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Table of contents
Importance of AWS X-Ray
AWS X-Ray Workflow
Features of AWS X-Ray
Disadvantages of AWS X-Ray
Frequently Asked Questions
What is AWS X-Ray?
Why should you use AWS X-Ray?
What can one do with AWS X-Ray?
What is a trace in AWS X-Ray?
What kinds of X-Ray apps may I use?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024


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AWS X-Ray is a critical component of the AWS serverless stack, allowing developers to analyse and troubleshoot distributed microservice-based applications analyze. X-Ray creates a Service Map that contains information about an application's architecture and relationships between components and a dependency tree. It facilitates root cause analysis by identifying the problematic area of the program and providing request data such as latency and error count.

Source: amazon/aws

Importance of AWS X-Ray

As the world's largest cloud service provider, Amazon has actively promoted the move from monolithic programs to microservice-based applications.

Using all of the data collected by Amazon since the launch of their cloud computing services, they were able to construct AWS X ray and deploy it in November 2016.

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AWS X-Ray Workflow

AWS X-Ray has an easy-to-follow workflow that goes like this:

Collect traces: X-Ray gathers data from an application's underlying services. It inserts an HTTP header to queries that do not yet have one and sends the header to subsequent tiers of request handlers to create an end-to-end trace.

Record traces: AWS X-Ray compiles all collected data into traces that run from the start to the end of your application workflow.

View Service Map: Using the trace data, the AWS X-Ray produces a map of services accessed by the application. This creates a visual depiction of the links between the application's services and aggregated data for every service.

Analyse issues: Once all traces have been gathered and structured into a Service map, developers can drill down into the service to see exactly where and what problem occurs. Developers can spot performance bottlenecks, discover high-latency parts, and measure the number of errors.

Trace in AWS X-Ray: To monitor and transmit requests to an application, an X-RAnalyzeay uses a trace, a group of segments holding all data points for a particular component. Each segment contains a single or more sub-segments that carry information such as queries, time stamps, and error statuses. The service archives data for 30 days and allows developers to get trace data thirty seconds after being gathered.

Features of AWS X-Ray

The features of AWS X-Ray are as follows:-

Easy Setup: With X-Ray, getting started is simple. Install the X-Ray agent after integrating the X-Ray SDK with the application. Because the X-Ray agent is pre-installed on Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, we only need to connect the X ray SDK with our app.

End-to-end Tracing: Amazon X-Ray gives a cross-service picture of requests to your application from beginning to end. It aggregates data from individual services in your app into a single entity called a trace, giving you an application-centric view of requests coming through your application.

Service Map: Amazon X-Ray generates a map of your application's services, complete with trace data, which you can use to drill down into specific services or concerns. This shows the connections between your application's services and aggregated data for every service, such as average delay and error rates.

Filtering and annotating data: You can annotate data emitted by individual components or services in your app using Amazon X-Ray. This can be used to append business-specific information that aids in problem diagnosis.

Security: You may regulate which people and resources have permission to view your traces and how with Amazon X-integration Ray with Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Disadvantages of AWS X-Ray

While X-Ray is a simple and convenient functionality for AWS-only systems, it falls short in tracing outside of Amazon's products. Third-party traces cease abruptly as a result, and the resulting service map misrepresents the application's architecture. Asynchronous invocations like SNS on Kinesis cannot be traced or tracked using the API gateway. Furthermore, connecting to developer and testing environments is difficult to identify problems that span many trials.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AWS X-Ray?

AWS X-Ranalyzingay is a tool that aids in analysing and debugging distributed systems. Customers use X-Ray to track the performance of application traces, including calls to specific other downstream components or applications.

Why should you use AWS X-Ray?

X-Ray uses a user-centric paradigm rather than a service-centric or resource-centric model to collect data relevant to requests made to your application. This paradigm allows you to build a user-centric picture of requests as they move between services and resources.

What can one do with AWS X-Ray?

AWS X-Ray helps us quickly construct a service map, find faults and bugs, and create our analysis and visualization tools.

What is a trace in AWS X-Ray?

A set of data points with the same trace ID is called an X-Ray trace. For example, when a user request is made to your app, it is given a unique trace ID.

What kinds of X-Ray apps may I use?

An X-Ray can be used to trace and debug both synchronous and asynchronous events in distributed applications of almost any size.


In this article, we have extensively discussed the AWS X-Ray and its features. We have covered the advantages and disadvantages of the X-Ray.

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