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

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 05:20:08PM +0200, Peter Krempa wrote:
> 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.

I think you mis-understood how I anticipated it being used.
You won't want to split the keys on the dots. Rather you
would construct the keys you wish to use. eg if you want to
print out the status of each virtual CPU in a VM you might have
code that looked roughly like this:

  for (i = 0 ; i < get_int("cpu.online") ; i++) {
      char key[1024];
      sprintf(key, "cpu.%d.status", i)
      fprint("CPU %d status %s\n", i, get_string(key))

IOW I don't think applications would take this and try to reconstruct
a hierarchical data structure for the whole thing, rather they would
directly extract the bits of data they want, possibly putting them
into a data structure of their own app specific design

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