To get the most out of your Circonus deployment, it's important to understand just a couple of key terms.

Broker - a software appliance that communicates with each of your devices, systems, websites, databases, and other data sources. It can speak many different languages and protocols, including HTTP, JSON, SQL, JMX, and TCP. Public brokers are available to any Circonus SaaS customer, and are distributed around the world. Public brokers are often used to monitor publicly-accessible hosts or services. Enterprise brokers are available for purchase so you can run our broker software within your data center. This option allows you to open a single SSL port from our central systems to your network.

Check - a definition of what you want the broker to collect. The details you provide in the check often include the hostname/IP, port, any username or password required, headers that may be needed, timeouts, URLs, and other settings. During the check setup, you select which broker(s) you would like the check to run on.

Metric - an individual piece of data that a broker collects for a defined check. For instance, the “Ping” check collects availability, average ping time, maximum time, minimum time, and number of packets sent. Each of these items is a metric collected from the broker for that check.

The article, Circonus Glossary of Terms, contains additional information about definitions of common and uncommon terms, and this article describes describes the different Data Types used in Circonus.

Next Step: Create a Check