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Cloud Posse

Terraform module that configures important RDS alerts using CloudWatch and sends them to an SNS topic.

Create a set of sane RDS CloudWatch alerts for monitoring the health of an RDS instance.

This project is part of our comprehensive "SweetOps" approach towards DevOps.

Terraform Open Source Modules

It's 100% Open Source and licensed under the APACHE2.

We literally have hundreds of terraform modules that are Open Source and well-maintained. Check them out!

Security & Compliance

Security scanning is graciously provided by Bridgecrew. Bridgecrew is the leading fully hosted, cloud-native solution providing continuous Terraform security and compliance.

Benchmark Description
Infrastructure Security Infrastructure Security Compliance
CIS KUBERNETES Center for Internet Security, KUBERNETES Compliance
CIS AWS Center for Internet Security, AWS Compliance
CIS AZURE Center for Internet Security, AZURE Compliance
PCI-DSS Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Compliance
NIST-800-53 National Institute of Standards and Technology Compliance
ISO27001 Information Security Management System, ISO/IEC 27001 Compliance
SOC2 Service Organization Control 2 Compliance
CIS GCP Center for Internet Security, GCP Compliance
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Compliance


IMPORTANT: We do not pin modules to versions in our examples because of the difficulty of keeping the versions in the documentation in sync with the latest released versions. We highly recommend that in your code you pin the version to the exact version you are using so that your infrastructure remains stable, and update versions in a systematic way so that they do not catch you by surprise.

Also, because of a bug in the Terraform registry (hashicorp/terraform#21417), the registry shows many of our inputs as required when in fact they are optional. The table below correctly indicates which inputs are required.

area metric comparison operator threshold rationale
Storage BurstBalance < 20 % 20 % of credits allow you to burst for a few minutes which gives you enough time to a) fix the inefficiency, b) add capacity or c) switch to io1 storage type.
Storage DiskQueueDepth > 64 This number is calculated from our experience with RDS workloads.
Storage FreeStorageSpace < 2 GB 2 GB usually provides enough time to a) fix why so much space is consumed or b) add capacity. You can also modify this value to 10% of your database capacity.
CPU CPUUtilization > 80 % Queuing theory tells us the latency increases exponentially with utilization. In practice, we see higher latency when utilization exceeds 80% and unacceptable high latency with utilization above 90%
CPU CPUCreditBalance < 20 One credit equals 1 minute of 100% usage of a vCPU. 20 credits should give you enough time to a) fix the inefficiency, b) add capacity or c) don't use t2 type.
Memory FreeableMemory < 64 MB This number is calculated from our experience with RDS workloads.
Memory SwapUsage > 256 MB Sometimes you can not entirely avoid swapping. But once the database accesses paged memory, it will slow down.


See the examples/ directory for working examples.

resource "aws_db_instance" "default" {
  allocated_storage    = 10
  storage_type         = "gp2"
  engine               = "mysql"
  engine_version       = "5.7"
  instance_class       = "db.t2.micro"
  identifier_prefix    = "rds-server-example"
  name                 = "mydb"
  username             = "foo"
  password             = "foobarbaz"
  parameter_group_name = "default.mysql5.7"
  apply_immediately    = "true"
  skip_final_snapshot  = "true"

module "rds_alarms" {
  source         = "git::"
  db_instance_id = "${}"


Name Version
terraform >= 0.13.0


Name Version
aws n/a


Name Source Version
this cloudposse/label/null 0.24.1


Name Type
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.burst_balance_too_low resource
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.cpu_credit_balance_too_low resource
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.cpu_utilization_too_high resource
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.disk_queue_depth_too_high resource
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.free_storage_space_too_low resource
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.freeable_memory_too_low resource
aws_cloudwatch_metric_alarm.swap_usage_too_high resource
aws_db_event_subscription.default resource
aws_sns_topic.default resource
aws_sns_topic_policy.default resource
aws_caller_identity.default data source
aws_iam_policy_document.sns_topic_policy data source


