Build dashboards with CloudWatch - Application Auto Scaling
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).

Build dashboards with CloudWatch

You can monitor how your application uses resources by using Amazon CloudWatch, which generates metrics about your usage and performance. CloudWatch collects raw data from your Amazon resources and the applications that you run on Amazon, and processes it into readable, near real time metrics. The metrics are kept for 15 months so that you can access historical information to gain a better perspective on how your application is performing. For more information, see the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide.

CloudWatch dashboards are customizable home pages in the CloudWatch console that you can use to monitor your resources in a single view, even those resources that are spread across different Regions. You can use CloudWatch dashboards to create customized views of selected metrics for your Amazon resources. You can select the color used for each metric on each graph, so you can more easily track the same metric across multiple graphs.

To create a CloudWatch dashboard
  1. Open the CloudWatch console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Dashboard, and then choose Create new dashboard.

  3. Enter a name for the dashboard, such as the name of the service for which you want to view CloudWatch data.

  4. Choose Create dashboard.

  5. Choose a type of widget to add to your dashboard, such as a line graph. Then choose Configure, and choose the metric that you want to add to your dashboard. For more information, see Add or remove a graph from a CloudWatch dashboard in the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide

By default, the metrics that you create in the CloudWatch dashboards are averages. While CloudWatch allows you to choose any statistic for each metric, not all combinations are useful. For example, the average, minimum, and maximum statistics for CPU utilization are useful, but the sum statistic is not.

A commonly used measure of application performance is average CPU utilization. If there is an increase in CPU utilization and you have insufficient capacity to handle it, the application might become unresponsive. On the other hand, if you have too much capacity and resources are running when utilization is low, this increases the costs for using that service.

Depending on the service, you also have metrics that track the amount of provisioned throughput that is available. For example, for the number of invocations that are being processed on a function alias or version with provisioned concurrency, Lambda emits the ProvisionedConcurrencyUtilization metric. If you are starting a large job and invoke the same function many times simultaneously, the job might experience latency when it exceeds the amount of provisioned concurrency available. On the other hand, if you have more provisioned concurrency than you need, your costs might be higher than they should be.

Metrics do not appear before the resource has been set up completely. Also, if a metric hasn't published data in the past 14 days, you can't find it when searching for metrics to add to a graph on a CloudWatch dashboard. For information about how to add any metric manually, see Graph metrics manually on a CloudWatch dashboard in the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide.

For more information, refer to the service's documentation that's available from the table in Monitor resource usage with CloudWatch.