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AWS Systems Manager
API Reference (API Version 2014-11-06)

Auditing Systems Manager API Calls Using AWS CloudTrail

Run Command is an extension of AWS EC2 Systems Manager. Where this document talks about Systems Manager, it includes Run Command.

Systems Manager is integrated with CloudTrail, a service that captures API calls made by or on behalf of Systems Manager and delivers the log files to an Amazon S3 bucket that you specify. The API calls can be made indirectly by using the Amazon EC2 console, AWS CLI, or AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell, or directly by using the Systems Manager API. Using the information collected by CloudTrail, you can determine what request was made, the source IP address from which the request was made, who made the request, when it was made, and so on. CloudTrail logs all Systems Manager API actions. For example, calls to execute commands using Run Command or create Systems Manager documents generate entries in CloudTrail log files. To learn more about CloudTrail, including how to configure and enable it, see the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

Systems Manager Information in CloudTrail

When CloudTrail logging is enabled, calls made to Systems Manager actions are tracked in log files, along with any other AWS service records. CloudTrail determines when to create and write to a new file based on a specified time period and file size.

Every log entry contains information about who generated the request. The user identity information in the log helps you determine whether the request was made with root or IAM user credentials, with temporary security credentials for a role or federated user, or by another AWS service. For more information, see the userIdentity field in the CloudTrail Event Reference.

You can store your log files in your bucket for as long as you want, but you can also define Amazon S3 lifecycle rules to archive or delete log files automatically. By default, your log files are encrypted by using Amazon S3 server-side encryption (SSE).

You can choose to have CloudTrail publish Amazon SNS notifications when new log files are delivered if you want to take quick action upon log file delivery. For more information, see Configuring Amazon SNS Notifications.

You can also aggregate Systems Manager log files from multiple AWS regions and multiple AWS accounts into a single Amazon S3 bucket. For more information, see Aggregating CloudTrail Log Files to a Single Amazon S3 Bucket.

Understanding SSM Log File Entries

CloudTrail log files can contain one or more log entries where each entry is made up of multiple JSON-formatted events. A log entry represents a single request from any source and includes information about the requested action, any input parameters, the date and time of the action, and so on. The log entries are not in any particular order. That is, they are not an ordered stack trace of the public API calls.