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NuGet Package NServiceBus.Metrics (2.x)
Target NServiceBus Version: 6.x

The NServiceBus.Metrics package can be used to collect information and measure endpoint health and performance. When a system is broken down into multiple processes, each with its own queue, then bottlenecks may be identified by tracking:

  • the number of messages in each queue
  • the incoming rate of messages for each queue
  • the processing rate for each queue.

Enabling NServiceBus.Metrics

var metrics = endpointConfiguration.EnableMetrics();

Reporting metrics data

Metrics can be reported in a few different ways.

To Windows Performance Counters

Some of the data captured by the NServiceBus.Metrics component can be forwarded to Windows Performance Counters. See Performance Counters for more information.

To any external storage

Custom observers might be registered to access every value reported by probes.

    register: context =>
        foreach (var duration in context.Durations)
                observer: (ref DurationEvent @event) =>
                    Console.WriteLine($"Duration: '{duration.Name}'. Value: '{@event.Duration}'");
        foreach (var signal in context.Signals)
                observer: (ref SignalEvent @event) =>
                    Console.WriteLine($"Signal: '{signal.Name}'. Type: '{@event.MessageType}'");

Metrics captured

NServiceBus and ServiceControl capture a number of different metrics about a running endpoint including the processing time, the number of messages in each queue (differentiating between those pulled from the queue, those processed successfully, and those which failed processing), as well as "critical time".

Processing time

Processing time is the time it takes for an endpoint to process a single message.

Number of messages pulled from queue

This metric measures the number of messages that the endpoint reads from it's input queue regardless of whether message processing succeeds or fails.

Number of messages successfully processed

This metric measures the number of messages that the endpoint successfully processes. In order for a message to be counted by this metric, all handlers must have executed without throwing an exception.

Number of message processing failures

This metric measures the number of messages that the endpoint has failed to process. In order for a message to be counted by this metric, at least one handler must have thrown an exception.

Critical time

Critical time is the time between when a message is sent and when it is fully processed. It is a combination of:

  • Network send time: The time a message spends on the network before arriving in the destination queue
  • Queue wait time: The time a message spends in the destination queue before being picked up and processed
  • Processing time: The time it takes for the destination endpoint to process the message


This metric measures the number of retries scheduled by the endpoint (immediate or delayed).

Queue length

This metric tracks the estimated number of messages in the input queue of an endpoint. The reason why this value needs to be estimated is that when scaling out certain queuing environments, under high load, the number of messages actually in a given input queue would not reflect all the messages in transit to that queue, thus reporting much lower values. For this reason, a different approach is used - one based on links rather than queues.

A link is a communication channel between a sender of the message and its receiver. Each link is uniquely identified by some combination of destination address, message assembly, and the host identifier of the sender. The exact composition of link identifiers depends on the transport properties and type of message being sent.

Each sender maintains a monotonic counter of messages sent over each of its outgoing links and transmits the value of this counter to the receiver in a message header. The receiver tracks the counter value for the last message received over each link. This allows both communicating endpoints to track how many messages were sent and received over each link.

ServiceControl collects these metrics for all links and estimates the length of the input queue for each receiver based on how many messages were sent in total over all incoming links and how many of those messages have already been received.


The system consists of two endpoints, Sales and Shipping. Sales send messages to Shipping to notify it about some business events. The Sales endpoint is scaled out and deployed to two machines, 1 and 2. Consider the following values reported to ServiceControl:

Link IDMax sent counterMax received counterMessages in queue from this link

Based on the data above, ServiceControl can estimate the following values of queue length for Shipping endpoints:

EndpointQueue length termsCalculated queue length
Shipping3 + 25


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