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How can we pinpoint AWS network performance issues?

Performance is lagging on our EC2 instances and EBS volumes. How can tools such as AWS Trusted Advisor help us identify and alleviate these network performance problems?

While simple native operating system tools like ping and tracert/traceroute can check connectivity between two...

nodes on a TCP/IP network, it's worthwhile to review AWS service status reports and assessments. AWS offers very little control over internal networks but does provide several resources that can advise users about its operating conditions.

AWS Trusted Advisor can offer cost, security, fault tolerance and AWS network performance recommendations for enterprises using a range of AWS products, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Simple Storage Service, Auto Scaling and AWS Identity and Access Management.

By understanding how AWS assesses service utilization, IT teams can identify AWS network performance issues affecting application availability and resilience. AWS Trusted Advisor won't necessarily report a problem, but it offers information that can help an administrator resolve an issue.

For example, AWS Trusted Advisor reports high-utilization EC2 instances that have used more than 90% CPU capacity on four or more of the last 14 days. This type of use could indicate certain applications have inadequate resources. Reporting can also detect a large number of rules in an EC2 security group or applied to an instance that can degrade AWS network performance.

Clients can see overused Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes, which could suggest higher-than-expected storage I/O demands and may benefit from provisioned IOPS or other volumes. Trusted Advisor can also make recommendations to configure EC2 instances for improved throughput when connected to EBS instances -- enhancing network I/O between the workload and storage for better performance.

AWS Trusted Advisor isn't a troubleshooting tool and doesn't necessarily indicate problems with Amazon's services. But if connectivity to AWS isn't a clear problem, Trusted Advisor might offer recommendations that can improve application availability and AWS network performance. In addition, much of the reporting that AWS Trusted Advisor provides requires a paid support plan, such as a Business or Enterprise tier. Enterprises should also look at AWS availability using the AWS network status page, which reports current operation and recent outages.

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