AWS CloudWatch vs. Telegraf

There is no shortage of options when it comes to real-time monitoring applications. There are several that allow preventive as well as corrective actions notifying the administration team well in advance. However, as Metric Collector and Metric Storage, Telegraf and AWS CloudWatch, respectively, offer much more than this. They are convenient to set up, can be employed on-premise or on the cloud.

Understanding AWS CloudWatch


The need for AWS CloudWatch

However, the most significant benefit of CloudWatch is that it is done to integrate automatically with Amazon Web Services (AWS) while being scalable and flexible.

Features of AWS CloudWatch

Data Collection

The software comes with many built-in metrics, but users can also customize as per their requirements. You can aggregate the collected container logs and metrics within the ecosystem as well.


AWS CloudWatch also simplifies the analysis of between metrics and logs so that you can move on from diagnosis to resolution.


With CloudWatch Events' help, users can view a real-time stream of events describing any changes to the AWS resources. As a result, your response time reduces, and you can correct the issues faster.



Advantages of AWS CloudWatch Agent

● The convenience of switching between essential monitoring and detailed monitoring depending on your automated monitoring requirements.

● The same software is capable of monitoring other resources as well.

● You have the ease of creating custom metrics and monitoring using these for your particular applications. These metrics can be made using basic API requests.

● You can automatically troubleshoot, maintain, and store affected log files in case of an error. The views can be represented in graphs for better understanding.

● As one of the best software for checking and monitoring cloud resources, the AWS CloudWatch agent enables quick response and effective monitoring in one single package.

Understanding Telegraf

The need for Telegraf




Advantages of Telegraf

● Like AWS CloudWatch, the Telegraf open-source monitoring solution is also a cohesive stack catering to all your monitoring requirements in one package.

● A single Telegraf agent is capable of functioning as multiple exporters with bare minimum handling requirements.

● The open-source platform is readily available to one and all and is continuously updated by the community with the latest developments.

● Telegraf agent comes with a wide array of metrics, and users can customize these to suit their organizational monitoring requirements.

● The software also comes with its set of multiple plugins that are more than enough for most organization-wide requirements. However, in case more is required, then additional plugins can be customized using different languages.

Popular CPU Metrics for AWS CloudWatch and Telegraf Agent

Some popular CPU metrics are:

● cpu_time_active

This metric refers to the amount of time for which the CPU remains active irrespective of the capacity. These monitoring software tools are capable of measuring this metric in hundredths of one second.

● cpu_time_guest

This metric refers to the amount of time for which the CPU operates a virtual CPU for guest OS (operating system). Like most other monitoring metrics, this metric is also measured one-hundredths of a second.

● cpu_time_guest_nice

This metric refers to the total amount of time for which the CPU operates a virtual CPU for a guest OS. Typically, this operating system is low in priority. As a result, it can be interrupted by other more critical processes. Its measurement is done in hundredths of a second.

● cpu_time_nice

This metric refers to the total amount of time for which the CPU is in actual user mode while operating low priority processes. These are processes that can be interrupted by other higher-priority methods quickly. The tools are capable of measuring this metric in hundredths of a second for efficient monitoring.

● cpu_usage_active

As the name suggests, this metric refers to the total percentage of time for which the CPU remains active in any capacity. The percentage is the unit of measurement for this metric.

Other popular CPU metrics include:

● time_user (float)

● time_system (float)

● time_idle (float)

● time_active (float)

● time_nice (float)

● time_iowait (float)

● time_irq (float)

● time_softirq (float)

● time_steal (float)

● time_guest (float)

● time_guest_nice (float)

● usage_user (float, percent)

● usage_system (float, percent)

● usage_idle (float, percent)


There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • AWS CloudWatch agent will collect metrics like a disk, network, and CPU utilization, and it cannot measure EC2 memory consumption or default disk utilization.

This gap is effectively filled in by Telegraf, which is highly suitable for EC2 memory usage monitoring. Hence, both AWS CloudWatch and Telegraf can be complementary to each other when implemented efficiently.

So, recommends that better attention be paid to Telegraf. In our team, we have many highly specialized and technical professionals. We can help with implementation, custom plugins building, and metrics selection for monitoring.


Vladimir Kobzev, RocketCompute