Alerting Overview

Alerts allow you to receive a notification when your data does something unexpected, such as go above or below a set threshold, or stop suddenly.


Select a recipient for your notifications and you can get immediate feedback via email, PagerDuty, Slack, or Microsoft Teams when critical changes occur.

  • We highly recommend creating your alerts within the Hosted Graphite UI, not the Primary Dashboard UI - Alerts built within the dashboard UI may not have the expected affect in our system. Our internal alerting system also has a quicker response time because it is triggered from values upon ingestion, rather than upon render.

Your alerts are listed in the Alert Overview section of the Hosted Graphite application. We list them in four categories:

  • Healthy Alerts

    Alerts that are currently running and within acceptable boundaries.

  • Triggered Alerts

    Alerts that are currently running and outside acceptable boundaries, this alert will have already notified you via the set notification channel.

  • Muted Alerts

    Alerts which have been silenced manually or by schedule. These alerts will not notify you until they become active again.

  • Inactive Alerts

    Alerts that use graphite function metrics but have failed due to the query taking taking too long, being malformed or returning duplicate metrics due to aliasing.

You can click on the metric name to see a recent graph of that metric. The pencil icon or clicking on the alert name opens up the edit alert dialogue. The mute icon allows you to silence the alert for a certain amount of time.

From within your Hosted Graphite account, click the “Alert” icon to open the alert creation panel.

  • Name

    This name is used in notifications. It is a reminder of why you added it, so make it clear and descriptive! e.g. “European Servers CPU usage”.

  • Metric Pattern

    This is the data that is tested against your criteria (which you’ll add on the next screen) e.g. “my.server.cpu”.

  • Alert Info

    Alert message sent with notifications. Can contain arbitrary string which may contain a description of the alert, steps to follow or references to documentation.

You can check a graph of your desired metric with the “Check Metric Graph” button. When you’re finished, click on “Confirm Metric Choice” to proceed to the Alert Criteria screen.

There are three ways to define the criteria that will result in a notification being sent.

  • Outside of Bounds

    An alert notification will be sent if the metric data you’ve selected goes either above the “above” threshold, or below the “below” threshold. This is useful when your data fits inside an expected range, e.g. a response time of a web server

  • Below / Above a Threshold

    If you just enter one of the above or below values, it will check whichever one you use. This is useful when there’s an upper or lower bound that this data should not cross, for example, the CPU load of a server.

  • Missing

    An alert notification will be sent to you if the metric does not arrive at all for a certain time period. This is useful for detecting when a system goes down entirely.

The section “If the query fails” lets you control the behavior if the graphite function query fails. This option only appears for alerts that use graphite functions as part of their metrics. Graphite function queries can fail due to timeouts from matching too many metrics, being malformed, or if it returns duplicate metrics due to aliasing.

  • Notify me

    A notification is sent when the query fails with a description of the reason.

  • Ignore

    Notifications are ignored but the alert still changes state and the failure is visible in the event history log.

Alerting Notification Interval lets you control how often you want to be notified of an alert.

  • On state change A notification will be sent only when the alert transitions state from healthy to triggered or vice versa. An alert that continues alerting will not send subsequent notifications.

  • Every

    A notification will be sent when the alert triggers and recovers. Subsequent notifications will then be paused for the configured time period. This allows you to stop the ‘flapping’ behavior that would give you lots of notifications in a short period of time.

From the Alert Overview page, you can hover your mouse over an individual alert to see actions related to managing it.

  • View an Alert

    Click the eye icon to open the overview popup for an alert. This displays an embedded graph and a history log of the last 3 days of data. There is also a link to the dashboard composer allowing you to view more detailed information on the metric being alerted on. From within the dashboard composer view, alert events will be displayed as annotations. You can hover over the base of the annotation to see the details of the alerting event.

  • Edit an Alert

    An alert can be edited to change its metric, criteria, or notification channel and changes may take several minutes to take effect. Updating alert criteria will place it back into the ‘Healthy’ list in the Graphite Alerts UI, but does not change the state of the alert.

  • Mute an Alert

    An alert can be silenced from notifying you for a specified time period. Currently, the available times are 30 mins, 6hrs, 1 day, and 1 week.

