1.1.2. Notification Alarm Evaluator


This is spec draft of blueprint for OpenStack Ceilomter Liberty. To see current version: https://review.openstack.org/172893 To track development activity: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ceilometer/+spec/notification-alarm-evaluator


This blueprint proposes to add a new alarm evaluator for handling alarms on events passed from other OpenStack services, that provides event-driven alarm evaluation which makes new sequence in Ceilometer instead of the polling-based approach of the existing Alarm Evaluator, and realizes immediate alarm notification to end users. Problem description

As an end user, I need to receive alarm notification immediately once Ceilometer captured an event which would make alarm fired, so that I can perform recovery actions promptly to shorten downtime of my service. The typical use case is that an end user set alarm on “compute.instance.update” in order to trigger recovery actions once the instance status has changed to ‘shutdown’ or ‘error’. It should be nice that an end user can receive notification within 1 second after fault observed as the same as other helth- check mechanisms can do in some cases.

The existing Alarm Evaluator is periodically querying/polling the databases in order to check all alarms independently from other processes. This is good approach for evaluating an alarm on samples stored in a certain period. However, this is not efficient to evaluate an alarm on events which are emitted by other OpenStack servers once in a while.

The periodical evaluation leads delay on sending alarm notification to users. The default period of evaluation cycle is 60 seconds. It is recommended that an operator set longer interval than configured pipeline interval for underlying metrics, and also longer enough to evaluate all defined alarms in certain period while taking into account the number of resources, users and alarms. Proposed change

The proposal is to add a new event-driven alarm evaluator which receives messages from Notification Agent and finds related Alarms, then evaluates each alarms;

  • New alarm evaluator could receive event notification from Notification Agent by which adding a dedicated notifier as a publisher in pipeline.yaml (e.g. notifier://?topic=event_eval).

  • When new alarm evaluator received event notification, it queries alarm database by Project ID and Resource ID written in the event notification.

  • Found alarms are evaluated by referring event notification.

  • Depending on the result of evaluation, those alarms would be fired through Alarm Notifier as the same as existing Alarm Evaluator does.

This proposal also adds new alarm type “notification” and “notification_rule”. This enables users to create alarms on events. The separation from other alarm types (such as “threshold” type) is intended to show different timing of evaluation and different format of condition, since the new evaluator will check each event notification once it received whereas “threshold” alarm can evaluate average of values in certain period calculated from multiple samples.

The new alarm evaluator handles Notification type alarms, so we have to change existing alarm evaluator to exclude “notification” type alarms from evaluation targets. Alternatives

There was similar blueprint proposal “Alarm type based on notification”, but the approach is different. The old proposal was to adding new step (alarm evaluations) in Notification Agent every time it received event from other OpenStack services, whereas this proposal intends to execute alarm evaluation in another component which can minimize impact to existing pipeline processing.

Another approach is enhancement of existing alarm evaluator by adding notification listener. However, there are two issues; 1) this approach could cause stall of periodical evaluations when it receives bulk of notifications, and 2) this could break the alarm portioning i.e. when alarm evaluator received notification, it might have to evaluate some alarms which are not assign to it. Data model impact

Resource ID will be added to Alarm model as an optional attribute. This would help the new alarm evaluator to filter out non-related alarms while querying alarms, otherwise it have to evaluate all alarms in the project. REST API impact

Alarm API will be extended as follows;

  • Add “notification” type into alarm type list

  • Add “resource_id” to “alarm”

  • Add “notification_rule” to “alarm”

Sample data of Notification-type alarm:

    "alarm_actions": [
    "alarm_id": null,
    "description": "An alarm",
    "enabled": true,
    "insufficient_data_actions": [
    "name": "InstanceStatusAlarm",
    "notification_rule": {
        "event_type": "compute.instance.update",
        "query" : [
                "field" : "traits.state",
                "type" : "string",
                "value" : "error",
                "op" : "eq",
    "ok_actions": [],
    "project_id": "c96c887c216949acbdfbd8b494863567",
    "repeat_actions": false,
    "resource_id": "153462d0-a9b8-4b5b-8175-9e4b05e9b856",
    "severity": "moderate",
    "state": "ok",
    "state_timestamp": "2015-04-03T17:49:38.406845",
    "timestamp": "2015-04-03T17:49:38.406839",
    "type": "notification",
    "user_id": "c96c887c216949acbdfbd8b494863567"

“resource_id” will be refered to query alarm and will not be check permission and belonging of project. Security impact

None Pipeline impact

None Other end user impact

None Performance/Scalability Impacts

When Ceilomter received a number of events from other OpenStack services in short period, this alarm evaluator can keep working since events are queued in a messaging queue system, but it can cause delay of alarm notification to users and increase the number of read and write access to alarm database.

“resource_id” can be optional, but restricting it to mandatory could be reduce performance impact. If user create “notification” alarm without “resource_id”, those alarms will be evaluated every time event occurred in the project. That may lead new evaluator heavy. Other deployer impact

New service process have to be run. Developer impact

Developers should be aware that events could be notified to end users and avoid passing raw infra information to end users, while defining events and traits. Implementation Assignee(s)

Primary assignee:


Other contributors:


Ongoing maintainer:

None Work Items

  • New event-driven alarm evaluator

  • Add new alarm type “notification” as well as AlarmNotificationRule

  • Add “resource_id” to Alarm model

  • Modify existing alarm evaluator to filter out “notification” alarms

  • Add new config parameter for alarm request check whether accepting alarms without specifying “resource_id” or not Future lifecycle

This proposal is key feature to provide information of cloud resources to end users in real-time that enables efficient integration with user-side manager or Orchestrator, whereas currently those information are considered to be consumed by admin side tool or service. Based on this change, we will seek orchestrating scenarios including fault recovery and add useful event definition as well as additional traits. Dependencies

None Testing

New unit/scenario tests are required for this change. Documentation Impact

  • Proposed evaluator will be described in the developer document.

  • New alarm type and how to use will be explained in user guide. References