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View Additional Data with Events

An event is an aperiodic occurrence that can be represented in SignalFx outside of the flow of streaming metrics. That is, events are secondary to metrics in SignalFx and are meant to provide context for the metric data.

Each occurrence of an event is an instance of an event type. An event type is a reusable event name that groups together events that you want to show as a stream or series, such as code pushes. By reusing event types, you have the ability to add an event type to a chart, and then view all events that occurred for that event type.

How events are created

There are several ways events are created in SignalFx.

  • Events are created whenever a detector triggers an alert, and provides information about the alert. A second event is created when the alert clears, is manually resolved, or is stopped (due to the detector being edited or deleted).
  • A SessionLog event is created when a user logs into or out of your organization. The SessionLog event notes the action (either “session created” or “session deleted”) and the ID of the user who created the session.
  • A custom event is created when you capture and send an event to the SignalFx service via an integration or the SignalFx API. For example, you may send a “code push” event in to SignalFx each time your development team deploys new code, so that you can correlate it with the resource consumption profiles of your infrastructure before and after the event. (All “code push” events are instances of the “code push” event type.)
  • You can also create a custom event in SignalFx and manually note when that event occurs.

Viewing events

You can add any of the event types described above to a graph chart (see Seeing events on a chart) or to an event feed chart on a dashboard.

Recent events are also visible in the Events sidebar, available from the navigation bar when you are viewing any dashboard. Click the Show Sidebar icon, then open the Events tab.

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The events list in the sidebar indicates the severity of the event and if it was a trigger event (solid triangle) or clear event (hollow triangle); the sidebar also indicates if an event was a custom event (hollow diamond).

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When you hover over an event in the Events sidebar, a vertical line will be displayed in all the charts at the time the event occurred. This feature makes it easy for you to visualize correlations between metric values and the event. (Of course, a line is displayed only when the event occurred during the time frame displayed in the dashboard.)

When you click an event in the Events sidebar, you will see details about the event and, for events associated with alerts, an option to open the detector that generated the event. If the event is associated with a currently active alert, you’ll also see an option to resolve the alert.

You can also overlay event markers onto charts on a dashboard.

Creating custom events in SignalFx

Custom events are most commonly generated via an integration with another service, or with the SignalFx API, and are sent to SignalFx when specified events occur outside SignalFx. However, you can also create custom events manually inside SignalFx, which you can display on charts along with any other events. That is, you might periodically perform some action on your system that you’d like to be able to correlate with certain metrics.

For example, you might like to generate a custom event whenever you upgrade your server. You can then add these events to a chart that displays CPU % utilization, for example, to see if the upgrade had any effect on your CPU usage.

You can create custom events when you are working in the Chart Builder, or by clicking New event in the Events sidebar.

In the Create Event dialog box, you can start typing to see a list of event types to choose from, or you can create a new event type.

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Note the time and any other details you’d like to add; you can use Markdown as well as plain text in the description of the event.

Then click Create to generate an event for the selected event type.

Note

If you have created a new event type, you are creating both the event type (which you can re-use in the future) and an instance of that event type.

Editing and deleting events

You can edit or delete only custom events, not events generated by detectors.

  • In the Events sidebar, available from within any dashboard, click on a custom event.
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  • When viewing or editing an event feed, click on a custom event.
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Click Edit to edit the event, or Mark for deletion to delete it.

Note

Marking an event for deletion does not mean you can later decide not to delete it. It simply means that the event might not be deleted immediately, but it will in fact be deleted.