My SaaS app WP Lookout uses Amazon Web Services for hosting. I’ve had plenty of monitoring set up using both internal and external tools notifications, and these mostly output to a combination of a dedicated Slack channel and/or a Pushover notification that goes to my mobile device.
The one thing I didn’t have in place until recently was monitoring for the health of the specific group of AWS services the app depends on. With AWS offering many services spread across many parts of the world (as illustrated in the Very Long Service Health Dashboard), I wasn’t about to start monitoring all of the AWS infrastructure just to see if my particular app was affected.
They do offer a “Personal Health Dashboard” that’s supposedly more tailored to incidents affecting my AWS account, but I find it unintuitive and confusing to use, especially when it comes to setting up notifications to external services like Slack. In my online searching I found various services and tools that supposedly integrated the PHD into more standard monitoring and alerting options, but they were also either too complicated or seemed to require additional levels of paid AWS support plans that I didn’t want to take on.
So I decided to keep things simple and use the tried and true technology for polling information about external resources: RSS!