SeeDub: Universal Custom Metrics for AWS CloudWatch

When AWS supported an API call to push whatever metric we want, we got very excited. Once a metric is in CloudWatch, we can key a scaling policy to it, have it trigger an action, an alarm, basically perform any action we very well please. Finally, ultimate flexibility in what factors determine what actions, and we get pretty graphs to boot! For example, we could scale a processing group up and down like an accordion based on the number of entries in a DB table, or maybe the amount of free system memory. The hurdles proved disheartening, but we created a solution.

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AWS Architecture for Startup Looking to Scale Quickly

We were asked to prepare a generic document for a LAMP-based startup, running one on machine in the corner of an office, looking to cope with massive scale, disaster recovery, and self-healing resilience, all within three months. Here’s what we came up with given only the above in the context of Amazon Web Services offerings. Most of their services are just shortcuts for doing the same thing yourself. Continue reading