System architecture

System architecture

The Telemetry service uses an agent-based architecture. Several modules combine their responsibilities to collect data, store samples in a database, or provide an API service for handling incoming requests.

The Telemetry service is built from the following agents and services:

Presents aggregated metering data to consumers (such as billing engines and analytics tools).
Polls for different kinds of meter data by using the polling plug-ins (pollsters) registered in different namespaces. It provides a single polling interface across different namespaces.
Polls the public RESTful APIs of other OpenStack services such as Compute service and Image service, in order to keep tabs on resource existence, by using the polling plug-ins (pollsters) registered in the central polling namespace.
Polls the local hypervisor or libvirt daemon to acquire performance data for the local instances, messages and emits the data as AMQP messages, by using the polling plug-ins (pollsters) registered in the compute polling namespace.
Polls the local node with IPMI support, in order to acquire IPMI sensor data and Intel Node Manager data, by using the polling plug-ins (pollsters) registered in the IPMI polling namespace.
Consumes AMQP messages from other OpenStack services.
Consumes AMQP notifications from the agents, then dispatches these data to the appropriate data store.
Determines when alarms fire due to the associated statistic trend crossing a threshold over a sliding time window.

Initiates alarm actions, for example calling out to a webhook with a description of the alarm state transition.


The ceilometer-polling service is available since the Kilo release. It is intended to replace ceilometer-agent-central, ceilometer-agent-compute, and ceilometer-agent-ipmi.

Besides the ceilometer-agent-compute and the ceilometer-agent-ipmi services, all the other services are placed on one or more controller nodes.

The Telemetry architecture highly depends on the AMQP service both for consuming notifications coming from OpenStack services and internal communication.

Supported databases

The other key external component of Telemetry is the database, where events, samples, alarm definitions, and alarms are stored.


Multiple database back ends can be configured in order to store events, samples, and alarms separately.

The list of supported database back ends:

Supported hypervisors

The Telemetry service collects information about the virtual machines, which requires close connection to the hypervisor that runs on the compute hosts.

The following is a list of supported hypervisors.

Supported networking services

Telemetry is able to retrieve information from OpenStack Networking and external networking services:

  • OpenStack Networking:
    • Basic network meters
    • Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) meters
    • Load-Balancer-as-a-Service (LBaaS) meters
    • VPN-as-a-Service (VPNaaS) meters
  • SDN controller meters:

Users, roles, and projects

This service of OpenStack uses OpenStack Identity for authenticating and authorizing users. The required configuration options are listed in the Telemetry section in the OpenStack Configuration Reference.

The system uses two roles:admin and non-admin. The authorization happens before processing each API request. The amount of returned data depends on the role the requestor owns.

The creation of alarm definitions also highly depends on the role of the user, who initiated the action. Further details about Alarms handling can be found in this guide.

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.