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Difference Between AWS Cloudwatch and Cloudtrail

Difference Between AWS CloudWatch and CloudTrail

AWS CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrails are sometimes difficult to distinguish. This article seeks to dispel any misunderstandings regarding the two services. After reading, you need to be able to identify the functions of each service and how they differ.

AWS CloudWatch meaning

You can monitor the effectiveness of your AWS resources and applications with the aid of AWS CloudWatch.

AWS CloudWatch use

By using CloudWatch, you can gain insights into resource utilization, application performance, and operational issues. This allows you to troubleshoot and prevent issues before they cause problems for your business.


What kind of things can you do with CloudWatch?


Analyze Logs 

CloudWatch is useful in exploring and analyzing logs. This is important because, by analyzing your logs, you might find issues that can be addressed to improve the performance of your applications. Besides that, when a resource/application fails, you can determine what happened and why by looking at the logs. Therefore, CloudWatch provides valuable insights that can help improve your application’s performance and stability.

Monitor your Applications 

Monitoring EC2 metrics is a great way to get insights into your application and make necessary changes to avoid any issues. For example, if you see that an EC2 instance is getting close to full capacity, you can add another one before it starts to impact performance or cause downtime.

Optimize your Resources 

By specifying thresholds with CloudWatch, you can take specific actions when conditions are met or not met. For example, you can terminate an EC2 instance if a certain condition is met, or create additional instances to support more traffic.

AWS CloudWatch Monitoring Tools



Using CloudWatch events, you can set up triggers that automatically take action in response to events in your AWS environment. 

Example: You could create an event that sends an email to the administrator when a resource fails. This way, you don’t have to constantly monitor your AWS resources for changes – the event will trigger the action for you.


Alarms work by you defining a threshold, a condition, and what the trigger will be. The most popular alarm scenario is for billing – meaning, if the estimated charges are greater than the set threshold, the alarm will be triggered.

Example:  You can create alarms that automatically stop, terminate, reboot, or recover your EC2 instances.


CloudWatch logs are a great way to store log files for various sources, such as EC2 instances, CloudTrail, and many more. You can then use these logs to detect issues, find leaks, patterns, and so on. This can be immensely helpful in keeping your infrastructure running smoothly and preventing issues before they happen.

AWS CloudWatch: the Bottom Line

AWS CloudWatch is a great service that allows you to monitor the performance and metrics of your resources and applications running in AWS. It can help you improve and scale your applications, stay within budget, and avoid unwanted costs. Think of CloudWatch as a person who watches your applications to make sure they work correctly and efficiently.

AWS CloudTrail meaning

AWS CloudTrail is a service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It records AWS API calls made by an account. It captures the request parameters, request parameters, the status of the request, and the response data returned.

AWS CloudTrail provides a record of events that occur in your AWS account, including what actions were taken and by whom. CloudTrail is a service for shipping log files from AWS accounts to AWS storage locations and to Amazon S3 buckets. CloudTrail collects and retains log files for your AWS accounts activities. CloudTrail preserves the log files for a period of up to 180 days by default. CloudTrail log files can be encrypted with SSL to secure the data in transit. The data collected by CloudTrail is used to build activity trails that show the changes made to your resources in AWS.

AWS CloudTrail use

Cloudtrail can also be used to detect changes to objects in S3. It’s like a detective, watching over your account and environment. By default, Cloudtrail captures log information in JSON format.  This makes Cloudtrail a fit for a wide range of use cases : –

Security Auditing, Compliance, Operations, Application  and infrastructure monitoring, Cloud  Performance Management etc

What kind of things can you do with CloudTrail?

For example, if your S3 bucket is accidentally deleted, you can use AWS CloudTrail to check who deleted the bucket, when, and where (e.g. API call or from the AWS Management console). 

AWS CloudTrail provides answers to the following questions:

– What action was taken?

– Who performed it?

– When was the action taken?

– Where did the action take place?

In this way, you can primarily use AWS CloudTrail to monitor activity in your AWS environment. 

Aws CloudTrail : the BottomLine

CloudTrail provides a complete record of user activity on your account, so you can see everything that’s happening and take appropriate action if necessary.

Difference between AWS Cloudwatch and AWS Cloudtrail


AWS Cloudwatch

It is an observance tool used for the period observance of AWS resources and applications. It provides a report on the idea of observance which may be accustomed to analyzing the performance of the system. It monitors varied AWS resources like Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon S3, Elastic Load Balancer, etc. 

AWS Cloudtrail

It is a service that permits governance, compliance, operational auditing, and risk auditing of your AWS account. It ceaselessly logs and monitors the activities and actions across your AWS account. It conjointly provides the event history of your AWS account, as well as data regarding the United Nations agency that is accessing your AWS services

AWS CloudWatch vs. CloudTrail 



           AWS Cloudwatch

AWS Cloudtrail


It’s mainly responsible for events that occur on AWS resources.

Cloudtrail is primarily responsible for what is done on AWS, and who is doing it.


CloudWatch service helps you monitor your AWS resources and applications.

CloudTrail is a web service that records activity within your AWS account.


By using AWS Cloudwatch, you will be able to track essential metrics and monitor log files for your company. Additionally, you can set alarms for various events so that you can be proactive about any potential issues.

CloudTrail provides users with much greater visibility into activity by tracking AWS console actions as well as who made the call, from what IP address and when.


This specifically records the appliance logs.

This provides data regarding what occurred in your AWS 



This provides users with metric information in one minute intervals for more thorough observation, as well as five minute periods for less intense observation.

It delivers an incident within a quarter-hour of the API decision.


This stores information in its own dashboard, including metrics and logs.

It will modify all the logs across regions and even across several accounts and store them on S3 bucket


It offers free basic observance resources by default,

like EC2 instances, RDS, etc.

By default, AWS account holders can begin using all features and products from the moment their account is created.