Srushti Shah
Srushti Shah

Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate, and out-of-the-box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things, and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn

The Essential Guide to Serverless Monitoring: Best Practices and Tools

The rise of serverless architecture has ushered in a new age of application development. The benefits of this are multifold and include easy scalability, reduced costs, and increased efficiency.

As the uptake of this architecture gathers momentum, businesses need to address the challenges they present. Specifically, in monitoring and observability. Traditional monitoring tools are left wanting when dealing with the ephemeral and event-driven nature of serverless functions.

The new architecture demands a new approach. In this guide, we look at serverless monitoring and offer advice on the best practices and tools to get the most out of your serverless applications.

Understanding Serverless Technology

Serverless technology is something of a misnomer. In this model, servers are not eliminated, rather the infrastructure required in traditional “server environments” is abstracted away.

This leaves the developers to focus on the code, while infrastructure management, maintenance, and scaling are the responsibility of the cloud provider.

Among the key characteristics of serverless computing are:

  • Event-Driven: Functions are triggered by specific events, such as HTTP requests or database modifications.
  • Stateless: Each function execution is independent, with persistent states stored externally.
  • Short-lived: Functions are ephemeral, initiating upon an event and terminating post-task.
  • Automatic Scaling: The cloud provider scales function instances based on the event rate.

In contrast, traditional systems demand manual provisioning, scaling, and maintenance. They operate continuously, incurring costs even during idle times. This hands-on approach to infrastructure management starkly contrasts the serverless "code and forget" model.

As businesses transition to serverless, they encounter unique monitoring challenges, given the transient and event-driven nature of functions. Let’s look at some of the best practices that can help address these challenges.

Best Practices for Serverless Monitoring

Serverless architecture has many benefits, however, its unique nature demands specialized monitoring strategies.

To ensure the smooth operation of serverless applications, it's essential to adopt specific monitoring practices tailored to this environment. Here are some essential best practices for seamless serverless monitoring:

Define Clear Monitoring Objectives and Metrics

Before diving into monitoring, it's crucial to set clear objectives. Understand what you aim to achieve with your monitoring efforts.

  • Performance Metrics: Track metrics like latency, error rates, and invocation durations.
  • Operational Health: Monitor the health of your serverless components to detect any anomalies.
  • Resource Utilization: Keep an eye on the resources your functions consume to optimize costs and performance.

Another essential metric to consider is the Mean-Time-To-Failure (MTTF), which provides insights into the reliability of serverless components.

Implement Real-time Monitoring and Alerts

In the dynamic world of serverless, where functions can scale rapidly, real-time monitoring is essential.

  • Instant Notifications: Set up alerts for anomalies or when predefined thresholds are breached.
  • Automated Responses: Integrate with tools that can automatically address specific issues, reducing the need for manual intervention.

For a comprehensive understanding of monitoring, exploring the top incident management metrics can be beneficial.

Enable Detailed Logging and Log Aggregation

Logs provide a wealth of information about the behavior and performance of your serverless functions.

  • Structured Logging: Implement structured logging to make it easier to query and analyze logs.
  • Centralized Storage: Use log aggregation tools to centralize logs from various sources, providing a unified view of your serverless environment.

Automate Monitoring and Remediation Tasks

Automation is the key to efficiently managing large-scale serverless applications.

  • Continuous Monitoring: Use tools that continuously scan your environment, ensuring no issues go unnoticed.
  • Automated Remediation: Set up automated scripts or tools that can fix common issues without human intervention.

Security: Prioritize and Protect

Serverless doesn't mean security concerns vanish. On the contrary, the very nature of serverless makes security even more critical. As the convergence of digital and physical security technology trends becomes more pronounced, finding the right security integrator to help your organization create an all-encompassing approach to security is essential.

  • Access Control: Ensure only authorized entities can invoke your functions. Additionally, implementing a robust DMARC policy can enhance email security, preventing unauthorized access to your functions through email-based threats.
  • Data Protection: Encrypt sensitive data and implement best practices for data storage and transfer.  Also, clean your email list and protect it by regularly scrubbing your email list.
  • Vulnerability Scanning: Regularly scan your serverless environment for vulnerabilities and address them promptly.

By embracing these best practices, businesses can ensure their serverless applications are robust, secure, and perform at their best, delivering an optimal user experience.

Best Tools for Serverless Monitoring

The distinct and unique requirements of serverless monitoring have given rise to specialized tools to address these specific challenges. Industry-recognized tools include:


As a status page platform, Instatus offers more than just uptime monitoring. It provides insights into system health, ensuring stakeholders are informed during outages or disruptions. Key features include:

  • Real-time Notifications: Instant alerts on system status changes.
  • Customizable Dashboards: Tailor your status page to reflect your brand.
  • Incident Histories: Maintain transparency with users by providing detailed incident reports.


Designed for Amazon Web Services, X-Ray offers insights into the behavior of your serverless applications.

  • Tracing: Visualize and analyze requests as they travel through your application.
  • Performance Bottlenecks: Identify and address issues affecting application performance.


A comprehensive monitoring solution, Datadog excels in providing visibility across serverless environments.

  • Integration: Seamlessly integrates with various serverless platforms.
  • Dashboards: Customizable views to monitor real-time data and trends.

New Relic

Known for its application performance monitoring, New Relic extends its capabilities to the serverless arena.

  • Error Tracking: Pinpoint errors and exceptions in your serverless functions.
  • Latency Monitoring: Monitor response times and optimize for better performance.

Serverless Framework

Beyond deployment and management, this framework offers monitoring capabilities tailored for serverless applications.

  • Alerts: Set up thresholds and receive notifications for anomalies.
  • Logging: Centralized logs for easier troubleshooting.

Choosing the right tool depends on your specific needs, the complexity of your serverless environment, and the cloud hosting provider you're using. Regardless of the choice, ensure it aligns with the best practices discussed earlier for optimal results.

Embracing the Future of Serverless Monitoring

As serverless architectures continue to gain traction, the importance of effective monitoring cannot be overstated. By understanding the unique challenges of serverless environments and employing the best practices and tools tailored for them, businesses can ensure seamless, efficient, and secure operations.

The future of application development is undeniably leaning toward serverless, and with the right monitoring strategies in place, organizations can reap the benefits while minimizing potential pitfalls.

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