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Best Observability Practices in AWS for ecommerce, maximizing operational efficiency.

An in-depth look at Observability in AWS.

In the cloud era, where infrastructures are increasingly complex and dynamic, the ability to understand and optimize application performance is crucial to maintaining competitive advantage. Especially if you are doing ecommerce, where competition is fierce and customer expectations are higher than ever, making observability a fundamental pillar for operational success.

In this context, Amazon Web Services (AWS) emerges as a bastion for e-commerce companies. Offering a wide range of services and tools designed to provide real-time visibility, traceability and responsiveness to any operational situation.

In this article, we'll explore observability best practices in AWS specifically tailored for e-commerce, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency and improving customer experience.

From proactive monitoring to log analysis, application mapping and security, we'll unpack the key strategies that enable e-commerce businesses to fully leverage the potential of AWS to drive their success in the digital marketplace.

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observabilidad en AWS

What is Observability in AWS?

In the context of Amazon Web Services (AWS), observability refers to the ability to understand, analyze, and act on the state and performance of distributed cloud systems. AWS offers a number of tools and services designed to provide this crucial real-time visibility, allowing development and operations teams to effectively monitor, debug, and optimize your applications and services.

These are the essential fundamentals of observability in AWS:

1. Observability in AWS:

In AWS, observability means the ability to collect and analyze operational and performance data comprehensively across infrastructure and applications hosted in the cloud. This includes metrics, logs, traces, and events, which provide a complete and detailed picture of the state and behavior of systems at any given time. Observability in AWS not only focuses on problem detection but also on deeply understanding system performance and behavior to continuously improve its efficiency and reliability.

2. Key Observability Tools and Services on AWS:

AWS offers a variety of tools and services designed specifically to address observability challenges in cloud environments. Among the most notable are:

  • Amazon CloudWatch: A monitoring and observability service that provides metrics and logs for AWS resources, applications, and services. CloudWatch allows the creation of custom dashboards, the configuration of alarms and the generation of operational insights.
  • AWS X-Ray: A tracing tool that allows developers to analyze and debug distributed applications. X-Ray provides a detailed view of application workflow, identifying bottlenecks, latencies and errors at every step.
  • Amazon CloudWatch Logs: A service that enables the collection, storage, and analysis of logs generated by AWS applications and resources. CloudWatch Logs makes it easy to search and filter logs, as well as create custom metrics from log data.
  • AWS CloudTrail: An auditing service that records actions taken in an AWS account, providing visibility and traceability of changes to resources, configurations, and permissions. CloudTrail is essential for security, compliance, and troubleshooting in AWS environments.

These tools and services form the foundation of observability in AWS. Enabling operations and development teams to gain critical insights into the performance and health of your applications and cloud services. Below, we'll delve into specific monitoring strategies and key metrics for eCommerce on AWS.

Monitoring Strategies and Key Metrics

In an eCommerce environment on AWS, constant monitoring of application performance and availability is essential to ensure an optimal customer experience. To achieve this, it is essential to implement effective monitoring strategies and focus on key metrics that provide a clear view of the operational status of the platform.

Here are some key strategies and metrics that are especially relevant to eCommerce on AWS:

Selection of Relevant Metrics:

  • Website Performance: Metrics such as page load time, server response speed, and site availability are critical for evaluating user experience and detecting potential performance issues.
  • Completed Transactions: Tracking the number of completed transactions, as well as the conversion rate, is essential to understanding the performance of the ecommerce platform and detect possible points of friction in the purchasing process.
  • AWS Resource Usage: Monitoring the usage of resources such as EC2 instances, RDS databases, and S3 storage provides valuable insights into the scalability and operational efficiency of your AWS infrastructure.

Using Custom Dashboards in CloudWatch:

AWS CloudWatch offers the ability to create custom dashboards that allow you to view key metrics in real time. These dashboards can be customized to display specific metrics relevant to e-commerce, such as the number of orders processed, available inventory, and the number of active users.

Implementation of Alerts and Notifications:

Setting alarms in AWS CloudWatch based on predefined thresholds or patterns of anomalous behavior is critical to quickly detecting and responding to operational issues. For example, alerts can be set up to notify the team in case of a sudden increase in server response time or a drop in conversion rate.

By adopting these strategies monitoring and focusing on key metrics, eCommerce businesses can maintain complete visibility into the performance and health of their applications on AWS.

Let's now look at how AWS X-Ray can provide a deeper understanding of application performance and help identify workflow bottlenecks.

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Tracing and Performance Analysis with AWS X-Ray

In eCommerce environments on AWS, where applications are often highly distributed and complex, understanding application performance and workflow is critical to ensuring a smooth end-user experience.

AWS X-Ray is a powerful tool that provides detailed visibility into application traffic, enabling comprehensive performance monitoring and analysis across your entire environment.