Name Description Type Default Required
additional_tag_map Additional tags for appending to tags_as_list_of_maps. Not added to tags. map(string) {} no
attributes Additional attributes (e.g. 1) list(string) [] no
burst_balance_threshold The minimum percent of General Purpose SSD (gp2) burst-bucket I/O credits available. string 20 no
context Single object for setting entire context at once.
See description of individual variables for details.
Leave string and numeric variables as null to use default value.
Individual variable settings (non-null) override settings in context object,
except for attributes, tags, and additional_tag_map, which are merged.
"additional_tag_map": {},
"attributes": [],
"delimiter": null,
"enabled": true,
"environment": null,
"id_length_limit": null,
"label_key_case": null,
"label_order": [],
"label_value_case": null,
"name": null,
"namespace": null,
"regex_replace_chars": null,
"stage": null,
"tags": {}
cpu_credit_balance_threshold The minimum number of CPU credits (t2 instances only) available. string 20 no
cpu_utilization_threshold The maximum percentage of CPU utilization. string 80 no
db_instance_id The instance ID of the RDS database instance that you want to monitor. string n/a yes
delimiter Delimiter to be used between namespace, environment, stage, name and attributes.
Defaults to - (hyphen). Set to "" to use no delimiter at all.
string null no
disk_queue_depth_threshold The maximum number of outstanding IOs (read/write requests) waiting to access the disk. string 64 no
enabled Set to false to prevent the module from creating any resources bool null no
environment Environment, e.g. 'uw2', 'us-west-2', OR 'prod', 'staging', 'dev', 'UAT' string null no
free_storage_space_threshold The minimum amount of available storage space in Byte. string 2000000000 no
freeable_memory_threshold The minimum amount of available random access memory in Byte. string 64000000 no
id_length_limit Limit id to this many characters (minimum 6).
Set to 0 for unlimited length.
Set to null for default, which is 0.
Does not affect id_full.
number null no
label_key_case The letter case of label keys (tag names) (i.e. name, namespace, environment, stage, attributes) to use in tags.
Possible values: lower, title, upper.
Default value: title.
string null no
label_order The naming order of the id output and Name tag.
Defaults to ["namespace", "environment", "stage", "name", "attributes"].
You can omit any of the 5 elements, but at least one must be present.
list(string) null no
label_value_case The letter case of output label values (also used in tags and id).
Possible values: lower, title, upper and none (no transformation).
Default value: lower.
string null no
name Solution name, e.g. 'app' or 'jenkins' string null no
namespace Namespace, which could be your organization name or abbreviation, e.g. 'eg' or 'cp' string null no
regex_replace_chars Regex to replace chars with empty string in namespace, environment, stage and name.
If not set, "/[^a-zA-Z0-9-]/" is used to remove all characters other than hyphens, letters and digits.
string null no
stage Stage, e.g. 'prod', 'staging', 'dev', OR 'source', 'build', 'test', 'deploy', 'release' string null no
swap_usage_threshold The maximum amount of swap space used on the DB instance in Byte. string 256000000 no
tags Additional tags (e.g. map('BusinessUnit','XYZ') map(string) {} no


Name Description
sns_topic_arn The ARN of the SNS topic

Makefile Targets

Available targets:

  help                                Help screen
  help/all                            Display help for all targets
  help/short                          This help short screen
  lint                                Lint terraform code

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Please use the issue tracker to report any bugs or file feature requests.


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Copyright © 2017-2021 Cloud Posse, LLC



See LICENSE for full details.

Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one
or more contributor license agreements.  See the NOTICE file
distributed with this work for additional information
regarding copyright ownership.  The ASF licenses this file
to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the
"License"); you may not use this file except in compliance
with the License.  You may obtain a copy of the License at

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Jamie Nelson
Jamie Nelson
Erik Osterman
Erik Osterman

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