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ECS Fargate

Agent Check Agent Check

Supported OS: Linux Mac OS Windows


Get metrics from all your containers running in ECS Fargate:

  • CPU/Memory usage & limit metrics
  • Monitor your applications running on Fargate via Datadog integrations or custom metrics.

The Datadog Agent retrieves metrics for the task definition’s containers via the ECS Task Metadata endpoint. According to the ECS Documentation on that endpoint:

This endpoint returns Docker stats JSON for all of the containers associated with the task. For more information about each of the returned stats, see ContainerStats in the Docker API documentation.

The Task Metadata endpoint is only available from within the task definition itself, which is why the Datadog Agent needs to be run as an additional container within the task definition.

The only configuration required to enable this metrics collection is to set an environment variable ECS_FARGATE to "true" in the task definition.


The following steps cover setup of the Datadog Container Agent within AWS ECS Fargate. Note: Datadog Agent version 6.1.1 or higher is needed to take full advantage of the Fargate integration.

Tasks that do not have the Datadog Agent still report metrics via Cloudwatch, however the Agent is needed for Autodiscovery, detailed container metrics, tracing, and more. Additionally, Cloudwatch metrics are less granular, and have more latency in reporting than metrics shipped directly via the Datadog Agent.


To monitor your ECS Fargate tasks with Datadog, run the Agent as a container in same task definition as your application. To collect metrics with Datadog, each task definition should include a Datadog Agent container in addition to the application containers. Follow these setup steps:

  1. Add an ECS Fargate Task
  2. Create or Modify your IAM Policy
  3. Run the Task as a Replica Service

Create an ECS Fargate Task

The primary unit of work in Fargate is the Task, which is configured in the task definition. A task definition is comparable to a pod in Kubernetes. A task definition must contain one or more containers. In order to run the Datadog Agent, create your task definition to run your application container(s), as well as the Datadog Agent container.

The instructions below show you how to configure the task using the AWS CLI tools or the Amazon Web Console.

Web UI
  1. Log in to your AWS Web Console and navigate to the ECS section.
  2. Click on Task Definitions in the left menu, then click the Create new Task Definition button.
  3. Select Fargate as the launch type, then click the Next step button.
  4. Enter a Task Definition Name, such as my-app-and-datadog.
  5. Select a Task execution IAM role. See permission requirements in the Create or Modify your IAM Policy section below.
  6. Choose Task memory and Task CPU based on your needs.
  7. Click the Add container button.
  8. For Container name enter datadog-agent.
  9. For Image enter datadog/agent:latest.
  10. For Memory Limits enter 256 soft limit.
  11. Scroll down to the Advanced container configuration section and enter 10 in CPU units.
  12. For Env Variables, add the Key DD_API_KEY and enter your Datadog API Key as the value. If you feel more comfortable storing secrets in s3, refer to the ECS Configuration guide.
  13. Add another environment variable using the Key ECS_FARGATE and the value true. Click Add to add the container.
  14. Add your other containers such as your app. For details on collecting integration metrics, see Integration Setup for ECS Fargate.
  15. Click Create to create the task definition.
  1. Download datadog-agent-ecs-fargate.json.
  2. Update the json with a TASK_NAME and your Datadog API Key. Note that the environment variable ECS_FARGATE is already set to "true".
  3. Add your other containers such as your app. For details on collecting integration metrics, see Integration Setup for ECS Fargate.
  4. Execute the following command to register the ECS task definition:
aws ecs register-task-definition --cli-input-json file://<PATH_TO_FILE>/datadog-agent-ecs-fargate.json

Create or Modify your IAM Policy

Add the following permissions to your Datadog IAM policy to collect ECS Fargate metrics. For more information on ECS policies, review the documentation on the AWS website.

AWS PermissionDescription
ecs:ListClustersList available clusters.
ecs:ListContainerInstancesList instances of a cluster.
ecs:DescribeContainerInstancesDescribe instances to add metrics on resources and tasks running.

Run the Task as a Replica Service

The only option in ECS Fargate is to run the task as a Replica Service. The Datadog Agent runs in the same task definition as your application and integration containers.


Run the following commands using the AWS CLI tools.

Note: Fargate version 1.1.0 or greater is required, so the command below specifies the platform version.

If needed, create a cluster:

aws ecs create-cluster --cluster-name "<CLUSTER_NAME>"

Run the task as a service for your cluster:

aws ecs run-task --cluster <CLUSTER_NAME> \
--network-configuration "awsvpcConfiguration={subnets=["<PRIVATE_SUBNET>"],securityGroups=["<SECURITY_GROUP>"]}" \
--task-definition arn:aws:ecs:us-east-1:<AWS_ACCOUNT_NUMBER>:task-definition/<TASK_NAME>:1 \
--region <AWS_REGION> --launch-type FARGATE --platform-version 1.1.0
Web UI
  1. Log in to your AWS Web Console and navigate to the ECS section. If needed, create a cluster with the Networking only cluster template.
  2. Choose the cluster to run the Datadog Agent on.
  3. On the Services tab, click the Create button.
  4. For Launch type, choose FARGATE.
  5. For Task Definition, select the task created in the previous steps.
  6. Enter a Service name.
  7. For Number of tasks enter 1, then click the Next step button.
  8. Select the Cluster VPC, Subnets, and Security Groups.
  9. Load balancing and Service discovery are optional based on your preference.
  10. Click the Next step button.
  11. Auto Scaling is optional based on your preference.
  12. Click the Next step button, then click the Create service button.

