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Score 8 out of 101
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Score 7 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Amazon CloudWatch

It is well suited for organizations already using a number of Amazon services, as most of these will integrate very nicely with CloudWatch. If you have detailed log retention requirements, it's quite nice as well since they make it easy to configure retention and export data to S3. The tooling for metric filters and dashboards are very customizable and sufficient for general monitoring but the UX is not the most friendly. If your organization spends a lot of time on business intelligence and performance tracking, you may want to consider a more targeted 3rd-party service.
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CloudCheckr

If you want to control the cost of your cloud infrastructure and adhere to the industry's security best practices, this is the best I've found. If you want to right-size your instances, this can provide a place to start, but there are other tools like https://www.metricly.com/ that might be better suited. For us, this was enough, and we couldn't justify the additional expense of another tool. But it's primary purpose is to control costs.
John Grosjean profile photo

Pros

  • Application Performance Management.
  • Error Management.
  • Utilization Management.
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  • Detailed Best Practices. It's important to align your cloud to industry best practices for security and cost—it just performs better if it's used the way it's meant to be used. AWS is very flexible, and that's great when you have special requirements, but you've got to at least know when you're using something in a non-standard way so you can think through the implications.
  • Cost Reduction. Some recommendations are almost impossible to make at least for our setup, but many, many others are easy. We only have to log into CloudCheckr every few months and make a few changes for it to more than pay for itself.
  • Right-Sizing. This is related to the other points, but for some reason is separate from their cost module. The metrics it's able to pull only tell half the story, so it's good to verify it's sizing recommendations before making changes. But it does show you what instances to focus on first, and even if you choose a slightly different size to move it to, it does clearly indicate it's current size isn't appropriate. And this works both ways, if the size is too big, you can save some cash by making it smaller, but if it's too small, you want to be sure to scale up before you run into performance problems.
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Cons

  • CloudWatch could provide better log analytics using a better log parsing and log indexing. Like what is provided in ELK or Splunk.
  • Better dashboarding can be provided. Currently the dashboarding is very rudimentary.
  • No good customizable log indexing is available.
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  • UI can be difficult to navigate. Given the amount of data, it's not surprising, but I often launch the different reports in multiple tabs so I don't get lost.
  • Can be expensive. Not in our case, but you probably want to check and make sure you'll see significant cost savings that'll pay for the product as we did.
John Grosjean profile photo

Alternatives Considered

I feel that CloudWatch will always remain the backbone of log analytics, events, and alarms. However, we can use other products in conjunction with it for better log analytics and monitoring. In my organization, we also ingest logs from CloudWatch to Splunk and ELK. This way we can create an index on the logs and then use them for better dashboarding. Parsing logs to create custom indexes and dashboarding is something that CloudWatch could improve. We also send text alarms and emails that can be configured using CloudWatch to support and SRE organizations as part of the monitoring of our infrastructure.
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There are a few products out there that'll do an aspect or two of what CloudCheckr does, but I honestly couldn't find anything nearly as comprehensive as CloudCheckr.
John Grosjean profile photo

Return on Investment

  • The cost is low in terms of what you get and what it provides.
  • Containers and workloads are now monitored and we can see how the computed levels are increasing, which allows us to make adjustments before we have complaints.
  • The proactive element of CloudWatch allows us to address issues before they arise.
Rob Bates profile photo
  • Huge return. For us, the cost was the only real motivator, the other benefits of CloudCheckr were just side benefits. We didn't see a huge percentage of savings, but several thousand dollars per month is a huge help for anyone!
  • Security is hard to put a dollar amount on, unless you have a breach. We were pretty comfortable with what we had, but it's still good to have this double check. If we didn't have other tools, I would say this could be a good place to start.
John Grosjean profile photo

Pricing Details

Amazon CloudWatch

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

CloudCheckr

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details