Custom Metrics


If a metric is not submitted from one of the more than 700 Datadog integrations it’s considered a custom metric. Custom metrics help you track your application KPIs: number of visitors, average customer basket size, request latency, or performance distribution for a custom algorithm. Certain standard integrations can also potentially emit custom metrics.

A custom metric is identified by a unique combination of a metric’s name and tag values (including the host tag). In general, any metric you send using DogStatsD or through a custom Agent Check is a custom metric.

Note: Users with the Datadog Admin role or usage_read permission can see the monthly average number of custom metrics per hour and the top 5000 custom metrics for their account in the usage details page. Learn more about how custom metrics are counted.

Custom metrics properties

A Datadog custom metric has the properties below. Read the metrics introduction to learn how to graph metrics within Datadog.

<METRIC_NAME>The name of your metric.
<METRIC_VALUE>The value of your metric. Note: Metric values must be 32-bit. Values should not reflect dates or timestamps.
<TIMESTAMP>The timestamp associated with the metric value. Note: Metric timestamps cannot be more than ten minutes in the future or more than one hour in the past.
<TAGS>The set of tags associated with your metric.
<METRIC_TYPE>The type of your metric. Read about metric types.
<INTERVAL>If the <TYPE> of the metric is RATE or COUNT, it defines the corresponding interval.

Naming custom metrics

The following custom metric naming convention must be followed:

  • Metric names must start with a letter.
  • Metric names must only contain ASCII alphanumerics, underscores, and periods.
    • Other characters, including spaces, are converted to underscores.
    • Unicode is not supported.
  • Metric names must not exceed 200 characters. Fewer than 100 is preferred from a UI perspective.

Note: Metric names are case sensitive in Datadog.

Metric units

Set metric units through Metrics Summary or set custom metric units with the Unit override feature in the graph editor of your visualizations. For more information, see the Metrics Units documentation.

Submitting custom metrics

You can also use one of the Datadog official and community contributed API and DogStatsD client libraries to submit your custom metrics

Note: There are no enforced fixed rate limits on custom metric submission. If your default allotment is exceeded, you are billed according to Datadog’s billing policy for custom metrics.

Standard integrations

The following standard integrations can potentially emit custom metrics.

Type of integrationsIntegrations
Limited to 350 custom metrics by default.ActiveMQ XML / Go-Expvar / Java-JMX
No default limit on custom metrics collection.Nagios /PDH Check /OpenMetrics /Windows performance counters /WMI /Prometheus
Can be configured to collect custom metrics.MySQL /Oracle /Postgres /SQL Server
Custom metrics sent from cloud integrationsAWS

Further reading