Build dashboards and charts with sample data, create an alert, and get pointers to more info.

This tutorial uses Wavefront sample data to get you started. To complete these tasks you need:
  • Access to a Wavefront instance. If your company doesn't have one, sign up for a free trial
  • Dashboard permission and Alert permission. Trial users have these permissions. If you're not in a trial, your Wavefront administrator can grant the permissions if you don't have them.
click here for the classic doc

Watch Some Videos

This doc set and the VMware Learning Zone include videos that help you understand basic concepts, learn the mechanics of customizing the Wavefront UI, and use advanced features.

Start with Basic Concept videos and Getting Started videos that explain the basics. Then move on to learn in more detail about dashboards and charts, alerts and more.

Review Sample Dashboards and Metrics

Your Wavefront instance includes tutorial and tour dashboards that we built using sample metrics. Let’s have a look at a tutorial dashboard.

  1. Log in to Wavefront.
  2. Select Dashboards > All Dashboards.
  3. In the Tags section of the filter bar on the left, click the ~welcome.tutorial tag
  4. Click each dashboard.
  5. Examine some of the charts by selecting the chart title.
select ~welcome.tutorial

click chart title to select a chart

Next, let's have a look at some metrics in the Metrics browser.
  1. Select Browse > Metrics.
  2. In the Metrics field, type ~sample. (include the period). The sample metrics categories (shown on the right) display
  3. Explore folders until you see a chart icon representing a metric, and click the icon to display a chart with the metric.
sample metrics

Create Dashboards and Charts With the Dashboard Builder

Use our Dashboard Builder drag-and-drop interface to quickly create a dashboard from your metrics. Start with an integration or browse all metrics, and create one or multiple charts.

create dashboard with builder

Create Dashboards and Charts by Saving a Chart to a New Dashboard

Saving an existing chart to a new dashboard is another easy way to create a dashboard. We create a copy of the chart, and create new dashboard with the name and URL you specify.

This example uses a chart from our Tour Pro, which is a set of dashboards for exploring typical customer use cases. Tour Pro also includes a dashboard that monitors a sample cluster and one dashboard that monitors a single host.

Step 1: Open the Sample Cluster Metrics dashboard. 
  1. Log in to Wavefront.
  2. Select Dashboards > All Dashboards.
  3. In the Search field at the top, type Sample Cluster and press Enter.
  4. Click the Sample Cluster Metrics dashboard link.
Sample Cluster
Step 2: Open a chart in the dashboard. 
  1. Select Jump To > App Servers to go to the App Servers section.
  2. Click the Requests chart title.

The stacked area chart opens in the chart editor. This chart displays the query:
last(ts("", az=${az}, env=${env}))

The query returns the total number of requests ( metric, filtered by availability zone and environment. The last() function fills in any gaps in data with the last known value of the metric.

Sample Cluster
Step 3: Add the chart to a new dashboard. 
  1. With the chart still in the chart editor, click Save in the top right corner.
  2. Select Save to a New Dashboard and specify a dashboard url.
The new dashboard is created, with a clone of the chart in the chart editor.
save to new dashboard
Step 4: Edit the chart in the cloned dashboard. 

The chart is currently using variables to determine what to display. Let's simplify the chart to show only metrics for the dev environment, and experiment with chart types.

  1. With the chart still in Edit mode, select the variables and replace them with env=dev. Auto-complete offers options as you type.
  2. Experiment with some of the chart types available from the pull-down menu on the left.

For an introduction, see the Chart Builder page.

select environment select chart type

Create an Alert

In this section you create an alert that fires when the request latency metric reaches a certain threshold. One way to create an alert is directly from a chart.

Step 1: Create the alert. 
  1. In the App Server section of the dashboard, click the Request Latencies chart title to open the chart.
  2. Select Create Alert from the menu on the far right.
The Create Alert page displays.
Create Alert menu item
Step 2: Customize the alert. 
  1. In the Name field, replace New Alert with Latency Alert.
  2. At the end of the Condition field, type > 210. We're deliberately setting this alert threshold low so you can see the alert fire after a few minutes. In normal practice, you would set the threshold to an anomalous value.
  3. In the Alert fires field, change the value to 2 and press Enter. The alert fires whenever the moving maximum of the latency is greater than 210 for 2 minutes.
  4. In the Targets field, type your email address.
  5. Click Save.
create latency alert
Step 3: Observe and snooze the alert. 
  1. To watch the alert fire, click Alerts in the task bar.

    Because your alert was the most recently created, you should see it with the state CHECKING.

    Watch the state change to FIRING and check your email.
  2. Select the alert's check box, click Snooze and select Forever.

    You'll receive a second email that the alert was snoozed.
create latency alert snooze alert


Our doc set includes concept videos, how-to videos, and more!

Intro Videos

Our intro videos explain how to get data into Wavefront, how alerting works, and more!

getting data into wavefront

Alerts Videos

Our alerts videos give important background and best practices info and a lot of practical advice on how to configure classic alerts and multi-threshold alerts.

threshold alerts

Wavefront and Data Videos

The Wavefront and data videos explain important concepts such as interpolation and tagging, and explain how to use histograms.

time series and interpolation

Administration Videos

Administration videos include a a video about Wavefront Top. They also help you understand how permissions and access control work in Wavefront, and show how to set up permissions and access control.

Wavefront access control


Use the search box in the top right – or look at some of the most popular docs in the set.

Getting Started Docs

Click a tile for doc about integrating with Wavefront, visualizing your data, refining what you see with queries, and alerting with Wavefront.


Explore our integrations


Get started with charts and dashboards


Understand Wavefront Query Language


Get started with alerting.

Release Notes

Release notes summarize the features added to each release and changes to existing features.

Query Language Docs

Wavefront Chart Builder offers an easy select-and-refine interface that lets you fine tune what your charts display.

chart builder

Advanced users further refine charts and alerts with Wavefront Query Language. Click on the green bar in a tile for a query language page.


One line for each function + links.


Explains concepts like discrete, continuous, and interpolation.

Tips & Tricks

Fine tune queries, perform aggregation, and more.

QL Recipes

Sample queries for common tasks.

Next Steps

Wavefront offers an onboarding (Getting Started) workflow, tutorial and tour dashboards, in-product help, videos, docs, and other resources.

The Getting Started onboarding flow gives a overview of the Wavefront architecture, and a preview of dashboards and alerts. All trial users go through this flow before they can continue using Wavefront. Sample Cluster
The in-product Tutorial dashboards get you started. You explore dashboards and charts that show sample metrics and make temporary modifications. More advanced users can explore the Tour Pro. Here, we're showing how to solve problems such as finding anomalous events. The tour uses sample data but is based on actual customer problems. Sample Cluster
The in-product help on the right of each screen introduces what you're looking at (e.g. charts or alerts) and has links to more info. Sample Cluster
This doc set ( has in-depth information about many different aspects of the product. Use the TOC on the left, the Search bar in the top right or the tiles to find what you're looking for. screenshot of top left corner of doc set.
Developers like the Interactive Query Language Exporer dashboard to learn about all functions by looking at an example. query language explorer

Once you’re familiar with the basics, you can send your own data to Wavefront and start your journey!