IPMI support


Add IPMI function in ceilometer, so that power/thermal data can be fetched through IPMI capable servers. These data can be exported to other openstack component for other usage, like policy control.

Problem description

The Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) is a standardized computer system interface used by system administrators for out-of-band management of computer systems and monitoring of their operation. Enabling IPMI in ceilometer allows the cloud operator to monitor the power and thermal behaviors of servers and make reasonable operation or policy according to the real-time power/thermal status of data center.

With IPMI support,the power and thermal information of these servers can be used to improve overall data center efficiency and maximize overall data center usage. Data center managers can maximize the rack density with the confidence that rack power budget will not be exceeded. During a power or thermal emergency, we can limit server power consumption and send alert to administrators via the pre-defined policy.

Currently, Ironic project is doing work to emit notifications on the message bus containing IPMI sensor data, so that Ceilometer is possible to process these notifications for high level usage. But for nodes that are not managed by Ironic, IPMI data is still missing. This spec removes dependency on Ironic by adding IPMI support in Ceilometer.

Proposed change

Add a new IPMI agent, who get the power & thermal data via IPMI protocol in periodic way and publish these data via pipeline. IPMI agent lives in each IPMI capable node, and gets configured in deployment.

In this way, data can be fetched locally without credentials via network. Also agent polling period can be controlled by pipeline file.

Line up metrics with IPMI support in Ironic, so we get same IPMI data regardless of the underlying method (an agent-per-node directly emitting samples, or the ceilometer notification agent consuming notifications emitted by Ironic. If both available, user need deploy one only):

Name Type Unit Origin
hardware.ipmi.fan g RPM p
hardware.ipmi.temperature g C p
hardware.ipmi.current g W p
hardware.ipmi.voltage g V p
  • g = gauge, n = notification , p = pollster

IPMI is generic protocol, each vendor may add specific metric for their own hardware. So there are probably more vendor specific metric in implementation.

Aim of this spec is to provide: 1) a standard metrics that exist for most of vendor 2) infrastructure to enable IPMI, that is, basic working unit to send IPMI commands.

It could include an simple vendor specific implementation based on 2 as example, so other vendor can do their own work easily.


Instead of deploying IPMI agent for each node, Ceilometer itself hosts one agent for a bunch of nodes. It poll IPMI data from each node via network in periodic way. SNMP support in Ceilometer and IPMI in ironic take similar way.

This method avoid deploying agent in each nodes, but it introduce more work loads in Ceilometer itself, thus bad scalability. Furthermore, IPMI via network requires credential management.

Data model impact


REST API impact


Security impact


Pipeline impact


Other end user impact

Power/Thermal data should be exposed via the Horizon metering dashboard.

Performance/Scalability Impacts

By default, IPMI agent is not enabled until operator explicitly turn on it in config file for IPMI capable servers. So no performance impacts by default.

Other deployer impact

  • IPMI config option(default off) need to be added
  • an IPMI agent need to be added and deployed to every node, along with ceilometer config such as the metering secret
  • If both Ironic and Ceilometer available for IPMI data, user need deploy one only

Developer impact




Primary assignee:
Other contributors:
lianhao-lu shane-wang

Work Items

  • Implement an IPMI agent for data fetching deployed in each IPMI capable node.
  • Add unit test coverage
  • Update related docs

Future lifecycle

Once this feature enabled, need test and bug fixing in next 2 releases to avoid regression


This feature depends on IPMI capable servers


Unit tests are sufficient since only data fetching/exporting need test.

Documentation Impact

The added metrics will need to be documented in the measurements section.

The new configuration for deployment need to be documented.

IPMI agent shouldn’t be deployed if a node is managed with Ironic, which need to be documented.