AWS, Cloud Computing

4 Mins Read

Application Performance Monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals


In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud-based applications, maintaining optimal performance and identifying bottlenecks is crucial for ensuring a seamless user experience and business success. Traditionally, this involved manual instrumentation, custom code, and a plethora of disparate tools, making it a time-consuming and complex process. Enter Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals, a game-changer in the application monitoring space.

Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals

Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals, currently in preview, is a tool designed to simplify application performance monitoring by automatically collecting and analyzing data about your Java applications running on AWS. Think of it like an “autopilot” for application monitoring. Here’s a breakdown of its key features and benefits:

Automatic Instrumentation:

  • No need to manually write code or configure complex dashboards. Application Signals automatically injects instrumentation libraries into your Java applications, capturing key metrics and traces without code changes.
  • This saves development time and ensures consistent monitoring across your application fleet.

Unified Application View:

  • Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals provides a single, consolidated view of all your application performance data, including metrics, traces, logs, and real user monitoring (RUM) data.
  • This allows you to see the big picture and identify performance bottlenecks across different layers of your application.

Pre-built Dashboards:

  • No need to spend time building custom dashboards. Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals offers pre-built dashboards with key performance indicators (KPIs) like request volume, latency, availability, and resource utilization.
  • This helps you quickly understand the health and performance of your applications.

Correlation and Troubleshooting:

  • Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals automatically correlates metrics, traces, logs, and RUM data to help you pinpoint the root cause of performance issues faster.
  • This saves you time and effort compared to manually sifting through different data sources.

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Getting Started with Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals

Enabling Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals is simple and requires minimal configuration. It’s currently supported on Amazon EKS, Amazon ECS, and Amazon EC2 for Java applications. You can leverage pre-built agent configurations for quick setup and begin monitoring your applications almost instantly.

Step 1: Create a demo Amazon EKS cluster


Step 2: Create an Amazon EKS role for the cluster


Step 3: Enable Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals



Step 4: Select the Amazon EKS cluster for the application signals


Select the add-on as application-signals


Step 5: Once the service is enabled and configured, you will be able to see the services in the Amazon CloudWatch console


Key Benefits of Application Signals

  • Effortless Auto-Instrumentation: Forget about manual code changes or complex configurations. Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals automatically injects instrumentation libraries into your Java applications, capturing valuable performance data without any code modification.
  • Unified Application-Centric View: Gain a holistic understanding of your application’s health by correlating metrics, traces, logs, real user monitoring (RUM), and synthetic monitoring data in a single, intuitive dashboard. This eliminates the need to switch between different tools and simplifies troubleshooting.
  • Pre-Built Dashboards and SLOs: Get out-of-the-box dashboards showcasing key performance indicators (KPIs) like request volume, latency, and error rates. Set service level objectives (SLOs) and track their adherence to ensure consistent application performance.
  • Faster Root Cause Analysis: Correlated traces and logs enable you to quickly pinpoint performance issues and identify their root cause within your application code, dependencies, or hosting environment. This significantly reduces troubleshooting time and effort.
  • Improved Developer Productivity: Developers can focus on building and innovating, not writing monitoring code. Application Signals empowers them with real-time insights into application behavior, aiding in performance optimization and proactive issue resolution.

Who can benefit from Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals?

Developers, DevOps engineers, and application owners of all experience levels can leverage Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals to gain deeper insights into application performance, improve user experience, and ensure business continuity.


Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals marks a significant leap forward in application performance monitoring. By automating instrumentation, offering unified dashboards, and enabling faster root cause analysis, it simplifies the process and empowers teams to deliver consistently high-performing applications.

As it evolves from preview to full availability, Application Signals is poised to become an essential tool for anyone looking to optimize their applications and ensure a seamless user experience.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. What programming languages does Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals support?

ANS: – Currently, Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals supports Java applications. Future releases may introduce support for other languages.

2. Do Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals require any code changes?

ANS: – No, Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals relies on automatic instrumentation, eliminating the need for code changes.

3. What data sources do Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals collect?

ANS: – Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals collects metrics, traces, logs, RUM data, and synthetic monitoring data from your applications.

WRITTEN BY Swapnil Kumbar

Swapnil Kumbar is a Research Associate - DevOps. He knows various cloud platforms and has working experience on AWS, GCP, and azure. Enthusiast about leading technology in cloud and automation. He is also passionate about tailoring existing architecture.



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