Formal Datasource Interface

Formal Datasource Interface

Different strategies pass different values to parameters of datasource methods while these should be unified as implied by the datasource base class. The formalizing of the datasource base class will ensure that all strategies can work regardless of the underlying datasource. Additionally, the return types of methods should also be unified.

Problem description

Watcher strategies rely on specific datasources to work while strategies should work regardless of the underlying datasource. The incompatibilities are due to different types of values being passed to the parameters of methods. Most of these problems are artifacts of back when there was no datasource base class.

Use Cases

As end users I want strategies to work regardless of the datasource I have deployed.

As developer I want to more easily develop or improve new strategies while minimizing how much I should worry about the underlying datasource.

Proposed change

The datasource base class is changed and comments are added to describe expected values and units for parameters. For some parameters were the value can be one of a set of options the list of options is maintained in a list in the base class.

The new lists will be AGGREGATES and RESOURCE_TYPES. AGGREGATES contains all the possible options to pass to the aggregate parameter.

The possible options for AGGREGATES are mean, min and max. Mean will replace every instance of avg and is preferred as it is less ambiguous.

AGGREGATES = ['mean', 'min', 'max', 'count']

Many different parameters are shared across different methods and they share the same types of values. These parameters are

  • resource_id

  • period

  • granularity

  • aggregate

The resource_id is renamed to resource and should be the object retrieved for the specific resource but more context about the resource should be passed to the datasource. The RESOURCE_TYPES list addresses this needed context. It contains all possible types of resources this will allow the datasource to access the object attribute it needs for data retrieval.

RESOURCE_TYPES = ['compute_node', 'instance', 'bare_metal', 'storage']

The resource types is required to access the correct attributes of the resource object as the names of attributes vary between objects.

"""Demonstration accessing the same data from different objects"""
if resource_type == 'compute_node':
  hostname = resource.hypervisor_hostname
elif resource_type == 'instance':
  hostname =

raw_kwargs = dict(
  dimensions={'hostname': hostname},

The names of the resource are based on names in the helper classes to simplify accessing these APIs. The method names in the ironic_helper are will be changed to better fit the names in other helpers such as cinder_helper.

The period is be used to specify the amount of time in seconds that is used to aggregate metrics.

The granularity is be used to specify the interval between the time series in seconds.

The aggregate parameter is already covered as the values are chosen from AGGREGATES.

The statistic_aggregation method no longer uses the meter_name values from the METRIC_MAP dictionary as identifier but will use the keys instead. The datasources can still use the values of the METRIC_MAP to determine how to retrieve metrics from their databases. The parameter aggregation is renamed to aggregate to match the names used by other methods. The parameters group_by and dimensions are removed.

The definitions off most methods in DataSourceBase will now look as detailed below.

def statistic_aggregation(self, resource=None, resource_type,
                          meter_name=None, period=300,
                          granularity=300, aggregate='mean')

def get_host_cpu_usage(self, resource, resource_type, period, aggregate,

def get_host_memory_usage(self, resource, resource_type, period, aggregate,

The expected values and return types will be documented in the DataSourceBase using code blocks.

def get_host_cpu_usage(self, resource, resource_type, period, aggregate,
    """ Get the amount of cpu usage for the host

    :param resource: The object returned by clients such as Server or
    Hypersivor when calling nova.servers.get or nova.hypervisors.get
    :param resource_type: The Type of the resource object selected from
    :param period: The amount of seconds back in time metrics are aggregated
    :param aggregate: The method to aggregate data selected from AGGREGATES.
    :param granularity: Interval between collected data in seconds.
    :return: Percentage of total cpu usage represented by float between 0-100

Not all datasources will be able to implement all these different options. As example some datasource do not support granularity and most do not support the count aggregate. These incompatibilities should be met with reasonable alternatives and warnings but throwing errors should be avoided.

Finally, the list_metrics and check_availability methods are used by the API to return information on strategies when executing the state call.


Accepting that certain strategies only work with specific datasources.

Data model impact


REST API impact


Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact


Performance Impact


Other deployer impact


Developer impact

All strategies and some datasource will have to be adapted to be compatible with the new DataSourceBase and this will require development effort.



Primary assignee:


Work Items

  • Change DataSourceBase according to new interface specification.

  • Write comments in DataSourceBase to document interface.

  • Adapt existing datasources to work with new interface.

  • Change unit tests to work with new interface.




Current datasource tests have to be adopted to work with the new datasource base class. With the removal of the dimensions parameter the Monasca test cases will require the most changes.

In addition to unit tests the correct functionality of the datasources are examined in a working environment such as devstack.

Documentation Impact






Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Except where otherwise noted, this document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. See all OpenStack Legal Documents.