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Visualization date and time controls

Date and time selector#

Pick timeframes to visualize#

While panning through time and zooming in/out from charts it is helpful when you're looking a recent history, or want to do granular troubleshooting, what if you want to see metrics from 6 hours ago? Or 6 days?

Netdata's dashboard features a timeframe selector to help you visualize specific timeframes in a few helpful ways. By default, it shows a certain number of minutes of historical metrics based on the your browser's viewport to ensure it's always showing per-second granularity.

Open the timeframe selector#

To visualize a new timeframe, you need to open the picker, which appears just above the menu, near the top-right cover of the dashboard.

The timeframe selector in the local Agent
dashboard

The Clear button resets the dashboard back to its default state based on your browser viewport, and Apply closes the picker and shifts all charts to the selected timeframe.

Use the Quick Selector#

Click any of the following options in the Quick Selector to choose a commonly-used timeframe.

  • Last 5 minutes
  • Last 15 minutes
  • Last 2 hours
  • Last 6 hours
  • Last 12 hours

Click Apply to see metrics from your selected timeframe.

Choose a specific interval#

Beneath the Quick Selector is an input field and dropdown you use in combination to select a specific timeframe of minutes, hours, days, or months. Enter a number and choose the appropriate unit of time, then click Apply.

Choose multiple days#

Use the calendar to select multiple days. Click on a date to begin the timeframe selection, then an ending date. The timeframe begins at noon on the beginning and end dates. Click Apply to see your selected multi-day timeframe.

Time controls#

The time control provides you the following options: Play, Pause and Force Play.

  • Play - the content of the page will be automatically refreshed while this is in the foreground
  • Pause - the content of the page isn't refreshed due to a manual request to pause it or, for example, when your investigating data on a chart (cursor is on top of a chart)
  • Force Play - the content of the page will be automatically refreshed even if this is in the background

With this, we aim to bring more clarity and allow you to distinguish if the content you are looking at is live or historical and also allow you to always refresh the content of the page when the tabs are in the background.

Main use cases for Force Play:

  • You use a terminal or deployment tools to do changes in your infra and want to see immediately, Netdata is in the background, displaying the impact of these changes
  • You want to have Netdata on the background, example displayed on a TV, to constantly see metrics through dashboards or to watch the alert status

The time control with Play, Pause and 
Force Play

Timezone selector#

With the timezone selector, you have the ability to change the timezone on Netdata Cloud. More often than not teams are distributed in different timezones and they need to collaborate.

Our goal is to make it easier for you and your teams to troubleshoot based on your timezone preference and communicate easily with varying timezones and timeframes without the need to be concerned about their specificity.

Timezon selector

When you change the timezone all the date and time fields will be updated to be displayed according to the specified timezone, this goes from charts to alerts information and across the Netdata Cloud.

Caveats and considerations#

Longer timeframes will decrease metrics granularity. At the default timeframe, based on your browser viewport, each "tick" on charts represents one second. If you select a timeframe of 6 hours, each tick represents the average value across a larger period of time.

You can only see metrics as far back in history as your metrics retention policy allows. Netdata uses an internal time-series database (TSDB) to store as many metrics as it can within a specific amount of disk space. The default storage is 256 MiB, which should be enough for 1-3 days of historical metrics. If you navigate back to a timeframe beyond stored historical metrics, you'll see this message:

Screenshot of reaching the end of historical metrics
storage

At any time, configure the internal TSDB's storage capacity to expand your depth of historical metrics.

What's next?#

One useful next step after selecting a timeframe is exporting the metrics into a snapshot file, which can then be shared and imported into any other Netdata dashboard.

There are also many ways to customize the standard dashboard experience, from changing the theme to editing the text that accompanies every section of charts.

Further reading & related information#

Reach out

If you need help after reading this doc, search our community forum for an answer. There's a good chance someone else has already found a solution to the same issue.

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