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Metric names and the metric dictionary

Often, the names associated with the metric data that Zenoss Cloud collects from your environment and applications are machine-generated, and their meanings are not obvious. Also, metric names vary considerably by source. For example:

Names like these are not enough to understand what their values represent. You may not know that sysUpTime_sysUpTime is measured in centiseconds (100/sec) or that k8s.cluster.memory.bytes is the total amount of memory used by all containers in a Kubernetes cluster.

Dictionary contents

The metric dictionary includes replacements for many metric names and additional, contextual information that is more relevant to users. Zenoss Cloud relies on the metric dictionary for the following features:

  • Provide a display name or description for a metric.

    For example, display name Uptime for metric name uptime_sysUpTime.

  • Normalize the display of data points in graphs.

    For example, if the data points of a metric are collected and stored as milliseconds, convert them into seconds before displaying the data points in graphs.

  • Provide a label for the vertical axis of a metric's graph.

    For example, GB, IOPs, or Percent.

  • Create guidelines for the minimum and maximum values of a metric's graph.

    If data points fall outside the minimum or maximum values you define, the metric's graph is automatically adjusted; data points are never discarded.

  • Associate arbitrary terms with a metric, for use in searches.

The Zenoss Cloud default metric dictionary includes hundreds of entries and new entries are added regularly.

Default and effective dictionary entries

Initially, the default entry for a metric is your organization's effective entry. When you customize an existing entry in the default dictionary, your customized entry becomes the effective entry. Likewise, when you create a new entry for a metric that is not included in the default dictionary, your new entry becomes the effective entry for your organization.

You can revert your customization of an entry to the Zenoss default at any time and update your unique entries at any time, too.