“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
The first version of our release Alameda is almost cooked. It´s being an interesting journey from just a piece of paper with some written ideas to getting a real plan witnessed by some coffee shops between Coyoacán and Polanco (BTW, those are in Mexico city)
You have the IDEA. What’s next now?
Vision is everything. If you don´t know where to get to, then the path you take is irrelevant and all the energy spent would be wasted. Definitely, you must define a vision and its supporting values. Thanks that, our product roadmap was built in matters of days.
Company´s pillars have been successfully fulfilled so far.
Product’s design decisions have been taken to keep our company´s pillars: hyper-scalability, interoperability and a smart use of staff on-demand. Avoid any performance bottleneck, even against the unpredicted demand of resources. Leverage any need through on-demand resources. In fact, we’ve got our image and logo through designcrowd.com. Check out my previous post for details about our company´s values and foundations.
Our core service (codename: Medusa) has not been developed from scratch. Specific opensource projects and online platforms have been chosen to stick together. We just code the glue between these blocks – python in the best of the cases.
Collect and manage time-series data is the underlying support for any monitoring service. Create a core platform to do that in an effectively and scalable way, it would have taken forever. Influxdata.com seems to have all what we were looking for. It meets features of being an on-demand resource – we don’t want to spend resources operating and getting tuned a database like this. It would draw us away from our core purpose. Someone else can do it for you.– InfluxDB has Kapacitor, a data processing engine: “Kapacitor lets you define custom logic to process alerts with dynamic thresholds, match metrics for patterns…” Kapacitor makes perfect match with our alert system needs.
We bring three types of thresholds: BINARY (“up” or “down”), TAILABLE (logging information) and GAUGE (for measurements). The alert is evaluated and triggered through Kapacitor (InfluxDB). However, we’ve decided also to use Capped collections (MongoDB).
MongoDB have been added to the equation. It’s delivered in a monthly subscription mode for an important bunch of providers. MongoDB scales out amazingly following the not a recent trend of NoSQL databases in response to the demands presented in building new applications. Its capped collection feature makes data “automatically ages out”. Capped will help us to manage tons of information over the time in the most simple and efficient way.
Figure: Dashboard’s mockup
Figure: A glimpse of our dashboard
We are working hard to bring lightweight, secure and highly functional agents. They must be installed on-premises at every openstack’s node, which is the only piece of code to install into your infrastructure – They will remotely reach out our online core service, sending data at every configurable interval of time. Authentication must be strong between agents and our core solution. We’ve decided to leverage this important part of our development on JSON Web Tokens (JWT).
JWT has been used to pass the identity of authenticated users between an identity provider and a service provider. Which is Web Dashboard (Apollo) to RESTful API (Medusa) in our case. The browser doesn’t store sessions, making login functionality fully compatible with mobile devices, without any other change or effort needed – we are preparing ourselves to release Sentinella Android/iOS App in the mid-term – that way you don’t need t manage sensible APIs Keys on premises or into devices – mobile devices could be easily stolen -. APIs don’t expire and change them got a lot of management issues and security concerns. JWT expires constantly and changes transparently to the user.
All these components are talking through an external and secure MQ service – BTW, That could be also externalized to a service provider – The idea to do that is to avoid hard dependencies on every component. That helps us, for example, to make modification to the database´s structures or even change DB´s provider or the DB itself with no service interruption.
What have we got in Alameda?
Our MVP (minimal valuable product) is covering monitoring for Nova and Glance so far. Of course, we´ll add more openstack projects like Keystone and Neutron into the next versions. They way how we are managing versioning is exposed into the next picture.
Figure: Alameda’s roadmap overview
The first version will manage all the components we´ve just mentioned. We are excited to take this online as soon as possible. We are sure this will be an important contribution to the community.