Metric Collection

After the Datadog Agent is setup as described above, the ecs_fargate check collects metrics with autodiscovery enabled. Add Docker labels to your other containers in the same task to collect additional metrics.

For details on collecting integration metrics, see Integration Setup for ECS Fargate.


Metrics are collected with DogStatsD through UDP port 8125.

To send custom metrics by listening to DogStatsD packets from other containers, set the environment variable DD_DOGSTATSD_NON_LOCAL_TRAFFIC to true within the Datadog Agent container.

Live process monitoring

Enable Datadog’s Process Agent with the environment variable DD_PROCESS_AGENT_ENABLED set to true in the Datadog Agent container. Because Amazon controls the underlying hosts for Fargate, live processes can only be collected from the Datadog Agent container.

Other environment variables

For environment variables available with the Docker Agent container, see the Docker Agent page. Note: Some variables are not be available for Fargate.

For global tagging, it is recommended to use DD_DOCKER_LABELS_AS_TAGS. With this method, the Agent pulls in tags from your Docker container labels. This requires you to add the appropriate labels to your other Docker containers. Labels can be added directly in the task definition.

Format for the Agent container:


Example for the Agent container:

"value": "{"com.docker.compose.service":"service_name"}" 

Note: You should not use DD_HOSTNAME since there is no concept of a host to the user in Fargate. DD_TAGS is traditionally used to assign host tags, but as of Datadog Agent version 6.13.0 you can also use the environment variable to set global tags on your integration metrics.

Crawler-based metrics

In addition to the metrics collected by the Datadog Agent, Datadog has a CloudWatch based ECS integration. This integration collects the Amazon ECS CloudWatch Metrics.

As noted there, Fargate tasks also report metrics in this way: > The metrics made available will depend on the launch type of the tasks and services in your clusters. If you are using the Fargate launch type for your services then CPU and memory utilization metrics are provided to assist in the monitoring of your services.

Since this method does not use the Datadog Agent, you need to configure our AWS integration by checking ECS on the integration tile. Then, our application pulls these CloudWatch metrics (namespaced aws.ecs.* in Datadog) on your behalf. See the Data Collected section of the documentation.

If these are the only metrics you need, you could rely on this integration for collection via CloudWatch metrics. Note: CloudWatch data is less granular (1-5 min depending on the type of monitoring you have enabled) and delayed in reporting to Datadog. This is because the data collection from CloudWatch must adhere to AWS API limits, instead of pushing it to Datadog with the Agent.

Datadog’s default CloudWatch crawler polls metrics once every 10 minutes. If you need a faster crawl schedule, contact Datadog support for availability. Note: There are cost increases involved on the AWS side as CloudWatch bills for API calls.

Log Collection

  1. Define the Fargate AwsLogDriver in your task. Consult the AWS Fargate developer guide for instructions.

  2. Fargate task definitions only support the awslogs log driver for the log configuration. This configures your Fargate tasks to send log information to Amazon CloudWatch Logs. The following shows a snippet of a task definition where the awslogs log driver is configured:

    "logConfiguration": {
       "logDriver": "awslogs",
       "options": {
          "awslogs-group" : "/ecs/fargate-task-definition",
          "awslogs-region": "us-east-1",
          "awslogs-stream-prefix": "ecs"

    For more information about using the awslogs log driver in your task definitions to send container logs to CloudWatch Logs, see Using the awslogs Log Driver.

    This driver collects logs generated by the container and sends them to CloudWatch directly.

  3. Finally, use a Lambda function to collect logs from CloudWatch and send them to Datadog.

Trace Collection

  1. Follow the instructions above to add the Datadog Agent container to your task definition with the additional environment variable DD_APM_ENABLED set to true.

  2. Instrument your application based on your setup.

  3. Ensure your application is running in the same task definition as the Datadog Agent container.

Data Collected

# write operations to the disk
# bytes written to the disk
Shown as byte
# read operation on the disk
# bytes read on the disk
Shown as byte
The percent of time the CPU is under direct control of processes of this container
Shown as percent
The percent of time the CPU is executing system calls on behalf of processes of this container
Shown as percent
Limit in percent of the CPU usage
Shown as percent
Percentage of CPU used per container
Shown as percent
# of bytes of page cache memory
Shown as byte
# of bytes of file-backed memory on active LRU list
Shown as byte
# of bytes of file-backed memory on inactive LRU list
Shown as byte
# of bytes memory limit
Shown as byte
# of bytes of anonymous and swap cache memory on active LRU list
Shown as byte
# of bytes of memory used
Shown as byte
# of bytes of anonymous and swap cache memory (includes transparent hugepages)
Shown as byte
# of uncharging events to the memory cgroup. The uncharging event happens each time a page is unaccounted from the cgroup
# of charging events to the memory cgroup. The charging event happens each time a page is accounted as either mapped anon page(RSS) or cache page(Page Cache) to the cgroup.
# of page faults per second
# of major page faults per second
# of bytes of mapped file (includes tmpfs/shmem)
Shown as byte
Show max memory usage recorded
Shown as byte
# of bytes of memory limit with regard to hierarchy under which the memory cgroup is
Shown as byte
# of bytes of memory+swap limit with regard to hierarchy under which memory cgroup is
Shown as byte


The ECS Fargate check does not include any events.

Service Checks

Returns CRITICAL if the Agent is unable to connect to Fargate, otherwise returns OK.


Need help? Contact Datadog support.

Further Reading

Mistake in the docs? Feel free to contribute!