Just to add to this:
There are some blog posts to introduce people to the schema. Whilst these are a bit old (early 2013), most of the changes since they were written have been additive to the schema, rather than changing the schema. They might help as a starting point.
Also, for situations where you want a very long duration time series, but don't want to keep all the core monitoring data, some customers are using Custom Metrics. This has a couple of benefits of this approach:
- You can configure separate purge settings for the Custom Metrics data;
- You can configure the collection frequency from once per minute to once per day; so again this can limit the volume of data, and can be especially useful for less volatile, slowly changing data.
Hope this helps,