How to use CloudWatch to generate alerts from logs?

Aug 12, 2014 by Veli Burak Celen


At the latest AWS NYC Submit, Amazon announced "CloudWatch Logs", a log storage and monitoring feature that enables AWS customers to monitor and troubleshoot systems and applications using system, application and custom log files. CloudWatch Logs currently lacks some of the essential log management capabilities like search and sophisticated visualizations, nonetheless it is a major leap in functionality for CloudWatch.

CloudWatch Logs enable AWS customers to easily move logs off of individual EC2 instances into a central repository, and browse the logs via the web UI. But the most appealing feature of CloudWatch Logs is arguably the ability to monitor the logs for specific phrases, values or patterns, and generate alarms from them. CloudWatch Logs support variety of use cases:

SaaS integrations put traditional enterprise software to shame

May 31, 2014 by Berkay Mollamustafaoglu

I’ve spent many years implementing traditional enterprise IT operations management tools. Integrations among various tools are often the Achilles’ heel of the management systems. Integrating disparate applications is often a high risk endeavor for customers. Enteprise vendors typically charge tens of thousands of dollars for integration “plugins”, and the implementation requires highly skilled (and expensive) engineers. To make the matters worse, enterprise vendors are often not keen on collaborating with their competitors. Let alone collaborating to help their customers, vendors sometimes block integration efforts. I’ve seen a vendor not selling their product to another, to prevent them from integrating with their product (how is that for putting the customer first).

Designing alerts that help not just annoy

May 28, 2014 by Berkay Mollamustafaoglu

"Empowering the alert recipients" has been a core principle for our product development since the beginning, driving many of the capabilities that differentiates OpsGenie from the alternatives. We believe that the role of the alerting system does not end with an alert notification that is devoid of any useful information. Sure, we need to make sure the right person is notified when there is a problem, but we cannot declare "mission accomplished" just because we’ve told someone that there is an alert. We believe that if we’re to interrupt someone, at the very least ask for the attention, worst wake them up, we ought to provide the relevant information that would enable them to assess the severity and the urgency of the problem as well.

How do you manage alerts during code deploys?

Apr 21, 2014 by Berkay Mollamustafaoglu

As organizations embrace DevOps and Continuous Deployment, it’s becoming common to do frequent code deploys, often multiple times a day. Deployments inevitably cause monitoring tools to generate alerts as applications & servers become temporarily unavailable/unresponsive. This can be problematic since these alerts:

  • generate noise, and unnecessarily interrupt people
  • mislead people and cause them to waste time chasing down nonexistent problems
  • erode attention and cause people to miss real problems

Routing phone calls using on-call schedules

Apr 7, 2014 by Berkay Mollamustafaoglu

OpsGenie routes alerts to the right person using policies, on-call schedules, etc. defined by users. Over the last year, we’ve heard similar questions from number of OpsGenie customers: “Can we route phone calls to the right person like we route the alerts?”.

We've got news

Jan 10, 2014 by Berkay Mollamustafaoglu

Just a quick announcement about the recently launched “news" site. OpsGenie gets improvements every week, and we wanted to have a medium to share these improvements, even the small ones.

You woke me up. Now what?

Jan 6, 2014 by Berkay Mollamustafaoglu

As an alert notification solution, our first priority is to ensure that the right person is notified when there is a problem. OpsGenie sends multiple notifications through different channels, escalates etc. to ensure that critical alerts don’t get missed. As crucial as that is, if an alert notification system just stops at “waking you up”, it becomes part of the problem rather than providing a solution.

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