Making Sense of Your IoT data with AWS and MetricFire

Making Sense of Your IoT data with AWS and MetricFire

Table of Contents

The Internet of Things (IoT) is all the rage these days, and for good reason. It lets us connect all sorts of devices to the internet, opening up a world of possibilities. However, managing all those devices and the data they generate can be a challenge.

That's where AWS and MetricFire come in. AWS offers a robust suite of cloud services called AWS IoT that makes it easy to develop and manage IoT applications. MetricFire is a platform that helps you monitor your AWS services, including your IoT devices.

In this article, we will explore the features of AWS IoT and provide a step-by-step guide on leveraging these services for seamless IoT implementation. To learn more about integrating your AWS data with MetricFire’s hosted monitoring solution, you can create a free trial account or book a demo.

Key Takeaways

The AWS ecosystem provides an AWS IoT add-on that offers a set of services for IoT applications. The key takeaways include:

  • Scalability: AWS IoT services are designed to scale seamlessly to various IoT devices.

  • Security: The integrity and confidentiality of the IoT data are ensured by various security features offered by AWS

  • Integration: AWS IoT can seamlessly integrate with other AWS services, providing a comprehensive IoT solution.

What are the AWS IoT Features?

  • Device Registry: AWS IoT contains a centralized repository to securely manage information about each device connected to the AWS platform. With this, you can have more details on the device properties and configurations considered in a comprehensive catalogue.

  • Device Shadows: Device Shadows provide a virtual, persistent representation of each IoT device. This feature aims to facilitate consistent interaction with devices, whether they have an online status or not. This ensures a seamless user experience and enhances the synchronization between the cloud and devices.

  • Rules Engine: empowers users to process and act on data from IoT devices in real time. Organizations can automate responses by defining rules based on specific conditions to enable dynamic and context-aware decision-making.

  • Security & Identity: AWS IoT employs robust measures for device authentication and authorization, as it prioritizes security. The communication between devices and the AWS cloud is secure, safeguarding against external potential threats.

How to Use AWS IoT Services

Of course, first, you must have an AWS account before getting started (obvious step out of the way). 

Step 1: Create an IoT Thing

Start your IoT journey by creating an IoT Thing through the AWS IoT Console. Define the Thing's properties, such as its name and type, and configure security settings, including certificates for secure communication.

Step 2: Connect Devices

Connect your IoT devices to the AWS IoT platform. This involves configuring each device with the necessary security certificates to establish a secure and authenticated connection with the cloud.

Step 3: Set Up Device Shadows

Implementing Device Shadows is critical for providing a persistent and synchronized interface between IoT devices and the AWS cloud. This step enhances the ability to interact with devices consistently, regardless of online or offline status.

Step 4: Define Rules

Leverage the Rules Engine to define rules for processing data from IoT devices. Rules can be configured to trigger specific actions or forward data to other AWS services, enabling a flexible and customizable IoT ecosystem.

Monitoring AWS IoT services with MetricFire

An IoT device can be linked to your private network or directly to the internet to reach them. The advantage of IoT is that you don't need to upgrade the firmware as the manufacturer already does it via the internet. Internet-connected gadgets can face many issues, and the most critical issue can be security, as manufacturers often create default credentials that can be the same across all models when the firmware is installed. Monitoring and managing IoT devices can help keep track of the security and health of all your devices.

MetricFire is an infrastructure monitoring platform based on a collection of open-source server monitoring tools, including Hosted Graphite. By offering fully customizable open-source dashboards, MetricFire enables real-time metric tracking. Start a free trial to experience how you can start quickly and easily monitoring your data. 

Step-by-Step Guide

To monitor your AWS IoT services with MetricFire, you need first to make sure that your IoT devices are part of your AWS infrastructure so that MetricFire will able to pull all data from your AWS account through CloudWatch using the AWS addon available in the add-ons section of any account. All data created in Cloudwatch from your AWS services can be pulled into the MetricFire datastore using our add-on. The add-on will periodically (10-minute intervals) pull Cloudwatch data for all configured services from your AWS account. This data will then be converted and stored in our graphite datastore. Afterwards, the data can be queried using our hosted dashboards or the render API. 

Step 1: Configure the monitoring of your IoT Devices using AWS Cloudwatch

First, go to your AWS account and configure Cloudwatch Logs to monitor your IoT devices. You will need to configure the IAM role that will allow you to perform some operations and also configure the AWS Access and Secret Key you will need to provide to use the AWS add-on. If you want to monitor and log AWS IoT activity, you will need to use the AWS API, CLI, or IoT console, as well as active logging. The message broker and rules engine will send events from your devices.

Step 2: Integrate MetricFire

To integrate MetricFIre, you need to have an account or start your testing via a free trial. In the add-on menu, you can choose AWS to start creating an AWS integration. Then, the list of all the AWS add-ons available to integrate with MetricFire will be made. Select the "CloudWatch Logs" service.

Making Sense of Your IoT data with AWS and MetricFire - 1

You must also provide the AWS Access and Secret Key you saved when configuring your AWS IAM policy. Make sure to select your preferred AWS region. 

Step 3: Start monitoring! 

Now you have your AWS services configured, you can start the monitoring process. MetricFire will collect, aggregate, analyze and store metrics your IoT devices generate for up to two years. This can provide invaluable insights into the performance and health of your IoT infrastructure. You can now customize dashboards you need to act as a centralized hub to create visualizations for unique metrics pertinent to your IoT application. This can help you to understand the behavior of your IoT devices. The easiest way to begin with visualising your AWS metrics is to add our AWS Overview dashboard template via our dashboard library. 

Step 4: Set Up Alerts

You can also configure alerts to receive real-time notifications of unusual or critical conditions for metrics from the AWS addon by specifying when to receive a notification when your data does something unexpected, such as go above or below a set threshold or stop suddenly. 

Step 5: Scalability Planning

MetricFire offers insights into the scalability of your IoT infrastructure. Analyze metrics related to device connections, message throughput, and other key parameters to plan effectively for the growth of your IoT application.

You can learn more about other AWS integrations like memoryDB. 


AWS IoT and MetricFire are a powerful combination for managing and monitoring your IoT devices. AWS IoT provides a scalable and secure platform for connecting your devices. MetricFire helps you make sense of the data your devices generate and keeps you informed about any potential issues.

Ready to see how AWS IoT and MetricFire can help you take your IoT project to the next level? Sign up for a free trial of MetricFire or book a demo with one of our monitoring experts today!

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