Sliding windows are a technique for generating charts using the
SLIDE BY clause in conjunction with the
TIMESERIES clause. With sliding windows, data is gathered in time "windows" that overlap with each other.
For example, in the image below, a query gathers data with 5 minute windows. The windows "slide" by 1 minute. Each window overlaps with the previous window by 4 minutes.
5-minute windows with 1-minute "slide"
In contrast, with "tumbling" or "cascading" windows, the windows do not overlap. For example, in this
TIMESERIES 3 minutes NRQL query, the windows are 3 minutes in length, with each beginning when the other ends. There is no overlap in the measurement interval.
3-minute windows with no overlap or "slide".
Sliding windows are helpful when you need to smooth out "spiky" charts. One common use case is to use sliding windows to smooth line graphs that have a lot of variation over short periods of time in cases where the rolling aggregate (for example a rolling mean) is more important than aggregates from narrow windows of time.
In the example below, data varies greatly from one minute to another, so the 1-minute tumbling window chart shows many high peaks and low valleys.
TIMESERIES query without SLIDE BY clause
However, in this example, 5-minute wide
TIMESERIES windows are smoothed with the help of 1-minute
SLIDE BY intervals. The query returns similar data but creates a much smoother chart.
TIMESERIES query with SLIDE BY clause
Valid NRQL syntax for the
SLIDE BY clause will follow the format below.
SELECT ... TIMESERIES integer1 units SLIDE BY integer2 units
integer1 specifies the sliding window width and
integer2 specifies the
SLIDE BY interval.
units is a time unit, such as
day. All standard NRQL time units are accepted.
Here’s a real-life example. It shows 5-minute
TIMESERIES windows with a 1-minute
SLIDE BY interval.
SELECT average(duration) from Transaction TIMESERIES 5 minutes SLIDE BY 1 minute
When applicable, a PromQL-style query is translated into a NRQL sliding window query.
For example, if your PromQL style query uses
rate(request_count[5m]) for the past 60 minutes with a 1-minute window overlap, the NRQL translation would be the query below.
SELECT rate(sum(request_count), 1 SECONDS) FROM Metric SINCE 3600 SECONDS AGO UNTIL NOW FACET dimensions() LIMIT 100 TIMESERIES 300000 SLIDE BY 60000
In the translation output, the default unit of millisecond is used for
SLIDE BY clauses. For
TIMESERIES, 300000 ms is 300 seconds, or 5 minutes, specifying a window size of 5 minutes. For
SLIDE BY, 60000 ms is 60 seconds, specifying a slide interval of 1 minute.
You can combine
SLIDE BY with
AUTO arguments to further tailor query results, as shown in the examples below.
SELECT average(duration) FROM Transaction TIMESERIES 5 minutes SLIDE BY MAX
SELECT average(duration) FROM Transaction TIMESERIES 5 minutes SLIDE BY AUTO
When paired with
TIMESERIES does not support
TIMESERIES value must be an integer time unit value. In other words,
SLIDE BY AUTO or
SLIDE BY MAX will work, but
TIMESERIES AUTO or
TIMESERIES MAX followed by
SLIDE BY and
AUTO, or a specific integer time unit is not supported.
SLIDE BY value as determined by
MAX can produce a step interval greater than the window size, which will show up as gaps and unexpected results. If you experience these issues with query results, consider checking for instances of SLIDE BY where the step interval exceeds the window size.
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