AWS X-Ray in 5 minutes

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X-Ray is AWS’s distributed tracing system. What the hell is a distributed tracing system? That means that you can trace requests as they travel through your architecture. By John T Earl.

When working in a micro-service world distributed tracing is a powerful tool that allows developers, operations, architects, and managers to see the big picture view of the application.

The author then quickly goes over:

  • How does AWS X-Ray work?
    • Segments
    • Traces
    • Service Map
  • When do I use AWS X-Ray?
  • X-Ray language support

X-ray uses an SDK and a daemon/agent. To use X-Ray you’ll need to integrate with the SDK and install the X-Ray agent then you’re good to go. X-Ray will receive data from services in segments. It groups any common segments together into something called traces.

AWS X-Ray is an invaluable tool for micro-services. If you’re working in a micro-service architecture and haven’t enabled X-Ray give it a try. Enabling X-Ray is simple and the service map it provides is great if you’re a visual learner. Like all AWS services, it’s cheap to use. The cost model is 100,000 free traces recorded a month, 1 million traces retrieved or scanned free each month. If you exceed that the cost is .000005 cents per trace or $5 per million traces. Light and to the point!

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Tags distributed apis app-development aws monitoring web-development