Let's explore how AWS X-Ray makes application tracing and performance analysis easier:

Monitoring of Distributed Applications:

AWS X-Ray enables monitoring of distributed applications, providing a detailed view of application workflow in real time. This includes the ability to visualize each step of a request across AWS services and custom applications, identifying latency and errors in each component.

Identification of Bottlenecks and Performance Optimization:

By analyzing the plotting data generated by X-Ray, teams can easily identify bottlenecks and areas of poor performance in their applications. This can include services that are experiencing unexpected latencies or components that are being overloaded, allowing teams to take corrective action to improve overall system performance.

Integration with Other AWS Services:

AWS X-Ray integrates tightly with other AWS services, such as Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and more. This integration allows development and operations teams to gain a complete view of the performance of all layers of the application, from infrastructure to application code.

Analysis of Behavioral Trends and Patterns:

Using X-Ray, teams can analyze trends and behavioral patterns in application performance over time. This can help identify seasonal changes in workload, optimize resources, and anticipate potential issues before they impact the user experience.

Error Diagnosis and Application Debugging:

AWS X-Ray provides detailed information about errors and exceptions in applications, making it easy to debug and troubleshoot. Teams can easily see the context of a request that generated an error and trace its origin across the distributed system.

By leveraging AWS X-Ray performance tracing and analysis capabilities, ecommerce businesses can gain a deep understanding of the performance of their applications on AWS and take proactive steps to optimize their operation.

Below we will see how Amazon CloudWatch Logs complements observability by providing a detailed view of the logs generated by cloud applications and services.

Log Collection and Analysis with CloudWatch Logs

In an ecommerce environment on AWS, log collection and analysis are critical components of the observability strategy. Logs provide an invaluable source of information about the behavior of applications and services, allowing operations and development teams to identify problems, diagnose errors, and optimize performance.

Amazon CloudWatch Logs is a tool that makes it easy to collect, store, and analyze logs in AWS environments.

Let's see how CloudWatch Logs can improve observability in eCommerce on AWS:

Log Group Configuration:

CloudWatch Logs allows users to configure log groups to organize and manage logs generated by different application components. This can include application logs, web server logs, database logs, and more. Configuring log groups provides an organized structure to make it easier to find and analyze specific logs.

Log Collection and Storage:

After log groups are configured, CloudWatch Logs automatically collects and stores logs generated by AWS resources and applications. This includes EC2 instance logs, ECS containers, Lambda functions, and more. Logs are stored durably in CloudWatch Logs, allowing them to be easily accessed for later analysis.

Log Analysis with Log Queries:

CloudWatch Logs offers a log query feature that allows users to search and filter logs using SQL-like queries. This makes it easy to search for specific events, identify patterns, and extract relevant information from large volumes of logs. Log queries are useful for diagnosing problems, investigating incidents, and performing trend analysis.

Generation of Metrics from Logs:

CloudWatch Logs can generate custom metrics from log data using filter metrics. This allows operations and development teams to monitor specific metrics directly from the logs, such as the number of application errors, the frequency of security events, among others. Log metrics complement traditional CloudWatch metrics, providing a more complete view of system performance and health.

Integration with AWS Services:

CloudWatch Logs integrates tightly with other AWS services, such as AWS Lambda, Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and more. This integration allows users to easily and automatically send logs to CloudWatch Logs from any AWS resource, making it easy to centralize and analyze logs in one place.

By leveraging the log collection and analysis capabilities of Amazon CloudWatch Logs, eCommerce businesses can significantly improve their ability to diagnose problems, optimize performance, and ensure an exceptional customer experience in AWS environments.

Let's now explore how AWS CloudTrail provides visibility and traceability of actions taken in an AWS account.

Security and Compliance with AWS CloudTrail

In an ecommerce environment on AWS, security and compliance are critical aspects that must be addressed rigorously and proactively. AWS CloudTrail is a critical tool that provides visibility and traceability of actions taken in an AWS account, enabling eCommerce businesses to maintain the security of their resources and meet audit and compliance requirements.

Let's discover below how AWS CloudTrail helps strengthen security and ensure compliance in eCommerce environments on AWS:

AWS Account Activity Tracking:

AWS CloudTrail logs detailed actions taken in an AWS account. Including interaction with services, changes in resource configuration, and the performance of operations by users and roles. This provides complete traceability of the activities carried out in the account, which is essential for the detection and response to possible security threats.

Audit and Analysis of Events:

CloudTrail makes it easy to audit and analyze events by generating activity logs that record every action taken in your AWS account. These logs can be used to investigate security incidents, identify suspicious activities, and perform forensic analysis in the event of intrusions or security breaches.

Compliance and Security Policies:

CloudTrail is essential for compliance with security requirements and internal company policies. It allows security and compliance teams to monitor compliance with security policies, identify deviations, and take corrective action to ensure a secure environment and comply with regulatory standards and industry standards.

