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It would be cool if we'd get a simple API and a PHP SDK to get instance status and also historic data. This way we could build simple status boards for our own customers.

Jon Ward

Nice feature, it would be great if there was an option to trigger an alert when one of these checks fails.

Michael Tabolsky

Yet the most interesting for us would be to have a notification of any kind when an EC2 instance goes up or down. Or did we miss something?


How can I access the new data from DescribeInstanceStatus ?

It looks like 'system-status' and 'instance-status' are not available yet.


I'm using JAVA SDK 1.2.15

Chad Martin

I also vote for triggering an alert. Even better would be the option to trigger a customizable action like an automatic reboot if there have been two failed instance status checks in a row.



I don't see a "Status Checks" Column in my consoles instance list like in the first screen shot listed in this blog post? Has it been removed?

I can see the "Status Checks" tab as illustrated though.



As Jeff kindly pointed out via email, missed the show/hide button.

Eyal Teutsch

As far as I can tell the data is still not available using DescribeInstanceStatus with latest (1.5.2) PHP SDK. Any idea when this data will be exposed to the API?

Jeff Barr

@eyal - The PHP SDK contains the describe_instance_status function ( .


I like the instance status check. One additional feature would be: for auto-scaled instances, if one of these status checks fails, have an option to go ahead and terminate the instance immediately and fire up a new one (or, reboot it, but that'd be an autoscaler feature not available currently), rather than having to wait for the elb http health checks to fail (which are much slower than the new status checks).

We experience random instance failure for reasons we have not yet fully uncovered. We use copperegg's revealcloud to monitor our systems, and we get an alert when the app server dies. But it takes the elb health check 4 minutes to detect the failure and handle it appropriately. Almost every time, I can look at the aws console, and see the "Instance Status Checks" failed (but not System); then wait 3 minutes before a replacement is brought up. Until we figure out the core problem (nginx? rails? mongos? who knows..) it would be nice to at least get a new app server up and rolling again as quickly as possible.

Eyal Teutsch

Thx Jeff - I'm indeed familiar with describe_instance_status() method, but it just returns info whether the instance is running or not, but no info regrading the status checks, hence a running machine that failed a status check, will not be reported as faulty.

Pascal Hughes

Any idea when the describe_instance_status() method will return status checks? It's been almost 2 months and the current PHP API 1.5.3 still does not give this info.

Without this info the describe_instance_status() method is not of much use.

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