How do I calculate throughput and set a CloudWatch alarm for AWS Direct Connect?

2 minute read

I have an AWS Direct Connect connection. I want to use Amazon CloudWatch metrics to view throughput and set up a throughput-based notification.

Short description

Throughput is the amount of data that's transmitted over an AWS Direct Connect connection within a given period of time. The total capacity of the connection is the bandwidth. Throughput can vary and is dependent on various factors, such as latency, packet loss, network congestion, TCP window size, or TCP streams. To calculate throughput for an AWS Direct Connect connection, use CloudWatch metrics. To create an alert for when throughput exceeds your specified values, create a CloudWatch alarm with an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) notification. 

Important: Throughput calculation is approximate and doesn't provide exact up-to-the-moment bandwidth usage. A CloudWatch metrics alarm is effective for connections that exceed throughput for a duration of 15 minutes or more.


  1. Open the CloudWatch console, and then choose the AWS Region that’s associated with your Direct Connect connection. 
  2. In the navigation pane, choose Metrics. Then, choose All metrics.
  3. Under All Metrics, choose DX. Then, choose Connection metrics.
  4. Choose either ingress or egress throughput for your AWS Direct Connect connection:
    For ingress throughput, choose ConnectionBpsIngress.
    For egress throughput, choose ConnectionBpsEgress.
    Note: The output result is in bits per second.
  5. Configure your CloudWatch alarm for AWS Direct Connect connections. When you create the alarm, set the following values:
    For Select metric, select ConnectionBpsIngress for ingress throughput or ConnectionBpsEgress for egress throughput.
  6. In the Conditions section, set the throughput value that you want to monitor as a condition. For example, to be notified when throughput reaches 100 Mbps, enter Greater/Equal(>=) 1,000,000,00.
  7. In the Additional configuration section, set Datapoints to alarm to 3 out of 3.
  8. (Optional) Set up Amazon SNS notifications for the CloudWatch alarm.

Use this alarm to proactively monitor your AWS Direct Connect connection for any congestion issues. If you consistently have high throughput that exceeds your use case, then you can upgrade your connection's bandwidth.

Related information

AWS Direct Connect metrics and dimensions