AWS CloudWatch Vs CloudTrail

Chloe McAree
2 min readFeb 22, 2021

This is part of a blog series giving a high level overview of the different services examined on the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam, to view the whole series click here.

CloudWatch Summary

CloudWatch logo -
  • CloudWatch is a monitoring & observability service for AWS resources/applications.
  • Can monitor performance and resource utilisation
  • Can detect anomalous behaviour
  • Allows you to create CloudWatch alarms, dashboards, events and logs

CloudWatch with EC2

  • Can monitor EC2 at host level
  • Monitors every 5 mins by default (Can switch to every 1min by enabling detailed logs)
  • Monitors: CPU, Network, Disk, Status Check

CloudTrail Summary

CloudTrail logo —
  • CloudTrail is used for security analysis .
  • It is like CCTV for your AWS account — can retain account activity related to actions across your infrastructure.
  • Is for governance, compliance & operational auditing.
  • Records actions in the AWS Management Console, SDKs and command line tools.
  • Can detect user behaviour patterns and also unusual activity.