AWS Lambda

Learn about other supported AWS services on our AWS docs.

Native Tracing

In addition to the infrastructure-level monitoring described on this page, Instana also offers native tracing of AWS Lambda executions for a subset of runtimes.

Sensor (Data Collection)

Tracked Configuration

Lambda Function Details Description
Name The name of the function.
ARN The unqualified Amazon Resource Name (ARN) assigned to the function.
Description The user-provided description.
Runtime The runtime environment for the Lambda function.
Handler The function Lambda calls to begin executing your function.
Timeout The function execution time at which Lambda should terminate the function.
Memory Size The memory size, in MB, you configured for the function.
Last Modified The time stamp of the last time you updated the function.
AWS Region The location of function.


Function Metrics Description
Invocations Measures the number of times a function is invoked in response to an event or invocation API call. This includes successful and failed invocations, but does not include throttled attempts. This equals the billed requests for the function.
Errors Measures the number of invocations that failed due to errors in the function (response code 4XX). This includes:
  • Handled exceptions (for example,
  • Unhandled exceptions causing the code to exit
  • Out of memory exceptions
  • Timeouts
  • Permissions errors
This does not include invocations that fail due to invocation rates exceeding default concurrent limits (error code 429) or failures due to internal service errors (error code 500).
Dead Letter Errors Incremented when Lambda is unable to write the failed event payload to your configured Dead Letter Queues. This could be due to the following:
  • Permissions errors
  • Throttles from downstream services
  • Misconfigured resources
  • Timeouts
Throttles Measures the number of Lambda function invocation attempts that were throttled due to invocation rates exceeding the customer’s concurrent limits (error code 429).
  • Average
  • Minimum
  • Maximum
  • Sum
Measures the elapsed wall clock time from when the function code starts executing as a result of an invocation to when it stops executing. The maximum data point value possible is the function timeout configuration. The billed duration will be rounded up to the nearest 100 millisecond.
Iterator Age
  • Average
  • Minimum
  • Maximum
  • Sum
Emitted for stream-based invocations only (functions triggered by an Amazon DynamoDB stream or Kinesis stream). Measures the age of the last record for each batch of records processed. Age is the difference between the time Lambda received the batch, and the time the last record in the batch was written to the stream.
Global Metrics Description
Concurrent Executions
  • Average
  • Minimum
  • Maximum
  • Sum
Emitted as an aggregate metric for all functions in the account, and for functions that have a custom concurrency limit specified. Measures the sum of concurrent executions for a given function at a given point in time.
Unreserved Concurrent Executions Emitted as an aggregate metric for all functions in the account only. Represents the sum of the concurrency of the functions that do not have a custom concurrency limit specified.

Required Permissions

  • cloudwatch:GetMetricStatistics
  • cloudwatch:GetMetricData
  • lambda:ListTags
  • lambda:ListFunctions
  • lambda:ListVersionsByFunction
  • lambda:GetFunctionConfiguration


Metrics for Lambda are pulled every 5 minutes, this can be changed via agent configuration in <agent_install_dir>/etc/instana/configuration.yml:
  cloudwatch_period: 300

To disable monitoring of Lambda instances use the following configuration:
  enabled: false

Multiple tags can be defined, separated by a comma. Tags should be provided as a key-value pair separated by :. In order to make configuration easier, it is possible to define which tags you want to include in discovery or exclude from discovery. In case of defining tag in both lists (include and exclude), exclude list has higher priority. If there is no need for services filtering, the configuration should not be defined. It’s not mandatory to define all values in order to enable filtering.

Users are able to specify how often sensors will poll the AWS tagged resources using the tagged-services-poll-rate configuration property (default 300 seconds).

To define how often sensors will poll the tagged resources use following configuration:
  tagged-services-poll-rate: 60 #default 300

To include services by tags into discovery use following configuration:
    include_tags: # Comma separated list of tags in key:value format (e.g. env:prod,env:staging)

To exclude services by tags from discovery use following configuration:
    exclude_tags: # Comma separated list of tags in key:value format (e.g. env:dev,env:test)

Monitoring of Individual Lambda Versions

By default, Instana will monitor the five most recent versions of each Lambda function individually. The number of versions for which Instana fetches data is configurable:
  number_of_versions: 3 # default 5

The maximum allowed for value for number_of_versions is 20. Higher values will be capped to 20. Monitoring individual Lambda versions can be disabled, Instana will then fall back to aggregating the metrics for all versions. Note that in this case the aggregating metrics will be attached to the $LATEST version for the Lambda function. Use the following configuration to disable this feature:
  fetch_versions: false

Enabling this feature will require the lambda:ListVersionsByFunction IAM permission. If the required permission is missing, Instana will fall back to aggregating the metrics for all versions.

Please make sure to restart the agent after making this configuration change.

Instana Agent Tags

Please note that tags are currently only available in conjunction with the dedicated AWS Instana agent, described here AWS Agent Installation docs. More detail on using tags is described here.


If a Lambda function is used as a trigger, all event source mappings will be displayed in the sidebar with links pointing to the attached AWS service. For more informations, see Invoking Lambda functions.