AWS CloudTrail vs AWS CloudWatch | Comparison

Blog > AWS CloudTrail vs AWS CloudWatch | Comparison

CloudTrail vs CloudWatch

AWS CloudTrails and Amazon CloudWatch both services are cloud-based and providing logging capabilities. Amazon CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch are part of the management and governance category. Here we are discussing CloudTrail vs CloudWatch

CloudTrail vs CloudWatch

AWS CloudTrail

Amazon CloudTrail is the newer of the service and was launched in 2013. It is a service that enables governance, compliance, operational auditing, and risk management of AWS account. It is also known as an auditing system. CloudTrail records the activity on the user’s account.

It provides events on the history of database account, including actions taken through the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command-line tools, and other AWS services. This event history simplifies security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting. Besides, the enterprise can use CloudTrail to detect unusual activity in AWS accounts. CloudTrail logs the following information with the minimum configurations such as:

  • Which user or application made API call
  • Time of the Event when API request was made
  • Details of the API request made, along with all parameters passed
  • Source IP, from where API request was made
  • Response from the API service
  • Delivers an event within 15 minutes of the API call

CloudTrail Benefits

Simplified Compliance

With AWS CloudTrail integration, an enterprise can simplify the users’ compliance audits by automatically recording and storing event logs for actions made within the AWS account. Integration with Amazon CloudWatch logs provides a convenient way to search through log data, identify out-of-compliance events, accelerate incident investigations, and expedite responses to auditor requests.

Visibility into user and Resource Activity

AWS CloudTrail increases visibility into the user and resource activity by recording AWS Management console actions and API calls. The enterprise can identify which users and accounts are called; the enterprise can also identify the source IP address from which the API calls were made and when the API calls occurred.

Security Analysis and Troubleshooting

AWS CloudTrail allows users to discover and troubleshoot security and operational issues by capturing a comprehensive history of changes in users’ AWS account within a specified time.

Security Automation

AWS CloudTrail allows tracking and automatically responding to account activity, threatening the security of the AWS resources.

Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch has its primary concern with what is happening with AWS resources so the user can respond to it. CloudWatch has metrics, alarms, CloudWatch logs, and CloudWatch Events. CloudWatch also helps to troubleshoot any issue and discover insights into the application that tackles any problem.

Amazon CloudWatch is more established and providing the following functionalities, such as:

  • Monitors cloud resources and applications
  • Collect and track metrics, log files, and set alarms
  • System-wide visibilities into resource utilization, application preference, and operational health
  • It delivers an event within 5 minutes (Detailed monitoring)
  • Delivers an event within 1 minute (Basic monitoring)

Amazon CloudWatch Functionalities

Metrics: A metric represents a time-ordered set of data points that are published to CloudWatch. A metric is a variable to monitor, and the data points represent the values of that variable over time.

Dimensions: A dimension is a name/value pair that uniquely identifies a metric. They can be considered as categories of characteristics that describe a metric. We can assign up to 10 dimensions to a metric.

Statistic: Statistics are metric data aggregations over a specified time. Aggregations are made using the namespace, metric name, dimensions within the time period specified by the user.

Alarm: An alarm can be used to initiate actions on behalf of users automatically. It watches a single metric over a specified time period and performs one or more specified actions.

Monitor AWS CloudTrail Log Data in Amazon CloudWatch

CloudWatch provides the functionality to visualize and explore the CloudTrail logs, analyze the time-series log data, and create metric filters for organization data. Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service with robust features that can help to drive actionable insights from vast amounts of CloudTrail log data.

Resources Monitor by Amazon CloudWatch

  • Virtual Instances (EC2)
  • Database (AWS RDS)
  • Data Stored in Amazon S3
  • Elastic Load Balance
  • Other AWS Resources

Author: SVCIT Editorial
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