AWS CloudTrail vs Amazon CloudWatch

  • CloudWatch is a monitoring service for AWS resources and applications. CloudTrail is a web service that records API activity in your AWS account. They are both useful monitoring tools in AWS.
  • By default, CloudWatch offers free basic monitoring for your resources, such as EC2 instances, EBS volumes, and RDS DB instances. CloudTrail is also enabled by default when you create your AWS account.
  • With CloudWatch, you can collect and track metrics, collect and monitor log files, and set alarms. CloudTrail, on the other hand, logs information on who made a request, the services used, the actions performed, parameters for the actions, and the response elements returned by the AWS service. CloudTrail Logs are then stored in an S3 bucket or a CloudWatch Logs log group that you specify.
  • You can enable detailed monitoring from your AWS resources to send metric data to CloudWatch more frequently, with an additional cost.
  • CloudTrail delivers one free copy of management event logs for each AWS region. Management events include management operations performed on resources in your AWS account, such as when a user logs in to your account. Logging data events are charged. Data events include resource operations performed on or within the resource itself, such as S3 object-level API activity or Lambda function execution activity.
  • CloudTrail helps you ensure compliance and regulatory standards.
  • CloudWatch Logs reports on application logs, while CloudTrail Logs provide you specific information on what occurred in your AWS account.
  • CloudWatch Events is a near real time stream of system events describing changes to your AWS resources. CloudTrail focuses more on AWS API calls made in your AWS account.
  • Typically, CloudTrail delivers an event within 15 minutes of the API call. CloudWatch delivers metric data in 5 minutes periods for basic monitoring and 1 minute periods for detailed monitoring. The CloudWatch Logs Agent will send log data every five seconds by default.

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