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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Introduces Amazon CloudWatch Internet Weather Map

AWS Introduces Amazon CloudWatch Internet Weather Map

AWS recently announced the availability of the Internet Weather Map, a new feature of Amazon CloudWatch that displays a 24-hour global snapshot of internet latency and availability outages. This new map offers a worldwide perspective on Internet conditions, allowing users to zoom in and analyze performance and availability problems in specific cities or with particular service providers.

Red and yellow circles on the Internet Weather Map indicate current issues affecting availability and performance, respectively, while grey circles represent resolved issues within the past 24 hours. Jeff Barr, vice president and chief evangelist at AWS, writes:

The Internet has a plethora of moving parts: routers, switches, hubs, terrestrial and submarine cables, connectors on the hardware side, and complex protocol stacks and configurations on the software side. When something goes wrong that slows or disrupts the Internet in a way that affects your customers, you want to be able to localize and understand the issue as quickly as possible.

Source: AWS blog

Each issue affects a specific city-network, identified by a combination of location and Autonomous System Number (ASN), typically corresponding to an individual ISP. According to the FAQ page, the map updates every 15 minutes, disregarding short-lived events lasting less than 5 minutes.

Source: AWS blog

Leveraging global monitors operated by AWS, the new service enables users to set up a monitor in the Internet Monitor console that tracks information tailored to the customer's application traffic and client locations. Barr adds:

If you want to understand how internet weather affects your particular AWS applications and to take advantage of other features such as health event notification and traffic insights, you can make use of CloudWatch Internet Monitor.

While the Internet Monitor is primarily a feature of the CloudWatch Console, it is also available programmatically. According to the documentation, the new ListInternetEvents function returns up to 100 performance or availability events per call. Optional filtering by time range, status (ACTIVE or RESOLVED), or type (PERFORMANCE or AVAILABILITY) is available. Each JSON event includes various details, such as the latitude and longitude of the outage.

The data is derived from a combination of active and passive probing of the internet and the cloud provider outlines how AWS measures connectivity issues. Nivlesh Chandra, senior manager and technical principal at Cognizant, comments:

This tool isn't just eye candy—it's a game-changer for gaining invaluable insights into factors impacting your application's availability. Don't miss out!

Andree Toonk, founder and CEO of Border0, tweets:

Looks great! Wish they'd expose more of the data though, would love to click on those dots and see a graph or something.

Barr writes that the cloud provider plans to display in the future the causes of certain types of outages, such as DDoS attacks, BGP route leaks, and issues with route interconnects. Additionally, the roadmap includes features like introducing a view tailored to selected ISPs and displaying the impact on public SaaS applications.

The Amazon CloudWatch Internet Weather Map is accessible from all AWS regions and there is no charge to use it.


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