What is a Counter Monitoring Metric? ie Increasing counter)

Scale Counter Graph


A counter is a metrics type that:

  • increments its value by one starting from 0.
  • is reset to zero when:
    • the service restarts.
    • a maximum value is reached
  • is used to record occurrences of events
  • is plotted with a rate function into some specific interval.

This is the same as many counters in the world such as the mileage counter in a car.

Without rate aggregation over a time window, this metric is not really useful and represents only:

  • the velocity (the rapidity with which the counter is incremented)
  • and the longevity of the service.

Usage / Example

They are used to measure the rate (the throughput) at which some event is occurring over a given time interval.


  • the number of pages loaded
  • customer arrivals
  • in a queue, counters can measure things like the rate at which items are being inserted and removed.


A counter reports:

  • the number of observations,
  • its current value
  • the minimum and maximum values.




Counter counter = Counter
    .baseUnit("beans") // optional
    .description("a description of what this counter does") // optional
    .tags("region", "test") // optional

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