Chronosphere FAQs

Learn more about Chronosphere, and how we reduce costs while improving outcomes.


A green circle with a black circle in the middle, often asked about in FAQs.

What is Chronosphere?

Chronosphere is an efficient, reliable and flexible SaaS solution, built for scaling cloud-native engineering organizations. Teams at startups to well-known global brands in the Fortune 500 around the world trust Chronosphere to help them operate scalable, highly available, and resilient applications.


The Chronosphere platform can ingest metrics and distributed trace data in a variety of open source formats, such as Prometheus and OpenTelemetry,and gives teams the ability to cut through the noise to rapidly detect, understand and remediate issues before they impact customers.

What Makes Chronosphere Different?

Because Chronosphere was built from the ground-up for cloud-native scale and complexity, we can provide greater reliability than any other SaaS offering on the market. In addition, Chronosphere:

  • Aligns observability costs to business needs.  With Chronosphere, customers can shape and transform their observability data so they can fulfill their existing dashboard and alerting needs without having to store all the data in the raw form. Chronosphere gives you the power to transform your observability data based on the need, context, and utility, storing only the useful data to reduce cost and improve performance.
  • Delivers best availability and performance at scale. Chronosphere offers the most reliable and efficient platform so observability will never be the culprit for missing an SLA. While our promised SLA is 99.9% our actual delivered SLA is better than 99.99%. We have the most efficient engine for collecting and storing data at scale.
  • Enables faster issue detection and resolution. With Chronosphere, engineers are the fastest to detect, triage, root cause customer-facing issues. We can achieve this by rapidly orienting engineers to hone in on the problem at hand with context-rich alerts and seamless linking of data types for faster time to triage. With a solution that is accessible for all levels of engineers, you will no longer have your most senior resources pulled into every incident response.

How Does Chronosphere Make Monitoring Management Easier?

Monitoring data is growing faster than infrastructure/apps built to monitor it, and the increase in scale has created bottlenecks for reliability, performance and cost.


The result is that you often end up flying blind because metrics are not available or are too hard to find quickly. When surges in metric cardinality or read traffic happen in solutions not built for this level of complexity, it gets very expensive, very fast, the problem gets ignored, or the dashboards take too long to load, leading to system failures.


With Chronosphere, users have tools to help them understand their metric data in real-time, and filter/group by any metric labels to understand what the biggest contributors to write traffic are.

What Are Chronosphere’s Data Security Policies?

We are SOC2 TYPE2 compliant. We don’t encrypt metrics data at rest, but if data is sent over HTTPS it’s encrypted in transit.


Learn More

How Does Chronosphere’s Pricing Work?

Chronosphere has a unique pricing model that is different from our competitors.


Instead of pricing based on host or VM, Chronosphere only charges for the useful data that you choose to retain. With our Control Plane, you can analyze and shape your observability data to fulfill your existing dashboard and alerting needs without having to store all the data in the raw form. Unlike other observability solutions that require you to store, query, and pay for all data, whether or not it is useful, Chronosphere pre-computes the data to get rid of the waste and efficiently delivers it to the glass.


Every organization’s needs are very different, so we want to work with you to drive the right value at the right price, without the fear of overages or huge price hikes when your data complexity inevitably grows. Interested in getting a custom quote?

What is Chronosphere’s Customer Support Model?

No concept of paid support here – we want to work with you every step of the way. We have dedicated customer success resources and offer 24/7 x 365 communications by Slack, Zendesk, or e-mail, in addition to options for weekly office hours, ad-hoc calls, and shared Slack channels. You are assigned a technical account manager, solution engineer, and account executive that you’ll have direct access to.


Are you a customer needing to access our team or get a question answered? Reach out to our support team here, and someone will be with you ASAP!

How Do I Become a Customer?

Due to the highly customized nature of each organization’s observability aggregation and rollup needs, we will work with you to stand up a pilot. The onboarding process depends on the scale of the deployment, but the goal is to prove out the required capabilities.


Pilots are typically free, unless you are running a large scale or long term pilot. The average pilot is 2-3 weeks long, during which you’ll be able to try out Chronosphere with your actual production data, with longer-term evaluations possible (most likely a paid pilot for long durations of evaluation).


We will work with you to tune control plane policies, define different resolution, and retention policies specific to your needs, and you will have full access to the same support you’d get as a Chronosphere customer. Ready to start a pilot? Click here to speak to our experts about your needs.

How Does Chronosphere Manage Cardinality?

Chronosphere’s backend is based on M3DB, an extremely scalable time series database and has been proven to support more than 13+ billion active times series.


We also provide users with an industry-leading Control Plane which provides the capability to define aggregation rules to reduce cardinality and not lose data resolution. You can use aggregation rules to remove labels you don’t need and reduce the amount of metrics that are stored.

Does Chronosphere Support PromQL?

Yes! Chronosphere supports PromQL.


Chronosphere has been verified by an independent third party to be 100% PromQL compatible. The Chronocollector fully supports Prometheus rules in it’s configuration. You simply copy over your Prometheus config over to the Chronocollector config. In addition, Chronosphere offers Query Builder, which enables you to dynamically build and modify your PromQL queries with visualizations provided at every step along the way.

What’s the Difference Between M3 and Chronosphere?

M3 is an open-source TSDB, while Chronosphere is an end-to-end observability platform for metrics and traces that were inspired by M3.

What Paging and Alerting Integrations Does Chronosphere Have?

We support Slack, PagerDuty, OpsGenie, VictorOps and email. In addition, we provide a general purpose webhook which can be utilized to integrate with almost anything.

What is the Chronosphere Collector?

The Chronosphere collector is responsible for ingesting metrics and traces from a customer’s various applications and then sending them along to the Chronosphere backend. It is the only Chronosphere software deployed in customer environments. You can set up as many collectors as you need.


For a full explanation of how it works, check out our blog post on how Chronosphere collects metrics.

How Do I Set Up and Maintain Chronosphere, and How is it Configured?

Chronosphere is a flexible SaaS solution, built for scaling cloud native engineering organizations.


The Chronosphere platform can ingest metrics and distributed trace data in a variety of open source formats, as well as Chronosphere collector instances which are the only pieces of technology that needs to be deployed by customers.The datastore and dashboards are fully provided and managed by Chronosphere.


Customers can manage their configuration through our Terraform provider or a command-line tool, in addition to through the UI.

Does Chronosphere Have a Terraform Provider?

Yes! Chronosphere has a Terraform provider.

Can I Query All of My Data Out of Chronosphere?

Chronosphere supports both Graphite and PromQL via Query Builder, which enables you to dynamically build and modify your Graphite and PromQL queries with visualizations provided at every step along the way.


In addition to the built-in dashboards you can also use Chronosphere as a datasource for your self-managed Grafana.

How Long Can You Keep My Data, and Can I Send in Historical Data?

We will keep your data for as long as you would require, as resolution/retention rates differ by customer. You can send in historical data.

What is Chronosphere’s Data Points Per Second (DPPS) limit?

Chronsphere can horizontally scale to 1.5 billion metrics/second.

What is Chronosphere’s SLA, and How is it Calculated?

We have a 99.9% SLA, calculated on a per-tenant basis.


Availability is determined continuously and automatically by monitoring for tenant downtime by having an external probe write a randomly generated datapoint and read it back, to verify that the platform is successfully persisting data and the whole end to end flow is working.


We calculate the SLA specifically for your tenant, not everyone, with a focus on the ability to read and write data.


Learn more about our Commitment to Availability.

Member of Technical Staff, Ting Chen, from the Chronosphere Team, observes as three people look at a computer screen.

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