Amazon CloudWatch
User Guide

What Is Amazon CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server?

CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server helps you monitor your .NET and SQL Server applications. It identifies and sets up key metrics and logs across your application resources and technology stack (for example, your database, web (IIS) and application servers, OS, load balancers, and queues). It continuously monitors the metrics and logs to detect and correlate anomalies and errors. When errors and anomalies are detected, Application Insights generates CloudWatch Events. To aid with troubleshooting, it creates automated dashboards for the detected problems, which include correlated metric anomalies and log errors, along with additional insights to point you to the potential root cause. The automated dashboards help you to take swift remedial actions to keep your applications healthy and to prevent impact to the end users of your application. It also creates OpsItems so you can resolve problems using Systems Manager OpsCenter.

Automatic Set Up of Monitors for Application Resources

CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server reduces the time it takes to set up monitoring for your applications. It does this by scanning your application resources, providing a customizable list of recommended metrics and logs, and setting them up on CloudWatch to provide necessary visibility into your application resources, such as Amazon EC2 and Elastic Load Balancers (ELB). It also sets up dynamic alarms on monitored metrics. The alarms are automatically updated based on anomalies detected in the previous two weeks.

Problem Detection and Notification

CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server detects signs of potential problems with your application, such as metric anomalies and log errors. It correlates these observations to surface potential problems with your application. It then generates CloudWatch Events, which can be configured to receive notifications or take actions. This eliminates the need for you to create individual alarms on metrics or log errors.

Faster Troubleshooting

CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server creates CloudWatch automatic dashboards for problems that are detected. The dashboards show details about the problem, including the associated metric anomalies and log errors to help you with troubleshooting. They also provide additional insights that point to potential root causes of the anomalies and errors.

Concepts

The following concepts are important for understanding how Application Insights monitors your application.

Component

An auto-grouped, standalone, or custom grouping of similar resources that make up an application. We recommend grouping similar resources into custom components for better monitoring.

Observation

An individual event (metric anomaly, log error, or exception) that is detected with an application or application resource.

Problem

Problems are detected by correlating, classifying, and grouping related observations.

For definitions of other key concepts for CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server, see Amazon CloudWatch Concepts.

Pricing

CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server sets up recommended metrics and logs for selected application resources using CloudWatch Metrics, Logs, and CloudWatch Events for notifications on detected problems. These features are charged to your AWS account according to CloudWatch pricing. For the detected problems, it creates CloudWatch Events and automatic dashboards. You are not charged for setup assistance, monitoring data analysis, or problem detection.

The following services are used along with CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server:

  • Amazon CloudWatch provides system‐wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health. It collects and tracks metrics, sends alarm notifications, automatically updates resources that you are monitoring based on the rules that you define, and allows you to monitor your own custom metrics. CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server is initiated through CloudWatch—specifically, within the CloudWatch default operational dashboards. For more information, see the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide.

  • AWS Resource Groups help you to organize the resources that make up your application. With Resource Groups, you can manage and automate tasks on a large number of resources at one time. Only one Resource Group can be registered for a single application. For more information, see the AWS Resource Groups User Guide.

  • IAM is a web service that helps you to securely control access to AWS resources for your users. Use IAM to control who can use your AWS resources (authentication), and to control the resources they can use and how they can use them (authorization). For more information, see Authentication and Access Control for Amazon CloudWatch.

  • Amazon EC2 provides scalable computing capacity in the AWS Cloud. You can use Amazon EC2 to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need, to configure security and networking, and to manage storage. You can scale up or down to handle changes in requirements or spikes in popularity, which reduces your need to forecast traffic. For more information, see the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances or Amazon EC2 Guide for Windows Instances.

  • Elastic Load Balancing distributes incoming applications or network traffic across multiple targets, such as EC2 instances, containers, and IP addresses, in multiple Availability Zones. For more information, see the Elastic Load Balancing User Guide.

  • Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling helps ensure that you have the correct number of EC2 instances available to handle the load for your application. For more information, see the Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling User Guide.

  • Amazon SQS offers a secure, durable, and available hosted queue that allows you to integrate and decouple distributed software systems and components. For more information, see the Amazon SQS User Guide.

  • AWS Systems Manager OpsCenter aggregates and standardizes OpsItems across services while providing contextual investigation data about each OpsItem, related OpsItems, and related resources. OpsCenter also provides Systems Manager Automation documents (runbooks) that you can use to quickly resolve issues. You can specify searchable, custom data for each OpsItem. You can also view automatically-generated summary reports about OpsItems by status and source. For more information, see the AWS Systems Manager User Guide.

Supported Application Components

CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server scans your Resource Group—in this case, a group of resources used by a .NET application—to identify application components. Components can be standalone, auto-grouped (such as instances in an Auto Scaling group or behind a load balancer), or custom (by grouping together individual EC2 instances). The following components are supported by CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server:

  • Amazon EC2

  • Amazon RDS

  • Elastic Load Balancing: Application Load Balancer and Classic Load Balancer (all target instances of these load balancers are identified and configured).

  • Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling groups: AWS Auto Scaling (Auto Scaling groups are dynamically configured for all target instances; if your application scales up, CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server automatically configure the new instances). Auto Scaling groups are not supported for CloudFormation-based Resource Groups.

  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)

    Any other component type resources are ignored by CloudWatch Application Insights for .NET and SQL Server. If a component type that is supported does not appear in your Application Insights application, the component may already be registered and managed by another application you own that is monitored by Application Insights.

Supported Technology Stack

CloudWatch Application Insights for.NET and SQL Server supports:

  • Front‐end: Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Web Server

  • Worker‐tier: .NET Framework

  • Database: Microsoft SQL Server running on RDS or EC2