[Openstack-operators] [ceilometer] Exposing Ceilometer alarms as SNMP traps

Florian Haas florian at hastexo.com
Thu Apr 24 12:42:35 UTC 2014

Hello everyone,

I'd just like to throw something out there for discussion. Please note
that I've CC'd the operators list to reach a wider audience (including
the would-be users of the feature I'm about to discuss), but this is
rather firmly a development issue, so it would be great if we could
keep the responses exclusively on the -dev list.

I've been talking to OpenStack users in the telco and NFV space a lot
as of late, and one of the things that always come up is reporting
abnormal events from OpenStack into an SNMP based network management
system. Ceilometer is the obvious place to plug into, and with the
help of Eoghan and Julien in
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+FlorianHaas/posts/9BC46ozA8T3 I've come
to the realization that writing an alarm notifier that bridges into
pysnmp would be relatively straightforward. Effectively one would
extend ceilometer.alarm.notifier.AlarmNotifier, and use a Notification
Originator as described in
to send the trap.

The tricky part is of course to decide which MIB one should support.
Creating Ceilometer's own MIB sounds like it would be disadvantageous
versus using a publicly known MIB that already exists for the purpose.
Doing some cursory research I've come across RFC 3877
(https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3877) which defines a generic "Alarm
MIB". My SNMP experience, however, is way too limited to decide
whether or not that is actually widely used and would be suitable.

There are interesting side issues here, by the way, such as the fact
that Ceilometer alarms currently have no concept of severity, which is
somewhat crucial to the RFC 3877 Alarm model (and presumably, also for
other alarm use cases). But that's separate from the SNMP discussion.

If anyone with greater SNMP and NMS experience than my own could share
thoughts here, that would be great. In addition, if someone is
interested in doing a Design Summit session or a BoF on this subject
in Atlanta, or even just meet informally and discuss ideas, please let
me know. Thank you!


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