Integrate AWS CloudWatch Metrics (Legacy)

Integrating an AWS account using the Settings page has been removed from Secure and is getting deprecated in Monitor. See CloudWatch Metric Streams for the latest information.

When the Sysdig Agent is installed in an Amazon Web Service (AWS) environment, the Sysdig Platform can collect both general metadata and various types of CloudWatch metrics.

Here are the different ways to integrate an AWS account into Sysdig:

  • CloudWatch Metric Streams

  • By manually entering an AWS access key and secret key, and manually managing/rotating them as needed.

  • By passing a parameter that allows Sysdig to autodetect an AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) role and its permissions, passing an “implicit key” (On-Prem only).

    The implicit option requires no manual key rotation as AWS handles those permissions behind the scenes.

  • Using AWS Role delegation. Role delegation is an alternative to the existing integration methods using the access keys. This method is considered secure as sharing developer access keys with third parties is not recommended by Amazon.

The Sysdig Monitor UI includes links to help easily integrate CloudWatch metrics into Sysdig Monitor, as described below.

After integrating with an AWS account, data will become visible in the Sysdig UI after a 10-15 minute delay.

Entry Point in the Sysdig Monitor UI

The Sysdig interface prompts you to perform this integration from the administrator’s Settings menu.

Access from the Settings Menu

Once an agent has been installed, log in to Sysdig Monitor as administrator to perform integration steps or review/modify existing AWS settings.

  1. Select Settings from the user menu.

  2. Click AWS under Outbound Integrations.

  3. Click Add Account.

    A page showing manual key integration, with access key and secret key fields displayed.

Integrate AWS Account Manually

Have your AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) account details available. Integration begins on the AWS side and is completed in the Sysdig Monitor UI, using an Identity and Access Management (IAM) Policy.


Create an IAM Policy for Sysdig Access

You could use the existing IAMReadOnly policy instead, but creating a Sysdig-specific policy provides more granular access control, the activity can be easily distinguished in CloudTrail, and it is considered best practice.

  1. In AWS, select IAM and create a policy to be used for Sysdig. (Sample policy name: SysdigMonitorPolicy.)

  2. Using the JSON editor view, copy/paste the Sysdig-specific policy code into the new policy and save it.

  3. You can review the policy in the Visual Editor.

When reviewing the completed policy in the Visual editor, you should see something like:

Create an IAM User and Grant Programmatic Access

Use an existing IAM user, or (best practice) create a specific IAM user for the Sysdig Backend to programmatically access CloudWatch and use its data.

  1. In the IAM Console, add a User.

  2. Select AWS Access Type: Programmatic Access.

  3. Select Attach existing policies directly, and then select the newly created policy.

    For example, SysdigMonitorPolicy.

  4. Select the Create User option.

  5. Copy and save the resulting access key and secret key.

    The Secret is only displayed once, so make sure to download the credentials file or store the key securely so that you can reference it again.

In the Sysdig Monitor UI

Enter the Access and Secret Key

  1. Log in to Sysdig Monitor as the administrator and select Settings from the user menu.

  2. Select AWS.

  3. Add an account by entering the User Access Key and Secret Key, then clicking Save.

    The credentials will be listed with a Status of OK checked.

Should an Error occur, double-check the credentials entered. Mis-typing is the most common cause of errors.

Enable CloudWatch Integration

  1. Navigate to the AWS page in the Sysdig Monitor UI, if you are not already there.

  2. Toggle the CloudWatch Integration Status to Enabled.

    Sysdig Monitor will poll the CloudWatch API every five minutes. Note that this incurs additional charges from AWS.

After integrating with an AWS account, data will become visible in the Sysdig UI after a 10-15 minute delay.

Refetch Credentials

If the integrated AWS account changes on the AWS side, an Error will be listed in the Credentials Status on the Settings > AWS page.

Use the Refetch Now button to re-establish the integration.

Integrate AWS Account Using the Implicit Key (On-Prem Only)

If Sysdig is installed in an EC2 instance, you can take advantage of the existing EC2 IAM role of that instance. This can simplify administration, as you do not have to manually rotate public and private keys provided to the Sysdig backend.

Use Implicit Key


Have your on-premises Sysdig platform installed in an AWS EC2 instance that has a proper IAM role.

For this option, you cannot use the AWS Integration step in the Welcome Wizard.

To enable implicit key, you must set the following parameter:

Use the parameter either during initial installation, or, if you already entered keys manually, to switch to an implicit key.

If switching, you must then restart the API, worker, and collector components in the backend.

In the Settings > AWS page, the former credentials will be overwritten it will show implicit key.

Enablement steps depend on whether you are using Kubernetes or Replicated as your orchestrator.


  1. Edit the config.yaml to add to the following entries (in the Data section of config.yaml):

  2. If you are switching from manual to implicit keys, you must also restart the API, worker, and collector components.

    See Apply Configuration Changes for details.

  3. Enable Cloudwatch integration in the Sysdig UI.

Change the AWS Services that are Polled

Sysdig is designed to collect metadata for particular AWS services, which are reflected in the IAM policy code.

The services are:

  • DynamoDB

  • EC2 hosts

  • ECS

  • Elasticache

  • RDS

  • SQS

When you implement the code and integration steps as described above, it will trigger two types of collection: first the metadata for each service is collected, and then Sysdig will poll for the metrics about the metadata returned. So, if the service is not enabled in your environment, no metadata (and no metrics) are collected about it. If it is enabled, but you do not want to poll metrics, then delete the lines of code related to that service from the IAM policy. This will avoid potential unwanted AWS API requests and potential AWS charges.

Security Groups

If you have an on-premises Sysdig Backend, and have restricted outbound security groups, you may need to allow HTTPS & DNS access in order for the Sysdig Backend components to make connection to the Amazon APIs. As Amazon API endpoints are referenced by name and have a large number of IP’s, this may need to be full outbound access for HTTPS & DNS.

If you need to filter just to Amazon IP ranges, you can use the following as a guide:

Retrieving CloudWatch Data for Particular AWS Regions

To enable metrics collection from only certain AWS regions in your environment, it is necessary to open a ticket with Sysdig Support. See Contact Support for details.

Learn More

For information on the resulting AWS services visible in Sysdig Monitor, see the AWS-related information in the Metrics Dictionary (also available from within the Sysdig Monitor UI).

For information on how licensing affects AWS service views, see About AWS Cloudwatch Licensing.