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Re: [libvirt] [RFC] Introduce API for retrieving bulk domain stats

On 08/19/14 16:43, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 03:14:19PM +0200, Peter Krempa wrote:
>> I'd like to propose a (hopefully) fairly future-proof API to retrieve
>> various statistics for domains.
>> The motivation is that management layers that use libvirt usually poll
>> libvirt for statistics using various split up APIs we currently provide.
>> To get all the necessary stuff, the mgmt app need to issue Ndomains *
>> Napis calls and cope with the various returned formats. The APIs I'm
>> wanting to introduce here will:
>> 1) Return data in a format that we can expand in the future and is
>> hierarchical. For starters I'll use XML, with possible expansion to
>> something like JSON if it will be favourable for a consumer (switchable
>> by a flag)
> I'm not particularly a fan of using XML for this. As a guiding principal
> we've used structures when we needed APIs for which efficiency is
> important, and XML for APIs where efficiency is irrelevant. Even with
> the ability to bulk list data from many VMs at once, I'd think that
> efficiency is still a very important property of the API. Consider if
> we have 1000 virtual machines on a host - the XML document is going to
> get very large and frankly most XML parsers are terribly slow. Would
> not surprise me if it too several seconds or more to parse an XML doc
> that this proposed API would return, which I don't think is really
> viable. JSON might be slightly better in this respect, but not by
> as much as we might imagine.
> So I'd rather think we need to figure out a way to map this into some
> kind of struct, where reading any single statistic could be done in
> approx constant time, or at least time that is independant of the
> number of VMs.
> Much as I dislike the virTypedParameter struct, it might actually be
> a reasonable fit here. Perhaps a struct
>   struct virDomainRecord {
>      virDomainPtr dom;
>      size_t nparams;
>      virTypedParameter params;
>   };
> and the API returns an array of virDomainRecord elements.
> For the keys in the parameters we could use dot separated
> components. eg
>     state=runing
>     cpu.online=8
>     cpu.0.state=running
>     cpu.0.time=10001231231
>     cpu.1.state=running
>     cpu.1.time=10001231231
>     ...
>     cpu.7.state=running
>     cpu.7.time=10001231231
> This can be fairly efficiently accessed without any parsing involved.

Well while this does reduce the amount of transferred data (by something
more than a half, due to the missing end tags). It still requires fair
amount of post-processing (parsing) of the output. Potential users of
this API will need to split the elements by dots and re-create the
hierarchy as it would be in XML. And this introduces the second
dimension of complexity (n^2) as you need to go trhough the string
identifiers for each returned typed parameter.

For C applications this API will be unusable mostly while python clients
at least are able to get arrays back.

> The app would have todo an O(n) scan over the array to record the mapping
> of UUID -> array indexes. Once that's done any single stat can be accessed
> in O(1) time. I don't think anything XML or JSON based could even come
> close to this kind of efficiency of access, not to mention that it avoids
> the need for apps to write XML parsers which will simplify their life no
> end.


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