Amazon CloudWatch
User Guide

Logging Amazon CloudWatch API Calls with AWS CloudTrail

Amazon CloudWatch is integrated with AWS CloudTrail, a service that provides a record of actions taken by a user, role, or an AWS service in CloudWatch. CloudTrail captures API calls made by or on behalf of your AWS account. The calls captured include calls from the CloudWatch console and code calls to the CloudWatch API operations. If you create a trail, you can enable continuous delivery of CloudTrail events to an Amazon S3 bucket, including events for CloudWatch. If you don't configure a trail, you can still view the most recent events in the CloudTrail console in Event history. Using the information collected by CloudTrail, you can determine the request that was made to CloudWatch, the IP address from which the request was made, who made the request, when it was made, and additional details.

To learn more about CloudTrail, including how to configure and enable it, see the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

CloudWatch Information in CloudTrail

CloudTrail is enabled on your AWS account when you create the account. When supported event activity occurs in CloudWatch, that activity is recorded in a CloudTrail event along with other AWS service events in Event history. You can view, search, and download recent events in your AWS account. For more information, see Viewing Events with CloudTrail Event History.

For an ongoing record of events in your AWS account, including events for CloudWatch, create a trail. A trail enables CloudTrail to deliver log files to an Amazon S3 bucket. By default, when you create a trail in the console, the trail applies to all AWS Regions. The trail logs events from all Regions in the AWS partition and delivers the log files to the Amazon S3 bucket that you specify. Additionally, you can configure other AWS services to further analyze and act upon the event data collected in CloudTrail logs. For more information, see the following:

CloudWatch supports logging the following actions as events in CloudTrail log files:

Additionally, you can log the following AWS SDK Metrics actions in CloudTrail log files. These actions are used only by SDK Metrics and are not available for use in your code. For more information, see Monitor Applications Using AWS SDK Metrics.

  • GetPublishingConfiguration – Used by SDK Metrics to determine how to publish metrics.

  • GetPublishingSchema – Used by SDK Metrics to determine how to publish metrics.

  • PutPublishingMetrics – Used by SDK Metrics to send CloudWatch Agent health metrics to AWS Support.

Every event or log entry contains information about who generated the request. The identity information helps you determine the following:

  • Whether the request was made with root or AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user credentials.

  • Whether the request was made with temporary security credentials for a role or federated user.

  • Whether the request was made by another AWS service.

For more information, see the CloudTrail userIdentity Element.

Example: CloudWatch Log File Entries

A trail is a configuration that enables delivery of events as log files to an Amazon S3 bucket that you specify. CloudTrail log files contain one or more log entries. An event represents a single request from any source and includes information about the requested action, the date and time of the action, request parameters, and so on. CloudTrail log files aren't an ordered stack trace of the public API calls, so they don't appear in any specific order.

The following example shows a CloudTrail log entry that demonstrates the PutMetricAlarm action.

{ "Records": [{ "eventVersion": "1.01", "userIdentity": { "type": "Root", "principalId": "EX_PRINCIPAL_ID", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:root", "accountId": "123456789012", "accessKeyId": "EXAMPLE_KEY_ID" }, "eventTime": "2014-03-23T21:50:34Z", "eventSource": "", "eventName": "PutMetricAlarm", "awsRegion": "us-east-1", "sourceIPAddress": "", "userAgent": "aws-sdk-ruby2/2.0.0.rc4 ruby/1.9.3 x86_64-linux Seahorse/0.1.0", "requestParameters": { "threshold": 50.0, "period": 60, "metricName": "CloudTrail Test", "evaluationPeriods": 3, "comparisonOperator": "GreaterThanThreshold", "namespace": "AWS/CloudWatch", "alarmName": "CloudTrail Test Alarm", "statistic": "Sum" }, "responseElements": null, "requestID": "29184022-b2d5-11e3-a63d-9b463e6d0ff0", "eventID": "b096d5b7-dcf2-4399-998b-5a53eca76a27" }, ..additional entries ] }

The following log file entry shows that a user called the CloudWatch Events PutRule action.

{ "eventVersion":"1.03", "userIdentity":{ "type":"Root", "principalId":"123456789012", "arn":"arn:aws:iam::123456789012:root", "accountId":"123456789012", "accessKeyId":"AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE", "sessionContext":{ "attributes":{ "mfaAuthenticated":"false", "creationDate":"2015-11-17T23:56:15Z" } } }, "eventTime":"2015-11-18T00:11:28Z", "eventSource":"", "eventName":"PutRule", "awsRegion":"us-east-1", "sourceIPAddress":"AWS Internal", "userAgent":"AWS CloudWatch Console", "requestParameters":{ "description":"", "name":"cttest2", "state":"ENABLED", "eventPattern":"{\"source\":[\"aws.ec2\"],\"detail-type\":[\"EC2 Instance State-change Notification\"]}", "scheduleExpression":"" }, "responseElements":{ "ruleArn":"arn:aws:events:us-east-1:123456789012:rule/cttest2" }, "requestID":"e9caf887-8d88-11e5-a331-3332aa445952", "eventID":"49d14f36-6450-44a5-a501-b0fdcdfaeb98", "eventType":"AwsApiCall", "apiVersion":"2015-10-07", "recipientAccountId":"123456789012" }

The following log file entry shows that a user called the CloudWatch Logs CreateExportTask action.

{ "eventVersion": "1.03", "userIdentity": { "type": "IAMUser", "principalId": "EX_PRINCIPAL_ID", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/someuser", "accountId": "123456789012", "accessKeyId": "AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE", "userName": "someuser" }, "eventTime": "2016-02-08T06:35:14Z", "eventSource": "", "eventName": "CreateExportTask", "awsRegion": "us-east-1", "sourceIPAddress": "", "userAgent": "aws-sdk-ruby2/2.0.0.rc4 ruby/1.9.3 x86_64-linux Seahorse/0.1.0", "requestParameters": { "destination": "yourdestination", "logGroupName": "yourloggroup", "to": 123456789012, "from": 0, "taskName": "yourtask" }, "responseElements": { "taskId": "15e5e534-9548-44ab-a221-64d9d2b27b9b" }, "requestID": "1cd74c1c-ce2e-12e6-99a9-8dbb26bd06c9", "eventID": "fd072859-bd7c-4865-9e76-8e364e89307c", "eventType": "AwsApiCall", "apiVersion": "20140328", "recipientAccountId": "123456789012" }