Set Alert on System Metric

This Solution describes how to generate notifications based on server metrics, such as a full disk or overloaded CPU.

A Solution is a step-by-step guide for accomplishing a specific task, designed to make sense even if you're just getting started with Scalyr server monitoring. If you're new to Scalyr, you should read the short Getting Started guide. For help with other tasks, see the Solutions directory.


1. The Scalyr Agent should be installed on the server you want to monitor.

To verify:

  • In the navigation bar, click Overview.
  • Find the server in the list at the bottom of the page.

If the server is not listed:


1. From the navigation bar, click Dashboards, and select System.

2. In the form near the top of the page, click ServerHost and select the hostname of the server you wish to monitor. (You should now see a set of graphs, showing system metrics for that server.)

3. Click on the graph showing the metric you'd like to alert on. You should be taken to a page showing a larger version of that graph.

4. Immediately below the graph is a list of metrics displayed in that graph. If you would like to alert based on the first metric listed, skip to step 5. Otherwise, you will need to edit the Expression box in the graph form, to specify the appropriate metric. Use the following chart:

Metric Edit
1-minute CPU load average None
15-minute CPU load average Change proc.loadavg.1min to proc.loadavg.15min
User CPU usage None
System or iowait CPU usage Change type='user' to type='system' or type='iowait'
Free space on root disk None
Free space on other disk Change mount='/' to mount='/mount-point-of-other-disk'
Inbound network bandwidth None
Outbound network bandwidth Change direction='in' to direction='out'
Average latency of disk reads None
Average latency of disk writes Change metric='iostat.part.msec_read' to metric='iostat.part.msec_write'

5. Above the graph, click Save Search and choose As Alert.

6. In the form that pops up, edit the first row to specify when the alert should trigger. When specifying the numeric value, be careful to use the units of the metric you're alerting on. For instance, to alert when there is less than 500MB of free disk space, say: "Alert when value is less than 500000" (since disk space is measured in KB). To alert if the CPU load average is above 10, say: "Alert when value is more than 10".

7. The other form fields are optional, but it's usually a good idea to enter a Description. Say something like "Server my-server-name: elevated CPU load".

8. Click Add to create your alert.

Further Reading

To view all of your alerts, click Alerts in the navigation bar. From here, you can check alert status, edit, silence, and delete alerts. More information can be found in the Alerts Reference.

If you have many servers to monitor, you don't need to follow these steps for each server. Instead, you can create a templated alert that monitors all of your servers at once. See the Alert Templates section of the Alerts Reference.

By default, the alert will send a message to the e-mail address for your Scalyr account, but you can specify an alternate address such as your server ops team, a PagerDuty, OpsGenie, VictorOps, HipChat, or Slack account, or a webhook. You can also have the alert sent to multiple addresses. See Specifying Alert Recipients.