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.