Making CloudKitty timezone-aware

Associated story:!/story/2005319

Currently, CloudKitty is not timezone-aware and every timestamp is considered to be UTC. In order to improve user experience, avoid confusion and potential bugs (when doing time object conversions), CloudKitty should be made timezone-aware.

Problem Description

Internally, CloudKitty manipulates timezone-unaware datetime objects and timestamps. Every object representing some point in time is considered to be UTC. This can be confusing for users (which expect the timestamps of their data to be in their current timezone) as well as a source of bugs: A datetime object (converted to an iso8601 format timestamp) has no timezone information. There is no guarantee about how this kind of string will be interpreted by another API: as UTC, or in the API’s local time ?

Proposed Change

In order to secure CloudKitty’s behaviour about timezones, the following points should be applied:

  • All datetime objects must be made timezone-aware.

  • CloudKitty must only manipulate datetime objects. Functions or interfaces accepting several types of objects for parameters containing time information must be changed in order to only accept timezone-aware datetime objects.

  • The conversion to/from iso8601 timestamps or unix timestamps must be done at the interface level. This means that conversions to/from timezone-aware datetime objects must only be done by CloudKitty’s HTTP API and the different drivers (storage, fetcher, collector, messaging…), and only when this type is not supported.

  • Any timezone-unaware object retrieved by the API must be considered as UTC, made timezone-aware and raise a warning.

  • The handling of timezone-aware objects is not consistent between different SQL databases. In consequence, the storage state will still be stored with no timezone information and will be stored as UTC. The storage state driver will be in charge of making objects aware/unaware and will only provide/accept timezone-aware datetime objects. To avoid complex migrations and inconsistencies, the same rule will apply to the timestamps of dataframes: They will be stored as timezone-unaware timestamps and considered to be UTC. The storage driver will be responsible for the conversions.

  • Client functions querying the v2 API will send iso8601 timestamps with timezone information. If no timezone information is provided in the CLI arguments, they will be considered as local time and adequate timezone information will be added.

For convenience, microseconds will not be supported for now, and will be set to 0 in all datetime objects.


  • Leaving the code as is and making clear in the documentation that everything is UTC. This does not prevent unexpected behaviour when sending timezone-unaware info to other APIs.

Data model impact

None, the storage state model is not modified.

REST API impact


Security impact


Notifications Impact


Other end user impact

For v2 API endpoints, timestamps with no timezone information passed to the client will be considered as localtime by the client, and timezone information will be updated accordingly.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

None. The upgrade will impact neither the state storage nor the dataframes storage as no storage migration will be required. In consequence, the existing data will not be impacted.

Developer impact

Clear and stricter rules will reduce potential time-related bugs in new features implementation.



Gerrit topic:


Primary assignee:


Other contributors:


Work Items

Some of the following points are highly interdependent and may need to be implemented in the same commit:

  • Removing usage of Unix timestamps from the codebase in order to only manipulate datetime objects internally.

  • Adding timezone information to all datetime objects manipulated internally.

  • Make the functions of the client querying the v2 API timezone-aware.


  • python-dateutil: Library providing extensions to the standard library’s datetime module.


Unit tests are sufficient until the v2 API has more endpoints. Tempest tests testing v2 API endpoints should be ran with and without timezone information in timestamps to ensure that the API has the expected behaviour.

Documentation Impact

The v2 API documentation and client documentation will include a description of their behaviour with timezone-aware/unaware timestamps.