Refactoring CloudKitty’s documentation!/story/2004179

CloudKitty’s documentation needs to be refactored. This spec aims at proposing a new content layout. It is of course subject to discussion, as well on storyboard as on gerrit.

Problem Description

Since Cloudkitty has been through major changes in the last releases, the current documentation layout and content causes several problems:

  • The layout is not intuitive: many people on IRC ask for information that is available in the documentation, but very hard to find.

  • Cloudkitty’s architecture as well as the role of each component (fetcher, collector, rating module, storage backend…) is not explained clearly enough. This is a problem for operators, as they don’t know how CloudKitty works internally, which is an issue when troubleshooting.

  • The configuration of metric collection is very poorly documented, leading most operators to stick to the default metrics.yml file, without knowing exactly what each entry means.

  • The developer documentation is almost non-existent: It only contains information about the v2 storage interface. It should be extended to help contributors.

  • The documentation also lacks an FAQ/troubleshooting part: Typical question is “I deployed Cloudkitty with Devstack, why is summary 0 ?”.

Proposed Change

The first thing in the documentation should be a very brief introduction about what CloudKitty is and does. Concerning people reading CloudKitty’s documentation: they can be split into three groups; users, operators/admins, and developers. In consequence, proposed top-level sections after the short introduction would be the following:

  • Common introduction: What’s the matter/need Cloudkitty aims to solve ? What’s possible ? What’s not (yet) ? What will never be supported ?

    In addition to these questions, there should be a general introduction on the different components, their roles and how they interact.

  • User documentation: How do I retrieve information through cloudkitty’s API ? What kind of information can I get ?

  • HTTP API reference. However, reference of the v2 API will be published to once it is considered stable.

  • Operator documentation: This section should detail the role of each component, and provide information about how to configure it. This is also where information on rating rule creation should live. Operators are also the target audience for the troubleshooting section.

    In opposition to the current approach (with keystone/openstack vs. without keystone/openstack), I believe that this part of the documentation should explain each component one by one: its purpose, how it can be used, existing implementations (list different collectors/fetchers/rating modules, and ideally provide a support matrix), and how it can be configured.

    Example of a usecase where configuration is hard to deduce from the documentation: CloudKitty is used without keystone authentication and collects prometheus metrics. However, in order to collect metrics from gnocchi, the collector needs to authenticate to keystone. How to configure this ?

  • Developer documentation: This section should provide implementation details about the different components cloudkitty is made of. It should explain contributors what they need to implement, which interfaces they should use, and how their contribution should be tested. Ideally, this should complete the docstrings of an interface. A (small and probably not complete enough) example of such a documentation can be found here:

    Here again, the documentation should be split by component.


I don’t have any alternative layouts or contents in mind, but proposals are of course welcome!

Data model impact


REST API impact

None, except maybe a better documentation of the API.

Security impact


Notifications Impact


Other end user impact

End users and contributors will have a better understanding of the project.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

Better understanding of the projet, troubleshooting made easier.

Developer impact

Better understanding of the projet, contributing made easier.



Luka Peschke is assigned for the work on the spec, and the integration of the new layout to the doc. Work on the content of the documentation will be dispatched once the spec has been reviewed, corrected and merged.

Primary assignee:


Other contributors:


Work Items

  • Apply the new layout to cloudkitty’s documentation

  • Write an introduction with a few schemas

  • Improve the documentation (sub-)section by (sub-)section, with one commit/task couple per subject.





Documentation Impact

The documentation will be completely modified, and a lot of content will be added.