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Proactively Monitoring Key Server Metrics in AWS: CPU and Hard Drive Space

Ensuring the optimal performance and reliability of your servers is paramount in today’s digital landscape. Proactive monitoring of key server metrics, such as CPU utilization and hard drive space, is essential to prevent performance bottlenecks, downtime, and unexpected issues. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a suite of tools and services that can help you keep a close eye on these critical server metrics. In this article, we’ll explore how to proactively monitor CPU and hard drive space using AWS tools and services.

Amazon CloudWatch for CPU Utilization

Amazon CloudWatch is AWS’s native monitoring and observability service, providing real-time insights into your server’s performance. To proactively monitor CPU utilization, follow these steps:

  1.  Create Custom Metrics: Use CloudWatch to collect custom metrics from your servers. You can do this by installing the CloudWatch agent on your server instances or using the built-in AWS Systems Manager Run Command to execute scripts that gather CPU metrics.

  2. Set Up Alarms: Configure CloudWatch alarms to notify you when CPU utilization exceeds predefined thresholds. For example, you can set an alarm to trigger when CPU utilization exceeds 80% for a sustained period. This will help you identify and address performance issues before they impact your users.

  3.  Leverage CloudWatch Logs: Collect and analyze server logs using CloudWatch Logs to gain deeper insights into CPU-related events and errors. By monitoring logs, you can identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate underlying issues affecting CPU performance.

AWS CloudWatch for Hard Drive Space

Monitoring hard drive space is equally crucial to prevent server outages and data loss. Here’s how to proactively monitor hard drive space using CloudWatch:

  1.  Custom Disk Space Metrics: Similar to CPU utilization, you can create custom CloudWatch metrics to monitor disk space. Utilize the CloudWatch agent or AWS Systems Manager to regularly collect and publish disk space metrics.

  2.  Set Up Alarms: Configure CloudWatch alarms to alert you when the available hard drive space falls below a specified threshold. For example, trigger an alarm when disk space is less than 20% to proactively address storage-related issues.

  3.  CloudWatch Dashboards: Create custom dashboards in CloudWatch to visualize and monitor hard drive space alongside other critical server metrics. This provides a centralized view of your server’s health and helps identify correlations between metrics.

AWS Systems Manager

AWS Systems Manager is a powerful service that simplifies server management tasks, including resource monitoring. You can use Systems Manager to collect CPU and disk space metrics without installing the CloudWatch agent separately:

  1. Run Command: Use Systems Manager Run Command to execute scripts remotely on your server instances to collect CPU and disk space metrics. This eliminates the need for agent installation and simplifies metric collection.

AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation, while primarily an infrastructure-as-code service, can be leveraged to automate and standardize monitoring setup:

  1. Resource Templates: Define your monitoring resources, including CloudWatch alarms and metrics, as part of your CloudFormation templates. This ensures consistent monitoring across your server instances.


Proactively monitoring key server metrics like CPU utilization and hard drive space is essential for maintaining server performance and availability. AWS offers a range of tools and services, including Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Systems Manager, and AWS CloudFormation, to help you set up robust monitoring solutions. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that you have real-time visibility into critical server metrics, allowing you to respond swiftly to any issues and provide a seamless experience for your users. Monitoring is not a one-time task but an ongoing practice that helps you keep your AWS-based infrastructure in optimal condition.


Based in Burbank, California, Vimware is an Amazon AWS partner offering specialized IT strategy and software development consulting. With a focus on empowering small to midsize businesses, our expertise in building apps, websites, SAAS, APIs, and DevOps ensures your organization excels in the digital arena. Looking for more details or services? Contact us—we’re dedicated to providing the support you need!


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