A common monitoring target is the number of concurrent users in a web application. A possible solution is to have a scheduled background task, which once a minute queries the appropriate resource and sends us the current number of users. This metric is given an appropriate identifier, for example conc_users. Each time we receive a message with a metric (or metrics), we store the values with the current timestamp (or a timestamp that you can optionally include). When you create a new primary dashboard, you can start graphing this newly available metric with just a few clicks:
Although its easy to get up and running quickly, dashboards are a powerful tool. You can build complex graphs featuring multiple metrics, with transformations on that metric data - as well as being able to fine tune the styling of the graph.
Here’s another example: this time three metrics are being graphed simultaneously, and some styling has been applied to improve clarity. Check out the graphs panel reference for some of the many available possibilities.