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Amazon RDS – Monitoring an Amazon RDS Database Instance

Last Updated : 27 Mar, 2023
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This article intends to educate you about “Monitoring an Amazon RDS Database Instance”. Monitoring is essential for your database instance because it is directly proportional to the maintenance of your RDS database instance. If we keep monitoring all the resources then it will be easy for us to debug failures or even possibilities of failures. Constant monitoring will also do proper health checks and eventually enhance the overall performance of the whole infrastructure. There are various manuals, automatic as well as integrated tools and services designed for monitoring the database instances by RDS. But before diving deep into the tools, let us set our monitoring goals by ensuring the following aspects.

  • Resources: Before starting any monitoring strategies firmly decide your targeted resources. The resources can be singular or plural depending upon the user’s choice.
  • Duration: A particular duration must be pre-decided by the user depending upon the monitoring plan. This duration remains constant throughout, it can vary from day to year as per the requirements of the user.
  • Type of monitoring tools: This is a very essential part of the monitoring goal as this parameter will determine that how much control will be in the hands of the user, i.e. if a user opts for the “manual” method, the results will be less accurate and the control will remain in the hands of the user whereas if they opt for “automatic” tools, the control will not be in user’s hands completely and the insights will be more accurate.
  • Notifications: For a root user notifications will be given in that account only but in the case of an IAM user, the notifications may or may not be sent to the user.

Now, let us look at all the monitoring methods or tools available on the AWS cloud platform.

1. Automated Monitoring tools

This is one of the most widely accepted monitoring methods in AWS and for accurate statistics, we should always prefer automated monitoring tools. In automated monitoring, there are several reporting tools designed for notifying the user whenever something goes wrong. Few of these reporting tools are discussed ahead.

Instance Status, as the name itself, indicates this reporting tool makes you aware of the current status of the RDS instance created by you. This status tells you whether the instance is working fine or not. If the status says “Available” it means the instance is absolutely fine, here is a screenshot attached for reference.

Recommendations, while configuring your RDS instance, AWS itself recommends certain resources like real replicas, snapshots etc. customized for you only depending upon your AWS account type and requirements. In short, while creating a new database all the default settings on the configuring page are the recommendations by AWS.

Events, this reporting tool, makes the user aware of any alterations made on the selected databases in a given period of time, i.e, it informs the user about changes occurring in the database instance, completion of any ongoing sub-process and any updates etc. Altogether, it reports the user of any activity about to start, complete or ongoing.  

2. Integrated monitoring tools

Along with, these various automated monitoring methods, AWS also provides us integrated services like Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon EventBridge, and AWS CloudTrail which are completely designed for the monitoring of the database instances. Let us discuss each of them in detail.

Amazon CloudWatch: 

This service is designed for monitoring your AWS resources along with the applications running on them in real-time case scenarios. It comes with two features to monitor the resources. These features are-

  • Amazon CloudWatch metrics as the name indicates, this function takes metrics that are automatically sent by Amazon RDS to CloudWatch with respect to every active database instance existing on your account per minute. Further, these metrics are used for monitoring the database instances and derive valuable insights.
  • Amazon CloudWatch alarms by using this feature, we can fix the time period in which we want RDS to send metrics. We can schedule this process for each and every active database instance. This scheduling will basically sort the process of analyzing these metrics.

Let us have a pictorial representation of Amazon CloudWatch in the AWS console. Here are the images attached to refer to. 

By clicking on CloudWatch under the Management & Governance section, you will be redirected to the CloudWatch console. Here is the image of the console.

Amazon EventBridge:

This is a server-less event bus service that allows the users to connect with several applications by using data from their own applications. In simpler words, this service establishes an “event bus” for easier communication with all the applications running on it. All this communication is serverless, just the event bus communicates with the applications and fetches the data from them to use in another application. Organizations like Flipkart, Amazon, etc use EventBridge on their shopping portals.

AWS CloudTrail: 

AWS CloudTrail is a service that keeps a complete record of the RDS instances you’ve ever created on your AWS account. Starting from the creation of the database instance till the deletion of the instance, it includes everything in it. Every action performed on the database will be reflected on CloudTrail automatically. This service provides us the deep insight into all the instances currently inactive state. Let us have a look at the CloudTrail management console, here are the pictures attached to refer to.

3. Manual monitoring tools 

AWS never recommends using manual monitoring tools, as it will increase the ultimate workload of the user, for a smaller setup it may be possible to monitor it manually but for larger setups including various database instances, it is impossible to monitor. Also, in manual monitoring users never get the proper insight, they can only monitor what is available for them to see and due to this, the results derived from manual monitoring are not accurate.

This was a basic insight about Monitoring an Amazon RDS Database Instance. If you’re a free tier account user then make sure you delete all the instances you created before logging out of your AWS account, this will ensure that you won’t get any bills from AWS.

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