Cloudflare API Observability: 5 Metrics To Monitor

Cloudflare API Observability: 5 Metrics To Monitor

Building APIs is a fact of life for most modern developers. When we aren’t building them, we integrate them within our applications. Regardless of how you look at it, modern businesses are built on top of the foundation that APIs have built. They’re the bridges that allow different software systems to talk, share data, and work together seamlessly. But with great power comes great responsibility. As APIs become more complex and critical to the business, ensuring they’re reliable, performant, and secure is vital.

So, how does one ensure their APIs operate with peak performance from a technical and business perspective? The answer is API observability. It’s the practice of getting deep visibility into your APIs, so you can see what’s going on, spot issues, optimize performance, and deliver outstanding user experiences. In the broader context of cloud computing, API observability becomes even more crucial as it allows developers to deploy code to a cloud service and have it run at scale near end users without worrying about regions and multi-region architectures. In this post, we’ll dive into various aspects of API observability, why it matters, and 5 key metrics to monitor. We’ll also examine how Moesif and Cloudflare can work together to help with API observability. Let’s begin by looking closer at our main focus: API observability.

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What is API Observability?

API observability gives you a central place to look at all facets affecting API performance, adoption, error rates, etc. It’s the practice of collecting, analyzing, and understanding data from your APIs in real time. This data gives you valuable insights into how your APIs perform, behave, and interact with other systems.

Applying API observability to your APIs allows you to keep a pulse on critical metrics coming from your APIs. By capturing logs, you can generate metrics and enable monitoring and troubleshooting.

By monitoring metrics and logs, you can:

  • Detect issues early: Catch errors, bottlenecks, and anomalies before they affect your users.
  • Optimize performance: Implement better monitoring to find areas where your APIs can be faster and more efficient.
  • Understand usage: See how your APIs are being used, who is using them, and for what.
  • Troubleshoot faster: Diagnose issues when they do happen.
  • Make data-driven decisions: Use the insights to inform future API development and management initiatives.

API observability goes beyond monitoring. For instance, when using API observability to detect errors, it’s not just about knowing something went wrong but also why it went wrong. This level of understanding lets you take proactive measures to ensure your APIs are always reliable, responsive, and secure.

The three critical parts of API observability are:

  • Metrics: Quantifiable measurements like request rate, latency, error rate, and success rate.
  • Logs: Detailed records of API events, including request/response data, timestamps, and error messages. Monitoring logs, especially HTTP request logs, is crucial for identifying and troubleshooting issues. These logs help in examining end user requests, detecting malicious activity, and correlating related events.
  • Traces: These are end-to-end views of API requests as they flow through your systems, showing bottlenecks and dependencies.

Combining these different types of data gives you a complete picture of your API’s health and performance. These insights let you deliver improved user experiences to your API users, optimize your infrastructure, and drive business success through your APIs.

Why is API Observability important?

With APIs being so ubiquitous, it’s apparent that API observability is no longer a nice to have but a must-have. Here are a few reasons why API observability is a critical component for developers and organizations that are building APIs:

  1. Reliability and Uptime: APIs are the glue that holds your applications together. Observability lets you detect and fix issues proactively, reduce downtime, and ensure smooth operation. Cloudflare’s global network plays a crucial role in maintaining this reliability by providing a robust infrastructure.
  2. Performance Optimization: Slow or unresponsive APIs frustrate users and lead to lost revenue. Observability helps you find bottlenecks, optimize resource usage, and deliver lightning-fast experiences.
  3. Root Cause Analysis: When issues happen, observability provides the forensic tools to quickly diagnose the root cause, reduce the mean time to resolve (MTTR), and minimize the impact on your business.
  4. Customer Satisfaction: Great API performance translates directly to happy users. Observability lets you understand and anticipate user needs and deliver a seamless experience.
  5. Security: APIs are often the gateway to sensitive data. Observability helps you detect unusual activity, identify potential threats, and protect your systems from attacks. Cloudflare’s global network secures internet properties, ensuring that web properties and applications are protected from threats.
  6. Cost Optimization: By understanding how your APIs are used, you can optimize your infrastructure spend, reduce waste, and ensure you get the most out of your resources.
  7. Data-Driven Decision Making: Observability data provides valuable insights into usage patterns, trends, and customer behavior. This information can inform product development, marketing strategies, and business decisions.
  8. Competitive Advantage: In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses that prioritize API observability have a big advantage over their competitors. They can iterate faster, provide better experiences, and stay ahead of the curve.

