Documentation forSolarWinds Observability

AWS cloud platform monitoring

To monitor AWS services from your cloud platform, integrate SolarWinds Observability with your AWS cloud account. To provide additional resource information, add the SolarWinds Observability Agent to your cloud platform.

Depending on the way your cloud platform or its services were configured, some metrics may not be available. Metrics for an AWS service are only available if CloudWatch metrics have been enabled in the AWS Console.

The metrics available may also depend on the subscription pricing tier of your cloud platform or its services. To gather additional AWS metrics, enable detailed CloudWatch metrics for your AWS services.

For a summary of your AWS accounts connected to SolarWinds Observability click Infrastructure in the side navigation. The Infrastructure area overview shows the health of all AWS entities and a summary table of your connected accounts, as well as other widgets that offer quick insights into your monitored AWS services. AWS services that provide cloud hosting are also summarized alongside other hosts in the Infrastructure area overview. See Host monitoring.

Metrics for AWS entities are also available as widgets in the Entity Explorer, meanwhile metrics for other AWS services that are not entities can be found in pre-built dashboards. AWS services that provide cloud hosting can also be found under the host category in the Entity Explorer.

AWS data acquisition methods

When you integrate SolarWinds Observability with your AWS cloud account, you are provided with two options for retrieving AWS data - polling and streaming.

  • Polling: Pulls AWS metrics data into SolarWinds Observability at regular intervals.

  • Streaming (Amazon CloudWatch Metric Stream): Continuously updates AWS metrics data in SolarWinds Observability in real time.

Metrics streaming (CloudWatch Metrics Stream)

Metrics streaming allows you to create continuous streams of metrics to a destination of your choice with near real-time delivery.

CloudWatch Metrics Streams use Kinesis Data Firehose to deliver batches of metrics to a SolarWinds Observability endpoint that supports receiving metrics in the Firehose request format. Metrics are sent to SolarWinds Observability as JSON objects.

When integrating SolarWinds Observability with your AWS cloud account, you are presented with an option to select polling or streaming. The process for adding the cloud account with metrics streaming is very similar to the one for polling, but requires some additional information, such as the API token that can submit metrics to SolarWinds Observability. See Streaming for information on configuring an AWS cloud account with metrics streaming.

The CloudFormation stack requires the same IAM permissions as for polling, but also includes the resources for the CloudWatch Metrics Stream, Kinesis Firehose, and backup S3 bucket. The S3 bucket is used by Kinesis when the SolarWinds Observability endpoint is unavailable.

When you add an AWS cloud account, you have the ability to choose which supported AWS services have their metrics streamed to SolarWinds Observability. These selections will update the CloudFormation stack with the selected CloudWatch namespaces in the created metrics stream.

Benefits of metrics streaming

Below are the main benefits of streaming metrics instead of polling them:

  • Faster time-to-glass for metrics: Metrics streaming provides you with a better experience when using SolarWinds Observability as you are seeing the most recent data in your UI. This is particularly important when investigating an incident.

  • High-fidelity metrics: Compared to streaming, polling can sometimes provide inaccurate, pre-aggregated data and a worse user experience.

  • Support for larger environments: Streams can scale to handle any volume of metrics, with delivery to the destination within two or three minutes.

    The delays introduced by polling cloud provider metrics services increase with organization size. As you expand your coverage in the cloud, your polling period can introduce as much as 10 minutes of latency in metrics.

  • Cost: While streaming metrics does incur higher costs, the benefits of real-time metrics and support for all standard, enhanced, and custom metrics provides a more comprehensive picture of your environment. Use the AWS Pricing Calculator to get a cost estimate for your environment.

Multi-region streaming

Using multi-region is useful in situations when you want to build applications that cover multiple regions, secure your environment by backing up your data in another region, and more.

By default, the Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose delivery stream, S3 bucket, and metric stream are created using the same region as what was used when accessing CloudFormation. To use additional regions, create CloudFormation stacks in the desired regions using the S3 bucket URL provided to you when you integrate SolarWinds Observability with your AWS cloud account.

AWS entities

When the following AWS services are enabled in the AWS integration, an entity is created in SolarWinds Observability and available in the Entity Explorer.

Other AWS services

Entities are not created for all AWS services, but data may still be collected. When the following AWS services are enabled in the AWS integration, metric data is consumed and available in the Metrics Explorer. The metrics can also be added to custom dashboards and are included in some pre-built dashboards.

  • AWS Billing and Cost Management
  • AWS CloudSearch
  • AWS CloudWatch Custom Metrics
  • AWS Direct Connect
  • AWS DocumentDB
  • AWS DynamoDB
  • AWS DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX)
  • AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS)
  • AWS ElastiCache
  • AWS Kinesis Data Firehose
  • AWS Kinesis Data Streams
  • AWS Machine Learning
  • AWS OpenSearch Service
  • AWS OpsWorks
  • AWS Redshift
  • AWS Route 53
  • AWS Simple Email Service
  • AWS Simple Queue Service
  • AWS Simple Workflow Service
  • AWS Storage Gateway

AWS widgets

In addition to standard visualizations of AWS service metric data, the following widgets display detailed insights into your cloud accounts.


On the Overview tab, the Details widget shows different information, depending on the specific type of AWS cloud account selected in the Entity Explorer. Details may include platform and operating system information, cloud provider, account IDs and status, the native state, tags, and more.


The AWS EC2s widget shows a visual summary of the health state and names of your AWS EC2 instances.

AWS EC2s Active Alerts

The AWS EC2s Active Alerts widget shows an overview of the active alerts triggered by AWS EC2 instances, categorized by severity. Active alerts are alerts that have been triggered but not cleared. This includes acknowledged alerts.

AWS EC2s Health

The AWS EC2s Health widget shows the overall health and performance of all of your AWS EC2s instances. The health displays as a number based on the number of instances. To view individual monitored AWS EC2 hosts and their details in the Entity Explorer, click the widget title or click the vertical ellipsis in the upper-right corner of the widget and select View all AWS EC2 hosts.

Metrics Ingested

The Metrics Ingested widget shows the number of metrics monitored within your AWS hosts.

No. of Accounts

The No. of Accounts widget shows the number of accounts within your AWS hosts.


The Regions widget shows the number of regions used within your AWS hosts.

Service Types

The Services widget shows the number of services used within your AWS hosts.