Amazon CloudWatch vs StatsD

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Amazon CloudWatch vs StatsD: What are the differences?


In this article, we will compare the key differences between Amazon CloudWatch and StatsD. Both Amazon CloudWatch and StatsD are popular monitoring and logging tools used in the field of information technology. However, there are several notable differences between the two.

  1. Integration with Cloud Services: Amazon CloudWatch is tightly integrated with various Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings such as EC2, RDS, and S3. It provides an extensive range of monitoring and logging capabilities for AWS resources. On the other hand, StatsD is a generic and open-source network daemon that can be used with any application or infrastructure, regardless of the underlying technology stack.

  2. Metrics Collection and Aggregation: Amazon CloudWatch collects and aggregates metrics from various AWS resources and services. It provides a comprehensive set of predefined metrics, but also allows users to define and publish their custom metrics. StatsD, on the other hand, focuses on collecting and aggregating custom metrics from applications and systems. It is widely used in conjunction with other monitoring tools like Graphite or Elasticsearch.

  3. Monitoring Granularity: Amazon CloudWatch offers different levels of monitoring granularity depending on the AWS resource or service being monitored. It provides both basic and detailed monitoring options, allowing users to choose the level of detail they require. In contrast, StatsD primarily focuses on high-resolution monitoring, allowing users to capture and analyze metrics with a high degree of accuracy and precision.

  4. Alerting and Automation: Amazon CloudWatch provides a robust alerting mechanism that allows users to set up alarms based on predefined thresholds or complex logic. These alarms can trigger various actions such as sending notifications, autoscaling, or triggering AWS Lambda functions. StatsD, being a simple metrics aggregator, does not provide built-in alerting and automation features. However, it can be combined with other tools or frameworks to achieve similar functionality.

  5. Data Retention and Storage: Amazon CloudWatch provides long-term storage for monitoring data, allowing users to retain metrics and logs for extended periods. It offers different storage options such as standard and high-resolution metrics, as well as log storage and analysis using CloudWatch Logs. StatsD, on the other hand, does not provide built-in data retention or storage capabilities. Users are responsible for configuring external storage solutions like Graphite, InfluxDB, or Prometheus.

  6. Scalability and Availability: Amazon CloudWatch is a fully managed service provided by AWS, which ensures high scalability and availability. It is designed to handle large-scale deployments and can seamlessly scale with the growing infrastructure. StatsD, being a lightweight and open-source component, can also scale horizontally to handle increasing loads. However, the scalability and availability characteristics are primarily dependent on the infrastructure or tools it is used in conjunction with.

In summary, Amazon CloudWatch is a comprehensive monitoring and logging tool tightly integrated with AWS services, providing a wide range of features, including metrics collection, storage, alerting, and automation. StatsD, on the other hand, is a generic and open-source metrics aggregator primarily focused on high-resolution monitoring and custom metric collection, which can be used with any application or infrastructure.

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Pros of Amazon CloudWatch
Pros of StatsD
  • 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
  • 9
    Open source
  • 7
    Single responsibility
  • 5
    Efficient wire format
  • 3
    Handles aggregation
  • 3
    Loads of integrations
  • 1
    Many implementations
  • 1
    Scales well
  • 1
    Simple to use
  • 1

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Cons of Amazon CloudWatch
Cons of StatsD
  • 2
    Poor Search Capabilities
  • 1
    No authentication; cannot be used over Internet

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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 StatsD?

It is a network daemon that runs on the Node.js platform and listens for statistics, like counters and timers, sent over UDP or TCP and sends aggregates to one or more pluggable backend services (e.g., Graphite).

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

Jul 9 2019 at 7:22PM

Blue Medora

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What are some alternatives to Amazon CloudWatch and StatsD?
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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 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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