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33. What can you do with CloudWatch metrics?

CloudWatch is the main Observability tool in AWS and it offers a wide range of features: logs, metrics, dashboards, alarms and even events (recently moved into EventBridge).
In this episode we are going to focus on CloudWatch metrics. We are going to discuss the characteristics of metrics in CloudWatch: namespaces, dimensions, units and more. What metrics you get out of the box and how to create your own. How to access and explore metrics.
Finally we will compare CloudWatch to other providers like DataDog, New Relic, Honeycomb and Grafana + Prometheus and try to assess whether CloudWatch is enough or if you need to use other third-party services.

⏱ Timestamps:

00:00 Intro
01:43 What a metric is in CloudWatch
04:00 Different types of metrics: built-in metrics & custom metrics
09:37 How to access metrics
12:27 The 1 second granularity pitfall
13:44 Data retention based on granularity
16:40 How to create custom metrics
17:00 The PutMetricData API
18:39 EMF: Embedded Metric Format
24:20 CloudWatch Metrics pricing
26:25 Metrics Stream
28:10 Should you use CloudWatch metrics or something else?
32:16 Closing

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:
- AWS Bites EventBridge episode:
- How to send Gzipped requests with boto3 (which uses the PutMetricsData API as an example):
- CloudWatch service quota:
- CloudWatch metrics stream for DataDog: 

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