Amazon announces Custom Metrics for CloudWatch

Amazon has announced the availability of Custom Metrics for its real-time monitoring tool CloudWatch. This update follows the one reported on in December, which introduced basic monitoring, elastic cloud balancer health checks, alarms and some auto scaling tools.

With Custom Metrics, the developer is able to add metrics collected for Amazon EC2 Instances, EBS Volumes, Elastic Load Balancers, and Relational Database Service DB Instances.

Custom Metrics are then programmatically available to retrieve monitoring data, view graphs, set alarms and take automated actions based on the state of the infrastructure. The data is retained for a period of two weeks and is available in the AWS Management Console as well.

An advantage of using Custom Metrics, as an Amazon spokesman says on AWS Blog, is that – using APIs – it’s possible to use CloudWatch to collect data from sources other than Amazon Web Services, thus building a single point of measurement and reporting.

As for the pre-defined metrics, the developer is able to set up a SNS notification to email (e.g. to track high latency) or use AutoScale to scale a fleet of EC2 instances.

The introduction of Custom Metrics brings a change in the pricing of the other available options:

Basic Monitoring (5-minutes interval): free

Detailed Monitoring (1-minutes interval): $3.50 per month for the seven pre-defined metrics

Custom Metrics: $0.50 per metric per month

First ten metrics (both custom or pre-dfined) are free. More information on pricing can be found here.