How to Track Wavefront Adoption with Usage Metadata

January 13, 2020 Hassan Tahir

As you continue your monitoring and observability journey with Wavefront by VMware and more teams in your organization start using the platform, one thing becomes clear; you need the ability to see how the platform is being used. Basically, you need the ability to monitor the monitor.

Wavefront comes with a number of internal metrics that track usage of your Wavefront instance and provides you with countless ways to interpret them via the query language. The broad categories of these internal metrics (or Wavefront Stats) are alerts, users, and dashboards.

You can use Wavefront Query Language to access Wavefront Stats at ~wavefront. namespace. Let’s take a detailed look at what is available to you and how to interpret this data.

Use Alerts Metadata to Track the Number of Active Alerts and Much More

Ever wondered how many total alerts have your user base has created over time? How many of them are active at a given time. Better yet, how many of them are severe and active at a given time?

Wavefront provides granular metrics around all alerts configured for your instance under the ~wavefront.alert namespace. For instance, to see the total number of alerts configured over time, you can utilize the ~wavefront.alerts.all metric:

~wavefront.alerts.active gives you a picture of how many alerts were active at a given time:

These can further be refined into different severity levels by using ~wavefront.alerts.active_*:

Here is a snippet of some of the metrics available to you under the ~wavefront.alerts namespace:

Track Active Wavefront Users with Metadata

You are aware that more and more users are onboarding the Wavefront platform, but as a Wavefront admin/Super User, you want better statistics on Wavefront adoption. Wavefront internal metrics provide you with not only the total number of users that have adopted the platform but also statistics around Weekly Active Users (WAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU). The namespaces to access these statistics are as follows:

Total Users: ~wavefront.users.total

Weekly Active: ~wavefront.users.active.7day

Monthly Active: ~wavefront.users.active.30day

These statistics provide you with an understanding of how active your user base is and what if any, are peak periods when users access Wavefront.

Understand Dashboards Usage and Popularity with Corresponding Metadata

Dashboards are an excellent way of visualizing your data by collecting different charts at a single place. As new applications/services are launched, users often create new dashboards per their need to visualize their metrics in a single place. However, the needs of users change over time, and they move on to create new dashboards while the previous ones sit idle. While there is no limit to creating additional dashboards, accumulated over time, they can overpopulate your dashboard organizer with pages and pages of dashboards that are no longer in use.

Wavefront provides metrics not only on the total number of dashboards but also the number of times a particular dashboard has been accessed in the past and exact dates and time it was accessed. These statistics can be accessed via the ~wavefront.dashboard.<dashboard_name>.views metric or ~wavefront.dashboard.*.views for all dashboards:

The total number of dashboards can be accessed via the ~wavefront.dashboards.total metric:

 

Understand Wavefront Usage with Pre-Built Usage and Proxy Metrics

Wavefront also comes with an out-of-the-box section around some of these key metrics at the ‘Wavefront Usage and Proxy Metrics’ dashboard. The section is called ‘Wavefront Stats’ and contains the following charts:

While the section is pre-configured and available at all Wavefront instances, it is important to understand the underlying data and metrics to know what it means. As the article discusses, there are a lot more statistics available to help you understand your adoption journey in detail. It is imperative that you try out the ~wavefront. namespace with this knowledge and find interesting details that you may not have noticed before.

Summary

Wavefront instances include internal metrics on your usage of the platform. The three main areas these metrics cover are user activity, alerting, and dashboard usage. These give you invaluable insights into how your teams are utilizing the platform. For instance, user activity metrics accessed via the ~wavefront.users namespace show you your weekly active users, your monthly active users, and the total number of users. When analyzed over longer periods, they can show you your most active (or least active) days, weeks, or months.

Alerting metrics, accessed via the ~wavefront.alert namespace, provide you with a granular view of all activity related to your configured alerts. Charted over longer periods, it can give you a view of how well the application/services that you are monitoring have performed over time.

Finally, dashboard metrics, accessed via the ~wavefront.dashboard namespace, show you the trends around dashboard consumption across your teams. To learn more, check out our free trial today.

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The post How to Track Wavefront Adoption with Usage Metadata appeared first on Wavefront by VMware.

About the Author

Hassan Tahir

Hassan Tahir is a senior member of the Wavefront Customer Success team. He leads customer trainings and consultative sessions to enable them to maximize their return from Wavefront by VMware. As a Wavefront evangelist, he showcases customers' success stories with Wavefront via multiple platforms and was recently a speaker at VMworld.

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