Cross-account tracing - AWS X-Ray

Cross-account tracing

AWS X-Ray supports cross-account observability, enabling you to monitor and troubleshoot applications that span multiple accounts within an AWS Region. You can seamlessly search, visualize, and analyze your metrics, logs, and traces in any of the linked accounts as if you were operating in a single account. This provides a complete view of requests that travel across multiple accounts. You can view cross-account traces in the X-Ray trace map and traces pages within the CloudWatch console.

The shared observability data can include any of the following types of telemetry:

  • Metrics in Amazon CloudWatch

  • Log groups in Amazon CloudWatch Logs

  • Traces in AWS X-Ray

  • Applications in Amazon CloudWatch Application Insights

Configure cross-account observability

To turn on cross-account observability, set up one or more AWS monitoring accounts and link them with multiple source accounts. A monitoring account is a central AWS account that can view and interact with observability data that's generated from source accounts. A source account is an individual AWS account that generates observability data for the resources that it contains.

Source accounts share their observability data with monitoring accounts. Traces are copied from each source account to up to five monitoring accounts. Copies of traces from source accounts to the first monitoring account are free. Copies of traces sent to additional monitoring accounts are charged to each source account, based on standard pricing. For more information, see AWS X-Ray pricing and Amazon CloudWatch pricing.

To create links between monitoring accounts and source accounts, use the CloudWatch console or the new Observability Access Manager commands in the AWS CLI and API. For more information, see CloudWatch cross-account observability.


X-Ray traces are billed to the AWS account where they're received. If a sampled request spans services across more than one AWS account, each account records a separate trace, and all traces share the same trace ID. To learn more about cross-account observability pricing, see AWS X-Ray pricing and Amazon CloudWatch pricing.

Viewing cross-account traces

Cross-account traces are displayed in the monitoring account. Each source account displays only local traces for that specific account. The following sections assume that you're signed in to the monitoring account and have opened the Amazon CloudWatch console. On both the trace map and traces pages, a monitoring account badge is displayed in the upper-right corner.

        Monitoring account badge

Trace map

In the CloudWatch console, choose Trace Map under X-Ray traces from the left navigation pane. By default, the trace map displays nodes for all source accounts that send traces to the monitoring account, and nodes for the monitoring account itself. On the trace map, choose Filters from the upper left to filter the trace map using the Accounts drop-down. After an account filter is applied, service nodes from accounts that don't match the current filter are grayed out.

          Filtered trace map

When you choose a service node, the node details pane includes the service's account ID and label.

          Node detail pane

In the upper-right corner of the trace map, choose List view to see a list of service nodes. The list of service nodes includes services from the monitoring account and all configured source accounts. Filter the list of nodes by Account label or Account id by choosing them from the Nodes filter.

          Filtered service list


View trace details for traces that span multiple accounts by opening the CloudWatch console from the monitoring account, and choosing Traces under X-Ray traces in the left navigation pane. You can also open this page by choosing a node in the X-Ray Trace Map, and then choosing View traces from the node details pane.

The Traces page supports querying by account ID. To get started, enter a query that includes one or more account IDs. The following example queries for traces that have passed through account ID X or Y:

service(id("X")) OR service(id("Y"))

          Query traces by account

Refine your query by Account. Select one or more accounts from the list, and choose Add to query.

        Refine trace query by account

Trace details

View details for a trace by choosing it from the Traces list at the bottom of the Traces page. The Trace details displays, including a trace details map with service nodes from across all accounts that the trace passed through. Choose a specific service node to see its corresponding account.

The Segments timeline section displays the account details for each segment in the timeline.

          Segments timeline