Tags in Circonus behave very similarly to Gmail labels. You can create new tags on-the-fly, filter based on tags, and add multiple tags to the same item. The great thing about tags is that you can use them in whatever way makes sense for your needs. Tags can help you organize your data so you can show:
- The applications that are running on a system
- The client or customer to whom the data is relevant
- The dashboard or worksheet for which a graph might be used
- The internal data center, subnet, or domain of which the system is a part
- The internal group that is responsible for the data
- Any Chef, Puppet, or Ansible related information
- The type of information (network, storage, application, etc.)
You can have tags on checks (useful for getting data via the API or filtering the checks/hosts page in the UI), on graphs (useful for displaying only certain graphs or for making worksheets), and on rulesets (useful if you send the alerts via webhooks to something like Hipchat or Splunk/Logstash).
Having tags on any given item means you can do things like "show all graphs for disk usage in datacenterB of servers running MySQL" or "get all checks via the API that are SNMP for switches that pertain to customer 3 so I can add a new metric to those checks."
Next Step: Metric Clusters