[rrd-users] Please help on COUNTER

Simon Hobson linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Wed Feb 24 10:44:21 CET 2010

Andy_O wrote:

>Please help me to clarify the COUNTER;
>1. Should it records and displays the difference between previous and
>present values?

No, RRDTool only ever stores rates, not values. With a counter data 
type, it stores the previous counter value only so that it can 
calculate the rate. Each time you do an update, it works out the 
difference (new counter value minus old counter value) and then 
divides it by the time since the last update to get a rate. So if you 
fed it the values 60 and 90, two minutes apart, the difference would 
be 30, and divided by 120 seconds, the rate stores would be 0.25.

The rates calculated are then normalised to fit your step period. 
Alex has an excellent tutorial on this at 

>3. What does "m" mean written on the Y-axis on the graph ?

milli, as in 10^-3
Simon Hobson

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