[dpdk-dev] [RFC 0/6] replace telemetry with process_info

David Marchand david.marchand at redhat.com
Wed Feb 5 16:21:16 CET 2020

Hello Ciara, Bruce,

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 6:34 PM Ciara Power <ciara.power at intel.com> wrote:
> From: Bruce Richardson <bruce.richardson at intel.com>
> This patchset proposes a new library, called "process-info" for now, to
> replace the existing telemetry library in DPDK. (Name subject to change
> if someone can propose a better one).
> The existing telemetry library provides useful capabilities if used:
>   - Creates a unix socket on the system to allow external programs
>     connect and gather stats about the DPDK process.
>   - Supports outputting the xstats for various network cards on the
>     system.
>   - Can be used to output any other information exported to the metrics
>     library, e.g. by applications.
>   - Uses JSON message format, which is widely supported by other
>     languages and systems.
>   - Is supported by a plugin to collectd.
> However, the library also has some issues and limitations that could be
> improved upon:
>   - Has a dependency on libjansson for JSON processing, so is disabled
>     by default.
>   - Tied entirely to the metrics library for statistics.
>   - No support for sending non-stats data, e.g. something as simple as
>     DPDK version string.
>   - All data gathering functions are in the library itself, which also
>     means…
>   - No support for libraries or drivers to present their own
>     information via the library.
> We therefore propose to keep the good points of the existing library,
> but change the way things work to rectify the downsides.
> This leads to the following design choices in the library:
>   - Keep the existing idea of using a unix socket for connection (just
>     simplifying the connection handling).
>   - We would like to use JSON format, where possible, but the jansson
>     library dependency is problematic. However, creating JSON-encoded
>     data is easier than trying to parse JSON in C code, so we can keep
>     the JSON output format for processing by e.g. collectd and other
>     tools, while simplifying the input to be plain text commands:
>         - Commands in this RFC are designed to all start with "/" for
>           consistency
>         - Any parameters to the commands, e.g. the specific port to get
>           stats for, are placed after a comma ","
>   - Have the library only handle socket creation and input handling.
>     All data gathering should be provided by functions external to the
>     library registered by other components, e.g. have ethdev library
>     provide the function to query NIC xstats, etc.
>   - Have the library directly initialized by EAL by default, so that
>     unless an app explicitly does not want the support, monitoring is
>     available on all DPDK apps.
> The obvious question that remains to be answered here is: "why a new
> library rather than just fixing the old one?"
> The answer is that we have conflicts between the final two design
> choices above, which require that the library be built early in the
> build as other libraries will call into it to register callbacks, and
> the desire to keep backward compatibility e.g. for use with collectd
> plugin, which requires the existing library code be kept around and
> built - as it is now - at the end of the build process since it calls
> into other DPDK libraries. We therefore cannot have one library that
> meets both requirements, hence the replacement which allows us to
> maintain backward compatibility by just leaving the old lib in place
> until e.g. 20.11.
> This is also why the new library is called "process_info", since the
> name "telemetry" is already taken. Suggestions for a better name
> welcome.

The only user of the rte_telemetry api I could find is the (not yet
merged [1]) dpdk collectd plugin.

How will this impact it?
Can we expect compatibility?

1: https://github.com/collectd/collectd/pull/3273

David Marchand

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