Create IAM roles and users for use with CloudWatch agent - Amazon CloudWatch

Create IAM roles and users for use with CloudWatch agent

Access to AWS resources requires permissions. You create an IAM role, an IAM user, or both to grant permissions that the CloudWatch agent needs to write metrics to CloudWatch. If you're going to use the agent on Amazon EC2 instances, you must create an IAM role. If you're going to use the agent on on-premises servers, you must create an IAM user.

Note

We recently modified the following procedures by using new CloudWatchAgentServerPolicy and CloudWatchAgentAdminPolicy policies created by Amazon, instead of requiring customers to create these policies themselves. For writing files to and downloading files from the Parameter Store, the policies created by Amazon support only files with names that start with AmazonCloudWatch-. If you have a CloudWatch agent configuration file with a file name that doesn't start with AmazonCloudWatch-, these policies can't be used to write the file to Parameter Store or download it from Parameter Store.

If you're going to run the CloudWatch agent on Amazon EC2 instances, use the following steps to create the necessary IAM role. This role provides permissions for reading information from the instance and writing it to CloudWatch.

To create the IAM role necessary to run the CloudWatch agent on EC2 instances

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/.

  2. In the navigation pane on the left, choose Roles and then Create role.

  3. Make sure that AWS service is selected under Trusted entity type.

  4. For Use case, choose EC2 under Common use cases,

  5. Choose Next.

  6. In the list of policies, select the check box next to CloudWatchAgentServerPolicy. If necessary, use the search box to find the policy.

  7. Choose Next.

  8. In Role name, enter a name for the role, such as CloudWatchAgentServerRole. Optionally give it a description. Then choose Create role.

    The role is now created.

  9. (Optional) If the agent is going to send logs to CloudWatch Logs and you want the agent to be able to set retention policies for these log groups, you need to add the logs:PutRetentionPolicy permission to the role. For more information, see Allowing the CloudWatch agent to set log retention policy.

If you're going to run the CloudWatch agent on on-premises servers, use the following steps to create the necessary IAM user.

To create the IAM user necessary for the CloudWatch agent to run on on-premises servers

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/.

  2. In the navigation pane on the left, choose Users and then Add users.

  3. Enter the user name for the new user.

  4. Select Access key - Programmatic access and choose Next: Permissions.

  5. Choose Attach existing policies directly.

  6. In the list of policies, select the check box next to CloudWatchAgentServerPolicy. If necessary, use the search box to find the policy.

  7. Choose Next: Tags.

  8. Optionally create tags for the new IAM user, and then choose Next:Review.

  9. Confirm that the correct policy is listed, and choose Create user.

  10. Next to the name of the new user, choose Show. Copy the access key and secret key to a file so that you can use them when installing the agent. Choose Close.

Allowing the CloudWatch agent to set log retention policy

You can configure the CloudWatch agent to set the retention poilcy for log groups that it sends log events to. If you do this, you must grant the logs:PutRetentionPolicy to the IAM role or user that the agent uses. The agent uses an IAM role to run on Amazon EC2 instances, and uses an IAM user for on-premises servers.

To grant the CloudWatch agent's IAM role permission to set log retention policies

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/.

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Roles.

  3. In the search box, Type the beginning of the name of the CloudWatch agent's IAM role. You chose this name when you created the role. It might be named CloudWatchAgentServerRole.

    When you see the role, choose the name of the role.

  4. In the Permissions tab, choose Add permissions, Create inline policy.

  5. Choose the JSON tab and copy the following policy into the box, replacing the default JSON in the box:

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "logs:PutRetentionPolicy", "Resource": "*" } ] }
  6. Choose Review policy.

  7. For Name, enter CloudWatchAgentPutLogsRetention or something similar, and choose Create policy.

To grant the CloudWatch agent's IAM user permission to set log retention policies

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/.

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Users.

  3. In the search box, Type the beginning of the name of the CloudWatch agent's IAM user. You chose this name when you created the user.

    When you see the user, choose the name of the user.

  4. In the Permissions tab, choose Add inline policy.

  5. Choose the JSON tab and copy the following policy into the box, replacing the default JSON in the box:

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "logs:PutRetentionPolicy", "Resource": "*" } ] }
  6. Choose Review policy.

  7. For Name, enter CloudWatchAgentPutLogsRetention or something similar, and choose Create policy.