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Acknowledgment ("Ack")

Recognition of an alert accompanied by a specified duration during which notifications and escalations will not be sent. Acknowledgments let other team members know that you are working to resolve the issue associated with the alert. Often abbreviated as "ack".

Action Group

A set of permissions. For example, the predefined SEARCH action group authorizes roles to use the _search and _msearch APIs.


Circonus programs that enable the continuous and autonomous collection of metrics.


An event that occurs when conditions for a rule are met. Alerts will always have a severity level. They are communicated through notifications associated with the rule that is triggered.


A manual identification made by a Circonus user within a visualization. For example, you might annotate a server being down for maintenance. The same condition might have also caused an event and possibly an alert to occur.


This is a collection of checks that have the same configuration and target but collect from different brokers. A bundle can have one check or many checks in it, and changing the bundle affects all the associated checks.


A chart (sometimes known as a graph) is a graphical representation used in data visualization.


An assessment of a service by Circonus which results in the collection of telemetry. Checks are created through the installation of an agent or broker.

Circonus Analytics Query Language (CAQL)

The Circonus Analytic Query Language enables users to formulate queries for graphing complex transformations of collected data and allows fine-tuning of previously hidden parameters. Often referenced via the acronym “CAQL,” which we affectionately pronounce as “cackle.” See CAQL Documentation.

Circonus Unified Agent (CUA)

The Circonus Unified Agent is our open-source agent to collect metrics through various input plugins, allowing Circonus customers to monitor systems, services, and 3rd party APIs. Often referenced via the acronym “CUA,” which we affectionately pronounce as “see-you-ey.” See CUA Documentation.

Command Bar

The series of main links or actions for a given page within Circonus. This element is typically located in the upper right, above the page content, and may include options such as Save, Share, Edit, etc.

Contact Group

A collection of one or more email addresses or webhook URLs that can be selected for notification. Contact groups are assigned to rules along with an associated severity. See Contact Groups Documentation.

Dashboards Query Language (DQL)

A syntax that enables users to search for data and visualizations within Circonus. Often referenced by the acronym "DQL". See DQL Documentation.

Distributed Tracing

Distributed Tracing more commonly known as tracing, records the path and performance of taken by requests (made by an application or end-user) as they propagate through or span multi-service architectures, like microservice and serverless applications.


A term that refers to what occurs when a threshold is breached. An event may or may not generate an alert.


A device or target (computer, server, application, etc.) from which metrics are collected by Circonus. Hosts are identified either by their IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) or by their Fully-Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).


Ways to connect Circonus to other systems.


Circonus' scalable, efficient, and fault-tolerant time series database. See IRONdb Documentation.


A record of the operating system or application events. It's normally stored as a log or JSON file in a semi-structured format.


A scheduled maintenance window for an account, check bundle, ruleset, or host. During maintenance windows, alerts are suppressed.


Metrics are numeric data about your infrastructure or application. Each data stream is produced by a check. Examples include system error rate, CPU utilization, request rate for a given service, round-trip latency, and CPU Utilization.

The principal navigation links within Circonus, are located on the left side of the app within the desktop view when the menu is either docked or expanded.


A message is sent to a specified contact group when rule conditions are met and an alert is triggered.


An individual action, such as creating an index (e.g. indices:admin/create). For a complete list, see Permissions.


Security roles define a logical group or permission scope action, that defines both rights to functional capabilities or data. In Circonus we support three levels of roles admin, normal (general user with read/write) and read-only.

Role Mapping

Users assume roles after they successfully authenticate. Role mappings, well, map roles to users (or backend roles). For example, a mapping of circonus_user (role) to jdoe (user) means that John Doe gains all the permissions of circonus_user after authenticating.


Conditions specified by the user which, if met, trigger an alert. One or more notifications can be added to a rule.


A collection of rules applied to a given metric that generates alerts when violated.


A level between 1 and 5 specifies the relative importance and priority of an alert. Level 1 is the most severe, while level 5 is the least severe.


A Span represents a unit of work or operation. It tracks specific operations that a request makes, painting a picture of what happened during the time in which that operation was executed. Multiple spans are combined to form a distributed trace.

Stream Tag

Metadata is composed of a category and value affixed to a metric name which is used to help identify and organize the metric.

Service Level Indicator (SLI)

An SLI is a measurement of a service's behavior. A good SLI measures your service from the perspective of your users. An example of SLI can be the speed at which a web page loads.

Service Level Objective (SLO)

An SLO is how reliability is communicated to an organization/other teams. This is accomplished by attaching one or more SLIs to business value.


Detailed records of the actions performed by the application and also of the messages about events that occurred during the operation of an application.


An individual using Circonus. A user has credentials (e.g. a username and password), zero or more backend roles, and zero or more custom attributes.

User Menu

The list of actions and resources within a Circonus account that are available to a specific user. Examples include User Profiles and Preferences. The user menu is located in the upper right corner of the Circonus app within the desktop mode.


A visualization type that can be added to a droppable area within a custom dashboard section. Examples include metrics trends, single metrics, heatmaps, lists, etc.