Send Sensor Data to Ceilometer

This blueprint will define the sensor data collection interface and implement a driver based on IPMI to collect sensor data and send them to Ceilometer.

Problem description

Ceilometer needs the hardware level performance/status data collection from monitored physical nodes. Ironic owns the IPMI credential, so that is easy for Ironic to get IPMI sensor data and send to Ceilometer via OpenStack common AMQP notification bus.

Proposed change

  • Creates a new ironic.driver.base.ManagementInterface common method get_sensors_data for gathering hardware sensor data:

    def get_sensors_data(self, task):

    “”” Get the sensors data from physical node

    This method get_sensors_data() will return a dict which is the common data structure to support both IPMI and non-IPMI sensors as below: ‘Sensor Type’ -> ‘Sensor ID’ -> ‘Field’:’Value’ The sensor current reading value should be found in ‘Sensor Reading’ field.

    returns:a consistent format dict of sensor data group by sensor type, which can be processed by Ceilometer.


    Example of actual message:

  • Implements the interface into ‘ipmitool’ driver to gather data via IPMI command call.

    We call IPMI command ‘ipmitool sdr -v’ to retrieve sensor data. With ‘-v’ option we get the entire sensor data including the extended sensor information and the current value in ‘Sensor Reading’ field.

    Here is an example which is the command return result:

    So we can translate the result to a dict format which is grouped by ‘Sensor Type’. For different types, we have different field names. By default, the IPMI node can support the basic three types: ‘Fan’, ‘Temperature’, and ‘Voltage’.

    The non-varying sensors which have no ‘Sensor Reading’ field will be filtered out and will not be sent to Ceilometer.

  • Adds periodic task to conductor which emits notification to Ceilometer by an interval.

    New periodic_task method _send_sensor_data will be added into ironic.conductor.manager. It calls get_sensor_data for all deployed nodes. If get_sensor_data returns None (not implemented) for the node, does not send anything.

    Supports configurations options:

    conductor.send_sensor_data - boolean value, whether to enable collecting and sending sensor data, default value is False.

    conductor.send_sensor_data_interval - Seconds between conductor sending sensor data message to Ceilometer via the AMQP notification bus. The default value is 600.

    Here is the sample message which will be sent to Ceilometer:

  • Supports ‘send_sensor_data_types’ configuration option, where we could list what types of data user want to send, that would allow people to tune which type of data they want to consume and not waste bandwidth sending everything all the time. By default we could send everything. Examples:

    • Default option setting:

      send_sensor_data_types=ALL #by default, send all which has ‘Sensor Reading’ field, required by Ceilometer.

    • For customization setting:

      send_sensor_data_types=Temperature,Fan,Voltage,Current #which match sensor data’s ‘Sensor Type’ field value.


  • An alternative way to do it is that we can enable our ‘ipminative’ driver to support IPMI sensor data collection, using pyghmi lib get_sensor_data command method call to access IPMI node.

    However this get_sensor_data is one new command introduced recently in latest release still not stable now, I did some testing with physical server, it still does not work, some IPMI sensor raw data can not be parsed by get_sensor_data command.

    So we will support ‘ipminative’ driver later with a separate spec.

  • For the interface with Ceilometer, we have alternative way to call Ceilometer API directly to avoid less-secure AMQP medium.

  • We can allow sensor types to be collected configurable so that it will only collect the sensor data of interest. The default can be all sensors. This can be an optional feature that some Ironic drivers (IPMI dirver or non-IPMI vendor drivers) may choose to support later with a separate spec.

  • Another way, Ceilometer can pull Ironic API get_sensors_data to retrieve the sensor data actively.

Data model impact


REST API impact

The management interface will expose the new method get_sensors_data. User can call this api to retrieve the sensors data.

Driver API impact

A new function called get_sensors_data will be added to the ironic.driver.base.ManagementInterface.

Nova driver impact


Security impact

We emit notification to Ceilometer via AMQP, AMQP-mediated interactions are assumed to be secure.

Other end user impact


Scalability impact


Performance Impact

Have some Performance impact about the periodic tasks, they run one after the other in a single greenthread. So periodic tasks like this which poke the BMC will affect the timing of other periodic tasks waiting to run.

Other deployer impact


Developer impact




Primary assignee:
Haomeng, Wang(LP ID == whaom)
Other contributors:
Co-work with Ceilometer team developer Chris Dent (LP ID == chdent)

Work Items

  • Add a new function interface, get_sensors_data, in ironic.drivers.base.ManagementInterface.
  • Add support in ipmitool driver to call IPMI command to get sensor data.
  • Add periodic task to conductor to send data by a default interval.


The data notification structure defined by Ironic should be confirmed with Ceilometer team to consume the notifications as well.

So will work with Ceilometer team and fix the structure on demand.


We will have at least unit tests. But for the IPMI data collection with physical server integration, it is difficult for us to do the real testing in CI.

Documentation Impact

Documentation will be extended to explain how it works, and what drivers are supported, and how to enable it.