Monitor usage information for your Wavefront instance.

Wavefront includes tools and dashboards for examining usage. This page helps administrators learn how much data is coming in, who is sending the data, and how to get alerted if ingested data get close to monthly contracted usage.

Why Is Usage Information Important?

Each customer has a contract with VMware that allows them to send a predetermined amount of data to their Wavefront instance. That is, billing depends on the points per second (PPS) that the customer sends.

If the customer uses more than the contracted rate, VMware bills for those additional data. Because VMware has to pay the cloud provides for data consumed by the Wavefront instances, we have to make sure that customers pay for the data they consume. But we’re interested in having our customers get the best possible results from their data.

  • Send data, use data. If some teams at the customer site send a lot of data to Wavefront but don’t use those ingested data anywhere (e.g. in alerts, dashboards, etc.) nobody benefits.
  • Team responsibility. If several teams at a customer site use Wavefront, it might be useful to know which team send in most data.
  • Know PPS and limits. If customers are clear about how they’re using the contracted PPS, they can budget well.
    • Learn how different metric types (histograms, metrics, spans, etc.) contribute to the overall ingest rate.
    • Understand how you can be smart about sending only data that are useful for you.

How Can I Learn About Ingested Data?

You want to know...You can...
What are usage trends for my instance? Use the dashboards in the Wavefront Usage integration.
Who is responsible for high usage Use the Wavefront Namespace Usage Explorer dashboard in the Wavefront Usage integration to drill down into namespaces and find where the ingested data is coming from.
How close am I to my billing limit? Use the Committed Rate and Monthly Usage (PPS P95) dashboard. Consider cloning and customizing this dashboard and adding alerts.
What are current usage details? Start with the dashboards in the Wavefront Usage integration. The dashboards allow you to look at both current usage and usage over time. If you need to drill down more, use the Wavefront Top GUI for a detailed view of current spikes.
Why do I have cardinality problems? If you know there's been a spike in data (for example an ID burst), you can use the Wavefront Spy utility to drill down into individual data points and tag values.
How much data is coming from my source? You have several options:
  1. Use the Source Browser for a first look.
  2. Look at the last section in the Wavefront Service and Proxy Data to see the top sources listed by PPS.
  3. Use the Wavefront Top GUI to filter by source and examine what's coming from the selected source.

Which Teams Are Responsible for How Much Ingested Data?

When you want to find out which teams are using the most data, follow these steps.

Step 1: Examine Ingestion with the Namespace Usage Explorer

The Wavefront Namespace Usage Explorer dashboard can help you pinpoint where data are coming from. This dashboard provides not only a current view but also a historical view. Start at the level 1 namespace to identify the top level. Then dive into levels 2 and 3 for finer grained info to answer these questions:

  • How many different namespaces do I have at each level?
  • What are my top namespaces?
  • Top 10 and trends over time at each level

The screenshot below shows an example from our demo server. The data are prefixed with the data source. In the pie chart, we can see that the top namespaces include pcf and kubernetes.

Metrics namespace dashboard screenshot

The Namespace Usage Explorer is especially useful if your metrics use hierarchical name spaces of up to 3 levels that identify who sends which metrics. For example, some Wavefront customers use namespaces that show the Business Unit (Level 1), team (Level 2), and data source. For example, you might have monitoring.dev.kubernetes and monitoring.sales.kubernetes for Kubernetes data coming from the dev and sales time in the monitoring Business Unit.

(Optional) Create Custom Charts with Namespace Delta Counters

If you don’t see the information you need, for example if need to look at histogram ingestion, clone the Namespace Usage Explorer dashboard. You can then modify existing charts or create custom charts. Wavefront supports delta counters that return information about counters, histograms, and spans. For example, the default dashboard examines ~metric information, but you can also examine other data using the following format:

cs(~<data_type>.global.namespace.<namespace>.pps, source=<depth_number>)

Here’s an example query that returns the top 10 Level 1 metrics:

rawsum(align(1m, taggify(cs("~metric.global.namespace.*.ppm", source="depth_1"), metric, Name, 3)), Name) / 60

Step 2: Drill Down Deeper with Wavefront Top and Wavefront Spy API

If you need more than 3 levels of namespaces or if the dashboard doesn’t answer your questions for other reasons, Wavefront Top and the Spy API show in detail what’s happening right now.

  • Wavefront Top supports metrics and IDs.
  • The Wavefront Spy API also supports delta counters, histograms, spans, and span logs.

For example, with Wavefront Top you can:

  • Dive into deeper levels of the namespace than with the Namespace Explorer dashboard.
  • View ingestion rate by source, point tag, or ingestion source.
  • See what percentage of currently ingested data within a namespace is actually accessed in queries over X days. The number of days defaults to 7 and is configurable.
  • See what range of values is sent in for a particular namespace.
  • See the data lag for a particular namespace.

The Wavefront Spy API gives even more detail, but in most cases Wavefront Top is sufficient.

How Close Am I To Exceeding My Contracted Rate?

The Committed Rate and Monthly Usage (PPS P95) dashboard that’s part of the Wavefront Usage integration helps you determine whether you’re getting close to meeting the limit. For most Wavefront instances, Wavefront continues to ingest data after the limit is reached Wavefront, but the customer has to pay overage.

The charts in the dashboard show this information:

  • Broken down by type
  • Hourly rate
  • Across tenants
  • Includes alert when customers are, for example, at 95% of contract rate.

Which Metrics Are Ingested But Not Used?

The easiest way to improve Wavefront ingestion rates is to send only data that you actually use.

  • Use Wavefront Top to examine which percentage of ingested metrics are accessed.
  • See which metrics are ingested.
    • The Metrics Browser lets you examine metrics and metric namespaces.
    • The Wavefront Namespace Usage Explorer dashboard that’s part of the Wavefront Usage integration is available on each cluster and gives details on a per-namespace basis.
  • See which metrics are accessed.
    • The Access API endpoint, introduced in late 2020, provides information on how often an entity has been accessed. Supported entities are metric, histogram, span. Create a script that compares ingested to accessed metrics.
  • See which dashboards are not used in the Dashboards browser.

Dashboard browser with Sort menu

Learn More!

Our Customer Success Team has put together KB articles that drill down into adoption info.