A retrospective of the OpenStack Telemetry project Newton cycle

Monday 05 September 2016 OpenStack, Ceilometer, Gnocchi, Aodh Comments

A few weeks ago, I recorded an interview with Krishnan Raghuram about what was discussed for this development cycle for OpenStack Telemetry at the Austin summit.

It's interesting to look back at this video more than 3 months after recording it, and see what actually happened to Telemetry. It turns out that some of the things that I think were going to happen did not happen yet. As the first release candidate version is approaching, it's very unlikely they happen.

And on the other side, some new fancy features arrived suddenly without me having a clue about them.

As far as Ceilometer is concerned, here's the list of what really happened in terms of user features:

  • Added full support for SNMP v3 USM model
  • Added support for batch measurement in Gnocchi dispatcher
  • Set ended_at timestamp in Gnocchi dispatcher
  • Allow Swift pollster to specify regions
  • Add L3 cache usage and memory bandwidth meters
  • Split out the event code (REST API and storage) to a new Panko project

And a few other minor things. I planned none of them except Panko (which I was responsible for), and the ones we planned (documentation update, pipeline rework and polling enhancement) did not happen yet.

For Aodh, we expected to rework the documentation entirely too, and that did not happen either. What we did instead:

  • Deprecate and disable combination alarms
  • Add pagination support in REST API
  • Deprecated all non-SQL database store and provide a tool to migrate
  • Support batch notification for aodh-notifier

It's definitely a good list of new features for Aodh, still small, but simplifying it, removing technical debt and continuing building momentum around it.

For Gnocchi, we really had no plan, except maybe a few small features (they're usually tracked in the Launchpad bug list). It turned out we had some fancy new idea with Gordon Chung on how to boost our storage engine, so we work on that. That kept us busy a few weeks in the end, though the preliminary results look tremendous – so it was definitely worth it. We also have a AWS S3 storage driver on its way.

I find this exercise interesting, as it really emphasizes how you can't really control what's happening in any open source project, where your contributors come and go and work on their own agenda.

That does not mean we're dropping the themes and ideas I've laid out in that video. We're still pushing our "documentation is mandatory" policy and improving our "work by default" scenario. It's just a longer road that we expected.