  • Delete an Alert

    An alert can be deleted from your panel here and this action is irreversible. If an alert was built within the Dashboard UI, you will be unable to edit or delete it from within the Hosted Graphite UI. Feel free to contact our support for advice on managing alerts using the Hosted Graphite alert API, or the Dashboard API.

Defining a notification channel allows you to receive notifications when an alert triggers. Currently, we support 7 different ways to notify your team when an event occurs. You can see the available notification channels, and create new ones on your Notification Channel Page. Click the '+ Add Channel' button to configure a new alerting channel. Then you can simply 'Save' and apply them to any of your Graphite alerts.

  • Email

    Send one or multiple emails to your team when an alert is triggered.

  • PagerDuty Send your alerts to your centralized PagerDuty incident monitoring and alerting system. Reference the PD documentation to create/locate your service or integration key required to configure this notification channel.

  • Slack

    Send an immediate notification to one of your Slack channels. The Slack notification requires an endpoint for your channel, see the Slack documentation for details on how to create this.

  • Microsoft Teams

    Send alerts to your chosen Microsoft Teams channel by creating a Microsoft Teams webhook. See their documentation for details on creating a Teams webhook.

  • VictorOps

    (Now owned by Splunk) Send your alerts into your VictorOps hub to integrate with all your existing monitoring and alerting infrastructure. See the Splunk documentation for more details on creating escalation webhooks.

  • OpsGenie

    Send alerts to this incident management tool allowing your team to respond to incidents, outages, and other events. Reference the OpsGenie docs for details around api key management.

  • Webhook

    Allows you to configure your own webhook that we will notify with real-time information on your defined alerts. See the JSON format below as that is the data reported to all notification channels, including your webhook URL.

Each notification will be JSON encoded in the following format:

 "name": "The name of the triggered alert.",
 "criteria": "The defined alert criteria for the alert.",
 "graph": "PNG of the rendered graph.",
 "value": "The current value of the metric.",
 "metric": "The name of the metric.",
 "status": "The current status of the metric.",
 "backoff_minutes": false | 123,
 "info": null | "Info saved with the alert."

Defining a scheduled mute allows you to silence alerts on a one-time or recurring basis for scheduled maintenance or downtime. You can see the available scheduled mutes and add new ones in the Alerts UI.

Once a scheduled mute is created, it must be attached to alerts so that they may be silenced by the scheduled mute - this can be done at the alert create and update endpoints, or the Hosted Graphite UI.

  • One-time

    You can silence alerts on a one-time basis by creating a scheduled mute with no repeat days.

  • Recurring

    By providing a list of days of the week for the scheduled mute to repeat, you can silence alerts on a recurring basis.

Please contact support if you think you’ve found a bug, or have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

  • Is your metric arriving?

    If are not receiving notifications as expected, please check the Alert Overview page and select the alert in question. You can use this to check the metric values for the last few hours are as expected. You can also inspect the Alert History for any recent alerting events.

  • Are some events being ignored?

    We alert on a 30 second resolution. This means the finer data (5 second for example) is averaged and we alert off the 30 second aggregate.

  • Is your alert not triggering as expected?

    Alerts built within the Primary Dashboard UI may not work as expected, a simple fix would be recreating this alert in the Hosted Graphite Alerts UI.

  • Is your alert not resolving as expected?

    Graphite alerts cannot properly trigger or resolve from null data. Try wrapping your alerting metric in a Graphite function like transformNull() or keepLastValue(). Also, if alerting metric reports intermittent data (for example, 1 datapoint every 10min), null values can be reported between each datapoint. If the alert criteria is set too low (for example, less than 10min), your alert might not resolve as expected.

  • Is your alert not resolving after updating the criteria?

    An alert’s state is not changed after the criteria is updated. So while your alert might move to the ‘healthy’ list in our UI, it will remain in a triggered state until new data resolves the alert naturally. If you are looking to quickly resolve an alert by updating the criteria, you could simply delete and recreate the alert.

  • Is your alert triggering but not sending Slack notifications?

    Check the ‘alert description’ field on the alert configuration. If the description contains a double quotation character (“example”), this could malform the json payload of the Slack webhook and cause the request to return an error. Test your webhook with the following command:

curl -X POST -H 'Content-type: application/json' --data '{"text":"Hello, World!"}' <your-slack-webhook-url>

Last updated