API observability is a game changer whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise. Investing in the right tools and practices for API development and support can unlock many benefits and move your business forward.

5 API Observability Metrics to Track

There are numerous metrics that businesses should look at when it comes to their APIs. That being said, there are some critical metrics that should always be on the radar of companies that are developing and publishing APIs. To get a complete picture of your API’s health and performance, here are 5 key metrics to keep an eye on:

Request Rate (Throughput)

This measures the number of requests your API receives per unit of time (e.g. requests per second). Monitoring request rate helps you:

  • Understand overall API usage and identify peak traffic periods.
  • Scale infrastructure to meet increased demand.
  • Detect sudden spikes or drops in traffic that could indicate issues or anomalies.

Latency (Response Time)

Latency is the time it takes your API to respond to a request. It’s a critical metric for user experience. By tracking latency, you can:

  • Ensure your API is responding quickly and efficiently.
  • Identify slow endpoints or bottlenecks in your system.
  • Optimize your code and infrastructure to improve response times.

Error Rate

This measures the percentage of API requests that cause errors. A high error rate means issues need to be addressed immediately. Monitoring error rate helps you:

  • Detect issues early and prevent them from impacting your users.
  • Identify the types of errors occurring (e.g. 500 Internal Server Error, 404 Not Found).
  • Troubleshoot and resolve errors quickly.

Success Rate (Uptime)

This is the percentage of successful API requests. It’s a key indicator of your API’s overall reliability and uptime. Monitoring success rate lets you:

  • Ensure your API is available and functioning as expected.
  • Identify periods of downtime or degraded performance.
  • Set service level objectives (SLOs) and track your progress towards meeting them.


This metric measures how well your API uses its available resources (e.g. CPU, memory, network). High saturation levels can cause performance degradation or even crashes. By monitoring saturation, you can:

  • Ensure your API has enough resources to handle current and future demand.
  • Identify potential bottlenecks and optimize resource allocation.
  • Prevent performance issues caused by resource constraints.

Tracking these 5 metrics gives you a complete picture of your API’s health and performance. This will enable you to make informed decisions, optimize your infrastructure, and deliver great user experiences.

Using Moesif and Cloudflare for API Observability

By combining Moesif and Cloudflare, users can explore in-depth API analytics, user behavior insights, custom dashboards, and real-time alerts. This allows developers to see critical metrics reflecting how APIs are performing and being used.

Cloudflare acts as a secure gateway for your API traffic, with features like rate limiting, caching, and web application firewall (WAF) protection. It also provides logs and analytics for traffic patterns and security threats.The Cloudflare dashboard provides visibility and customization for different use cases.

Through Moesif’s integration with Cloudflare, analytics from the Cloudflare API gateway can be moved into Moesif, enriching it with insights. This integration allows you to:

  • Monitor API traffic in real-time: Track request volume, latency, and errors.
  • Detect and troubleshoot issues fast: Identify anomalies, bottlenecks, and other issues before they hit users.
  • Monetize API traffic: Charge API users for their API calls based on subscription or usage-based billing.
  • Visualize data to identify patterns and insights: Use analytics to understand traffic and performance trends.
  • Optimize API performance: Use Cloudflare’s performance features and Moesif’s insights to fine-tune your API’s speed and reliability.
  • Get deep user behavior insights: Understand how users interact with your APIs and where to improve.
  • Secure your APIs: Protect your APIs from attacks with Cloudflare’s security features and Moesif’s governance rule/quota capabilities.

Moesif’s observability platform and Cloudflare’s security and performance combine to create a complete API observability solution that delivers great user experiences, optimizes your infrastructure, and protects your API assets.


API observability is the key to unlocking the value within your APIs. You can achieve optimal performance, reliability, and security by monitoring, understanding, and fixing issues within your APIs. Tools like Moesif and Cloudflare make it easy to do that with insights and actions.

As we covered in the blog, API observability isn’t just a nice to have; it’s a must-have. With the right tools and strategies, you can deliver great user experiences, grow your business, and stay ahead of the competition. As cloud services evolve, serverless architectures such as Cloudflare and API observability tools like Moesif will play a crucial role in the future of API observability, offering scalable and efficient solutions.

Looking to get started with Moesif and Cloudflare? Sign up for Moesif today and quickly integrate with your Cloudflare API gateway in minutes.

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