Q

How do I check the performance of a Windows app in AWS?

Want to learn how to monitor a Windows application in Amazon Web Services? Dan Sullivan reviews the two ways to do this whether users are running a single app or using multiple AWS resources.

There are two ways to monitor Windows applications in Amazon Web Services. If users are simply running a single...

application on a Windows server, the program could be monitored using conventional Windows Server tools like Performance Monitor. This will provide basic performance information about a single instance. A more interesting situation occurs when users are using multiple Amazon Web Services resources.

Once applications are deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS), users gain access to more resources than simply Amazon EC2 instances. They can use Simple Storage Service, Elastic Block Store, SimpleDB and DynamoDB for storage. Users may run distributed applications that use database servers, application servers, Web servers and load balancers. They might even use specialized services like the Amazon Simple Queue Service. All of these components can impact application performance.

AWS provides CloudWatch, a service for collecting metrics on application and service performance. For Amazon EC2 instances, CloudWatch monitors CPU utilization, data transfer and disk usage activity. Metrics are also available for Relational Data Service (RDS) database instances, EBS volumes and load balancers. The EBS volume metrics are especially useful for monitoring provisioned IOPS.

Basic monitoring is free, but more detailed and frequent monitoring is available for a fee.

If the predefined metrics of CloudWatch do not meet user needs, custom metrics can be defined for the application. Like other AWS services, CloudWatch has both a command line and an API interface. Users can use the put-metric-data command or PutMetricData API call to send information about a custom metric to CloudWatch. They will then be able to report and analyze the data like other CloudWatch metrics.

AWS provides sample code of monitoring scripts for Windows Server to get users started.

It should be noted that another alternative is to use a third-party monitoring service, such as DataDog or CopperEgg.

This was last published in September 2014

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