Amazon CloudWatch vs Logstash

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Amazon CloudWatch

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Amazon CloudWatch vs Logstash: What are the differences?

Introduction:

Amazon CloudWatch and Logstash are two popular tools used for monitoring and analyzing logs in a cloud environment. While both of them serve the same purpose, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Scalability and Integration: Amazon CloudWatch is a fully managed service provided by AWS, which makes it highly scalable and seamlessly integrates with other AWS services. On the other hand, Logstash is an open-source tool that can be installed and configured on any server, providing flexibility but requiring manual setup for integration with other services.

  2. Data Collection and Transformation: CloudWatch primarily focuses on collecting and monitoring logs from AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, S3 buckets, and Lambda functions. It offers limited options for transforming the collected logs. In contrast, Logstash is capable of collecting logs from various sources, including AWS resources, and provides powerful data transformation capabilities, allowing users to enrich, filter, and parse logs before sending them to the desired destination.

  3. Alerting and Notification: CloudWatch offers advanced alerting and notification capabilities, allowing users to set up alarms based on predefined metrics and send notifications via various channels, such as email, SMS, or even triggering AWS Lambda functions. Logstash, being a log collection and transformation tool, does not provide built-in alerting and notification features. Users will need to implement additional tools or services to achieve similar functionality.

  4. Cost Structure: Amazon CloudWatch pricing is based on several factors, including the number of metrics collected, log ingestion volume, data retention, and alarms created. The cost can vary significantly depending on the usage. On the other hand, Logstash is an open-source tool, which means there is no direct cost associated with using it. However, users will need to consider server hosting costs and potentially additional storage costs if logs need to be retained for an extended period.

  5. Search and Analysis Capabilities: CloudWatch focuses on real-time monitoring and offers basic filtering and searching capabilities. It provides a web console to visualize data and perform simple analysis. Logstash, being a part of the Elastic Stack, offers advanced searching and analysis features using Elasticsearch. Users can perform complex queries, visualize data with Kibana, and leverage the power of full-text search and data analytics.

  6. Community and Support: Amazon CloudWatch is backed by AWS, which ensures reliable support and continuous improvements. It has a large user base and extensive documentation available. Logstash, being an open-source tool, has an active community that provides support through forums, blogs, and documentation. Users can also benefit from frequent updates and new features introduced by the community.

In summary, Amazon CloudWatch offers a highly scalable and integrated cloud-based monitoring solution with advanced alerting capabilities, while Logstash provides a flexible open-source log collection and transformation tool with powerful data enrichment and search functionalities. The choice between the two depends on specific requirements, integration needs, and budget considerations.

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Pros of Amazon CloudWatch
Pros of Logstash
  • 76
    Monitor aws resources
  • 46
    Zero setup
  • 30
    Detailed Monitoring
  • 23
    Backed by Amazon
  • 19
    Auto Scaling groups
  • 11
    SNS and autoscaling integrations
  • 5
    Burstable instances metrics (t2 cpu credit balance)
  • 3
    HIPAA/PCI/SOC Compliance-friendly
  • 1
    Native tool for AWS so understand AWS out of the box
  • 69
    Free
  • 18
    Easy but powerful filtering
  • 12
    Scalable
  • 2
    Kibana provides machine learning based analytics to log
  • 1
    Great to meet GDPR goals
  • 1
    Well Documented

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Cons of Amazon CloudWatch
Cons of Logstash
  • 2
    Poor Search Capabilities
  • 4
    Memory-intensive
  • 1
    Documentation difficult to use

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What is Amazon CloudWatch?

It helps you gain system-wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health. It retrieve your monitoring data, view graphs to help take automated action based on the state of your cloud environment.

What is Logstash?

Logstash is a tool for managing events and logs. You can use it to collect logs, parse them, and store them for later use (like, for searching). If you store them in Elasticsearch, you can view and analyze them with Kibana.

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What companies use Amazon CloudWatch?
What companies use Logstash?
See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon CloudWatch or Logstash.
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What tools integrate with Amazon CloudWatch?
What tools integrate with Logstash?

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What are some alternatives to Amazon CloudWatch and Logstash?
Datadog
Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
Splunk
It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
New Relic
The world’s best software and DevOps teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences. If you run software, you need to run New Relic. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 do too.
Prometheus
Prometheus is a systems and service monitoring system. It collects metrics from configured targets at given intervals, evaluates rule expressions, displays the results, and can trigger alerts if some condition is observed to be true.
AWS CloudTrail
With CloudTrail, you can get a history of AWS API calls for your account, including API calls made via the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and higher-level AWS services (such as AWS CloudFormation). The AWS API call history produced by CloudTrail enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing. The recorded information includes the identity of the API caller, the time of the API call, the source IP address of the API caller, the request parameters, and the response elements returned by the AWS service.
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