Integration with AWS Security Services:

CloudTrail integrates with other AWS security services, such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and AWS Config, to provide a complete view of your account's security posture. This integration allows security teams to implement access and configuration policies based on events logged by CloudTrail, further strengthening account security.

Threat and Anomaly Detection:

Using CloudTrail in conjunction with log analysis and threat detection tools, security teams can quickly identify and respond to potential threats and anomalies in the AWS account. Early detection of suspicious activities can help prevent cyber attacks and minimize the impact on the security of the e-commerce platform.

In summary, AWS CloudTrail is a fundamental piece in the security and compliance strategy of any company that enters ecommerce with AWS. It provides complete visibility into activities in your AWS account, facilitates auditing and compliance, and helps with early detection of threats and anomalies.

By integrating CloudTrail into your AWS infrastructure, the business can strengthen its security posture and ensure compliance with applicable policies and regulations.

If you need a technology partner with extensive experience in eCommerce and AWS, be sure to contact us here today.

Best Automation and Scalability Practices

In an eCommerce environment on AWS, the ability to efficiently scale and automate operational processes is essential to ensure optimal performance and a consistent user experience, especially during times of high demand.

Automation and scalability are fundamental pillars in cloud infrastructure management, and AWS offers a wide range of services and tools that allow e-commerce companies to achieve these goals effectively.

We share some ideas on how to leverage automation and scalability in AWS to optimize infrastructure and improve operational efficiency:

  1. Process Automation Implementation: AWS offers services such as AWS CloudFormation and AWS CDK that enable infrastructure automation by defining resources as code. This makes it easier to deploy and manage infrastructure environments in a consistent and reproducible manner, reducing the risk of manual errors and accelerating the time to deploy new applications and services.
  2. Automatic Scalability Based on Metrics: Using services such as Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, Amazon RDS Auto Scaling, and AWS Lambda, businesses can automatically scale the capacity of their resources based on traffic demand. This allows resource capacity to be dynamically adjusted to meet changing business needs, ensuring optimal performance and a seamless user experience.
  3. Workflow Orchestration with AWS Step Functions: AWS Step Functions is a workflow orchestration service that allows companies to define and execute workflows in a coordinated and automated manner. This is especially useful in e-commerce to manage complex processes, such as order management, payment processing, and inventory management, ensuring consistent and error-free execution.
  4. Monitoring and Automated Alerts: Leveraging the integration between CloudWatch and automation services like AWS Lambda, businesses can set up alerts and automated actions in response to operational events. For example, you can create alarms in CloudWatch to detect anomalies in key metrics, such as resource usage or server latency, and configure automated actions to automatically scale resource capacity or notify the operations team.
  5. Continuous Optimization with Machine Learning: AWS offers machine learning services like Amazon SageMaker that allow companies to continually analyze and optimize their operational processes. This includes predicting traffic demand, optimizing resource capacity, and identifying behavioral patterns to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.

Adopting these automation and scalability strategies in AWS, your ecommerce business will be able to significantly improve its ability to manage infrastructure efficiently, ensure optimal performance and a consistent user experience, and adapt agilely to changing market demands.

We hope that combining these practices with the observability tools we've covered in this article will give you a solid foundation for success in eCommerce environments with AWS.


In an increasingly digitized world, ecommerce companies face constant challenges to deliver exceptional user experiences while maintaining the operational efficiency and security of their platforms. In this context, observability in Amazon Web Services (AWS) stands as a fundamental pillar for the success of e-commerce operations in the cloud.

Throughout this article, we have explored AWS observability best practices specifically tailored for e-commerce, ranging from observability fundamentals to advanced automation and scalability strategies. We've seen how tools like CloudWatch, X-Ray, CloudTrail, and CloudWatch Logs provide end-to-end visibility into application performance, security, and compliance on AWS.

By implementing these observability practices, any company in the world of ecommerce can achieve several key benefits:

  • Performance improvement: Proactive monitoring and data analysis help you identify and fix performance issues before they impact the user experience.
  • Strengthening Security: Traceability and log analysis with CloudTrail and CloudWatch Logs help detect and respond to potential security threats effectively.
  • Regulatory compliance: Activity log generation and the ability to audit events with CloudTrail help ensure compliance with policies and regulations.
  • Operating efficiency: Automation and scalability allow the infrastructure to be managed efficiently, dynamically adapting to business demands.

Ultimately, implementing these observability practices on AWS not only improves the operational efficiency of digital businesses, but also helps deliver exceptional user experiences, increasing customer trust and loyalty.

As ecommerce continues to evolve and face new challenges, observability in AWS will continue to play a crucial role in successful operations. By staying on top of the latest observability tools and practices, businesses can continue to innovate and adapt to an ever-changing market, thereby maintaining their position at the forefront of cloud ecommerce.

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