What are valid metric names?

There are a few rules to stick to when naming metrics:

  • Metric names must start with a letter
  • Can only contain ascii alphanumerics, underscore and periods (other characters will get converted to underscores)
  • Should not exceed 200 characters (though less than 100 is genearlly preferred from a UI perspective)
  • Unicode is not supported
  • We recommend avoiding spaces

Metrics reported by the Agent are in a pseudo-hierarchical dotted format (e.g. http.nginx.response_time). We say pseudo-hierarchical because we’re not actually enforcing a hierarchy or doing anything with it, but we have aspirations to use it to infer things about servers (e.g. “hey, I see hostA and hostB are reporting ‘http.nginx.*’, those must be web frontends”).

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