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What is a threshold?


A thresholds marks the performance boundaries for a producer. When a producer goes beyond (above or below) these boundaries, threshold changes status, thus letting you know this producer needs attention.

In simple words, thresholds are "border guards": they give signal when a producer violates the boundaries you've set for it.

Thresholds can also be compared with traffic lights. They let you know the degree of such "boundary violation" by using different colors. Yellow would mean minor violation, orange show greater problem and so on. The scale ends up on purple, which would stand for total fallout.

Thresholds let you face the possible problem before it affects your entire app.


For example

Let us say we're watching the session count of our web application (trying to know if the visitor load is not a stress for our website).

You also know the load capacity for your site, so you add a threshold and set the boundaries (number of sessions).




But it will change color and tell us that:

  • yellow = the visitor load is increasing, slowly reaching the problematic limit,
  • red = the website is under serious load because the open visitor sessions are reaching the critical point,
  • purple = there are so many people that the site is about to drop dead!

So, a quick glance on a threshold is enough to know if things go well or turn messy.

A threshold is set to monitor one parameter; a set of thresholds gives a complete picture of how your app performs at the moment. 

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Threshold Concepts to Remember

  • There are not build-in thresholds.
    It is you who create them, every time

  • Thresholds are not created automatically. 
    You choose a producer and then add a threshold to it.

  • A threshold monitors one parameter.
    Only one, not several. 

  • There are no default boundary values for new thresholds.
    It's you who defines the values, thus telling a threshold when to change color.