• AWS X-Ray helps developers to analyze and debug distributed applications.
  • X-Ray provides an end-to-end view of requests as they travel through the application, and shows a map of the application’s underlying components.
  • X-Ray helps to understand how the application and its underlying services are performing to identify and troubleshoot the root cause of performance issues and errors.
  • X-Ray can be used with distributed applications of any size to trace and debug both synchronous requests and asynchronous events.
  • X-Ray can be used to track requests flowing through applications or services across multiple regions. X-Ray data is stored locally to the processed region and customers can build a solution over it to combine the data.
  • Trace data sent to X-Ray is generally available for retrieval and filtering within 30 seconds of it being received by the service.
  • X-Ray stores trace data for the last 30 days.

X-Ray Main Concept


  • An X-Ray trace is a set of data points that share the same trace ID.
  • Trace helps track the request, which is assigned a unique trace id, while it navigates through services
  • Piece of information relayed by each service in the application to X-Ray is a segment, and a trace is a collection of segments.


  • An X-Ray segment encapsulates all the data points for a single component of the distributed application for e.g. authorization component
  • Segments include system-defined and user-defined data in the form of annotations and are composed of one or more sub-segments that represent remote calls made from the service. for e.g. database call and its result within the overall request/response


  • An X-Ray annotation is system-defined or user-defined data
  • Annotation is associated with a segment and a segment can contain multiple annotations.
  • System-defined annotations include data added to the segment by AWS services
  • User-defined annotations are metadata added to a segment by a developer


  • X-Ray errors are system annotations associated with a segment for a call that results in an error response.
  • Error includes the error message, stack trace, and any additional information for e.g, version to associate the error with a source file.


  • X-Ray collects data for significant number of requests, instead of each request sent to an application, for performant and cost-effectiveness
  • X-Ray should not be used as an audit or compliance tool because it does not guarantee data completeness.

X-Ray agent

  • X-Ray agent helps collect data from log files and sends them to the X-Ray service for aggregation, analysis, and storage.
  • Agent makes it easier for you to send data to the X-Ray service, instead of using the APIs directly, and is
  • Agent is available for Amazon Linux AMI, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and Windows Server 2012 R2 or later operating systems.

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