Feature Name: Performance Co-Pilot Feature Update
A new feature release of PCP (Performance Co-Pilot).
- Name: Frank Ch. Eigler, Mark Goodwin, Nathan Scott
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Targeted release: Fedora 19
- Last updated: 2013-01-25
- Percentage of completion: 75%
This PCP update is planned to deliver a group of new features:
- Increased security (SSL transport, authenticated/authorized remote access)
- IPv6 support
- JSON interface for web monitoring clients
- RRD format data interoperation
- Improved user interfaces (pmchart, possible web gui)
- Improvements to Python scripting
- Instrumentation and monitoring for systemd and GFS2 clusters
Benefit to Fedora
The increased security may enable installing/activating the pmcd daemon by default.
Only the PCP packages would be modified.
The scope of changes within the PCP code base is relatively large however - addition of SSL/TLS and IPv6 to the core protocol affects all live-mode tools and daemons, for example. Early upstream point releases and the fairly extensive test suite are used to mitigate risk.
How To Test
The PCP sources include a quality assurance suite in the pcp-testsuite package with several hundred tests. Additional tests are being added as the new features are developed.
Instructions for configuring and running the tests are included in an accompanying README file.
All changes are backwards compatible, and the user must opt-in to use the new features. For example, the SSL extensions are negotiated transparently using existing feature bits in the protocol to flag the new capability to either end of the connection. Secure connections can then be enabled via an environment variable or through explicit user interface selection.
As a second example, proposed new GFS2 metrics and monitoring utility would make use of existing GFS2 kernel instrumentation, and existing PCP interfaces for extension (on both the individual cluster nodes, as well as the remote monitoring tool). The user would explicitly install the GFS2 PCP agent on the cluster nodes, and thus augments their existing PCP installation with these new metrics and capabilities.
In the event some of the improvements don't make it to upstream PCP in time, the then-newest version would be pulled into Fedora.
All tools, daemons and library interfaces have accompanying man pages. The pcp-doc package also contains tutorials, howtos and other documentation and coverage of the new major features (like SSL) is being added.
Discussion is on-going with the original authors (SGI) as well, about making available the two technical books they have published about PCP in the past, under a community friendly license.
Links to each of these documents will be added here as they become available.
It is anticipated that the upstream release notes and documentation will provide coverage of the new features, and the Fedora release notes could link to those.