AWS Cost Efficiency
Best Practices for AWS CloudWatch Cost Optimization

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Amazon CloudWatch, a comprehensive monitoring and management service offered by Amazon, provides unified visibility into your cloud resources, applications, and systems, enabling you to track performance, identify issues, and optimize resource utilization. To keep CloudWatch costs under check, it is essential to understand how pricing is calculated. CloudWatch pricing is based on factors such as the number of metrics, logs, and alarms you create, the frequency of data points collected, and the retention period of logs and metrics.

In this blog, we will explore best practices to optimize your CloudWatch costs without compromising on performance.

Fine-tuning logs costs

Logs provide valuable insights into the behavior of your applications and infrastructure. By optimizing your logs usage, you can effectively reduce CloudWatch costs while maintaining visibility and troubleshooting capabilities.

Reduce log volume

Here are some strategies to reduce the volume of logs stored in CloudWatch.

  • Regularly review and remove any unnecessary logs to significantly reduce the volume of data ingested by CloudWatch.
  • Use filters to exclude irrelevant log events before they are sent to CloudWatch. This reduces the amount of data stored and analyzed, resulting in cost savings.
  • Compress log data before sending it to CloudWatch.

Configure log retention

Consider these strategies to adjust the log retention period in CloudWatch to reduce storage costs.  

  • Determine the duration for retaining logs based on your requirements and compliance regulations. Avoid unnecessarily long retention periods.
  • Utilise CloudWatch lifecycle policies to automatically expire or archive logs based on predefined rules to streamline log retention and reduce costs.

Utilize CloudWatch Logs Insights

CloudWatch Logs Insights enables advanced log analysis using SQL-like queries. Using Logs Insights, you can extract valuable information from your logs and gain deeper insights into your applications and infrastructure leading to quicker issue identification and resolution as well as reduced operational costs.

  • Create custom dashboards for real-time visibility into specific log data. This helps monitor key metrics and identify anomalies or trends more effectively.
  • Set up automated reports and alerts based on specific log events or patterns. This enables you to proactively address issues and reduce the time spent on manual log analysis.

Optimizing metrics usage

Metrics are essential for monitoring the health and performance of your AWS resources and applications. By optimizing your metrics usage, you can effectively reduce CloudWatch costs while maintaining the necessary visibility and monitoring capabilities.

Disable detailed monitoring for unused resources

Detailed monitoring incurs higher costs compared to basic monitoring. Identify and disable detailed monitoring for resources that are not actively in use.

Use metric filters

Metric filters enable you to extract specific information from log data and create custom metrics. This helps reduce the number of metrics stored and analyzed in CloudWatch, resulting in cost savings.  

  • Determine specific metrics that are crucial for monitoring your resources and applications. By focusing on these metrics, you can avoid unnecessary costs associated with storing and analyzing irrelevant metrics.
  • Identify and exclude unnecessary metrics from being sent to CloudWatch. This reduces the volume of metrics ingested and helps optimize costs.

Leverage CloudWatch alarms

With CloudWatch alarms, you can monitor metrics and receive notifications when certain conditions are met. By effectively configuring alarms, you can proactively address issues and reduce manual monitoring efforts.

  • Define alarm thresholds that accurately reflect the thresholds at which action needs to be taken. This helps avoid unnecessary notifications and reduces costs associated with alarm actions.
  • Use composite alarms to create alarms based on multiple metrics or conditions. By consolidating alarms, you can reduce the number of alarms created, resulting in lower costs.

Utilizing dashboards thoughtfully

CloudWatch dashboards provide a centralized view of your metrics, enabling you to monitor the health and performance of your resources and applications. By optimizing your dashboard usage, you can effectively reduce CloudWatch costs while maintaining visibility and ease of monitoring.

Delete unused dashboards

Regularly review and delete dashboards that are no longer needed. By cleaning up your dashboard inventory, you can streamline your monitoring efforts and reduce expenses.

Use shared dashboards

With shared dashboards, you can collaborate and share insights with other team members. Shared dashboards help reduce the number of dashboards that need to be created and maintained leading to reduced costs.

Utilize CloudWatch Anomaly Detection

Leverage CloudWatch Anomaly Detection to identify and enable anomaly detection for the most critical metrics for your resources. This proactive approach reduces the time spent on manual analysis and troubleshooting and allows you to focus on issues and anomalies that require immediate attention, reducing unnecessary monitoring efforts.


Optimizing your AWS CloudWatch costs is a critical aspect of managing your AWS resources efficiently. By implementing the best practices outlined in this post, you can effectively reduce your CloudWatch costs. As a best practice, regularly review and adjust your log and metric configurations to ensure ongoing cost optimization. With careful planning and implementation, you can maximize the value of CloudWatch while ensuring your costs do not go through the roof.

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