Alarm quotas

Currently, it is possible to create an unlimited number of alarms in Ceilometer. It would be useful to be able to specify a maximum number of alarms allowed per user or project in order to have some control and limit on the computing power required by Ceilometer.

Problem description

Presently, due to alarm evaluation process, the large number of alarms affects the performance of Ceilometer, but improvements to reduce this issue are underway with blueprint [1].

Even if performance wasn’t an issue, in order to prevent abuse from end users, the alarm quota mechanism must be implemented.

Proposed change

The proposed change will allow to express maximum number of alarms that can be set by user or project. These limits, if enforced, could be specified in Ceilometer’s configuration file (alarm section):

user_alarm_quota =
project_alarm_quota =

When a user adds an alarm, the following checks would occur:

  1. Has the user filled his alarms quota ? If yes, the query is rejected.

  2. Is the user’s project’s alarms quota filled ? If yes, the query is rejected.

  3. Add the alarm.

Quotas don’t have to be set at every level. For example, setting a limit only at the project level will allow users to create as many alarms as they want as long as the sum of alarms for their specific project is less than the limit.

In order to provide backward compatibility, the default value for alarm quotas will be set to None.


An alternative solution, storing project/user quota in Keystone for all Openstack resources, was proposed during Havana development cycle [2]. This solution was since abandoned in favor of letting each component manage quotas on their own.

An alternative solution to implement quotas in Ceilometer would be to use the same mechanism that other Openstack components are using. This will imply the addition of an OS-QUOTAS API extension in Ceilometer, that will be used by the cloud operator for project/user specific quota assignments. These specific project/user quotas must be stored in Ceilometer backend, implying several backend specific quota storage implementations.

This alternative solution is more complex and could be implemented in future release cycles.

Data model impact


REST API impact


No API method is either added or changed. Nevertheless, the new error http response code (HTTP 403) will be returned when the alarm quotas are exceeded.

Security impact


Pipeline impact


Other end user impact

The impact of this feature for Heat Alarm and AutoScaling resources will be evaluated and fixed.

Performance/Scalability Impacts


Other deployer impact

The deployer can now define alarm quota in configuration file (alarm section):

quota_user_alarm =
quota_project_alarm =

Developer impact




Primary assignee:


Other contributors:


Work Items

  • Implement the alarm quota mechanism

  • Test the feature in unit tests

Future lifecycle

As mentioned in alternatives section, API extension for dynamic quota management can be implemented in future release cycles.




Tempest tests will be added to tests this feature

Documentation Impact

Ceilometer installation documentation will be updated