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I have a system setup on AWS/EC2, it currently is using their CloudWatch alert system. The problem is this sends just to email, when ideally I would like this to be making a phone call and/or sending text messages to certain phone numbers when an alert fires (Note that I do not need the phone call to actually say anything, just call the person).

We are trying to solve the problem that Amazon alerts are only useful if people are checking their email, which isnt always the case because all server problems love to happen at 4am on saturday...

Please respond with any possible solutions/ideas, ideally I do not want to implement an entire monitoring system (IE: Nagios) on top of everything to handle this.

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Just a follow up, I ended up using GMAIL forwarding to SMS and GMAIL filter rules to grab anything coming from Amazon Alerts email. This works and I get both the email and a text message. –  Matthew Peterson Aug 17 '11 at 13:21

4 Answers 4

Amazon now has an SNS notification service that supports SMS text messages: http://aws.amazon.com/sns/

I hope this will help someone who has found this question recently via a search engine. Create the SNS subscription in the "US East" region or you will not see the "SMS" option in the protocol dropdown. After doing this, the subscription will be selectable in the Cloudwatch menu as a notification destination for alerts even if your EC2 instances are not in the "US East" region. According to this help page, only US phone numbers are supported at this time.

[not asked but] The easiest way to deal with SMS towards the cloud is a commercial HTTP gateway. Your customer sends an SMS to a gateway number and this is used to construct an HTTP request towards your application. Normally inwards is low-cost with a set-up fee and a minimal charge for a short code, for example. This is info for Europe, I'm not sure exactly how it works in the US.

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Possibly change the email addresses for alerts to go to email->text gateways instead. IE: Verizon wireless is #######@vtext.com and AT&T is #######@mms.att.net.

In fact, here is a list of SMS gateways: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SMS_gateways

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This is exactly how we used to do it for our unix servers.They would send an email to the @vtext.com address via sendmail. –  egorgry Aug 15 '11 at 16:14

While pager duty isn't perfect it(and they went down in the last US EAST outage) they provide exactly what you are after. Basically setup an email address on pagerduty, then when it gets an email it can be setup to SMS or to call you. You can also filter based on email subject/etc.

Also you could try pingdom as well.

www.pagerduty.com

www.pingdom.com

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This is a hard task. You don't have any physical phone (analog/digital) connection "in the cloud". So how will you connect to a telephone provider?

The only solution is to do VoIP. For this you could setup a VoIP client to a VoIP provider (like sipgate) which in return calls a physical phone through their VoIP gateway.

This should only push you in the right direction and show you that you only have few options. So I will not provide you with a step-by-step VoIP howto.

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