AWS CloudTrail vs AWS X-Ray: What are the differences?
Developers describe AWS CloudTrail as "Record AWS API calls for your account and have log files delivered to you". 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. On the other hand, AWS X-Ray is detailed as "An application performance management service". It helps developers analyze and debug production, distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architecture. With this, you can understand how your application and its underlying services are performing to identify and troubleshoot the root cause of performance issues and errors. It provides an end-to-end view of requests as they travel through your application, and shows a map of your application’s underlying components.
AWS CloudTrail and AWS X-Ray are primarily classified as "Log Management" and "Performance Monitoring" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by AWS CloudTrail are:
- Increased Visibility- CloudTrail provides increased visibility into your user activity by recording AWS API calls. You can answer questions such as, what actions did a given user take over a given time period? For a given resource, which user has taken actions on it over a given time period? What is the source IP address of a given activity? Which activities failed due to inadequate permissions?
- Durable and Inexpensive Log File Storage- CloudTrail uses Amazon S3 for log file storage and delivery, so log files are stored durably and inexpensively. You can use Amazon S3 lifecycle configuration rules to further reduce storage costs. For example, you can define rules to automatically delete old log files or archive them to Amazon Glacier for additional savings.
- Easy Administration- CloudTrail is a fully managed service
On the other hand, AWS X-Ray provides the following key features:
- End-to-end tracing
- AWS Service and Database Integrations
- Support for Multiple Languages