWS CLI. Here's an example:

aws cloudwatch put-metric-alarm --alarm-name my-ecs-alarm --alarm-description "High CPU utilization" --metric-name CPUUtilization --namespace AWS/ECS --statistic Average --period 300 --threshold 80 --comparison-operator GreaterThanThreshold --evaluation-periods 3 --alarm-actions arn:aws:sns:us-west-2:123456789012:my-topic
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Common Mistakes

  • Not enabling Container Insights, leading to a lack of detailed performance metrics and logs.
  • Failure to properly configure log groups and streams, resulting in missing or disorganized container logs.
  • Setting up alarms with incorrect thresholds or insufficient evaluation periods, leading to false alarms or missed notifications.
  • Not regularly reviewing and analyzing CloudWatch metrics and logs, resulting in delayed detection of performance issues.
  • Overlooking the importance of custom dashboards for visualizing key metrics and trends, making it difficult to monitor resource health.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What metrics can I monitor with Amazon CloudWatch for ECS?

    Amazon CloudWatch provides a wide range of metrics for monitoring ECS, including CPU utilization, memory utilization, network traffic, and task counts.

  2. Can I create custom metrics for monitoring?

    Yes, you can publish custom metrics to CloudWatch and monitor them alongside the built-in ECS metrics.

  3. Can I receive notifications when a specific event occurs in ECS?

    Yes, you can set up CloudWatch Event Rules to trigger notifications or automated actions when specific events, such as task failures or cluster scaling events, occur in ECS.

  4. Can I integrate CloudWatch with other AWS services for monitoring?

    Yes, CloudWatch integrates with various AWS services, such as Amazon S3 and Amazon RDS, allowing you to consolidate monitoring data and gain a comprehensive view of your infrastructure.

  5. Are there additional costs associated with using CloudWatch for ECS monitoring?

    CloudWatch pricing is based on the number of metrics, logs, and alarms you use, so additional costs may apply depending on the volume of data collected and monitored.


Monitoring your ECS resources with Amazon CloudWatch is essential for maintaining the performance and availability of your containers and clusters. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can configure comprehensive monitoring, set up alarms, visualize metrics, and gain valuable insights into the health and behavior of your ECS resources.