Matahari: Systems Management and Monitoring APIs

I have been working at Red Hat for a few weeks now and have started getting some real work done. I wanted to share what I’m currently working on, and that is Matahari. Matahari is a cross-platform (Linux and Windows so far) collection of APIs accessible over local and remote interfaces for systems management and monitoring. What the heck does that mean? Read on, dear friends.

Architecture

I mentioned that Matahari is a collection of APIs. These APIs are accessible via a few different methods. The core of the functionality that we are implementing is done as C libraries. These can be used directly. However, we expect and intend for most users to access the functionality via one of the agents we provide. A Matahari Agent is an application that provides access to the features implemented in a Matahari Library via some transport. We are currently providing agents for D-Bus and QMF.

D-Bus is used quite heavily as a communications mechanism between applications on a single system. QMF, or the Qpid Management Framework, is used as a remote interface. QMF is a framework for building remote APIs on top of AMQP, an open protocol for messaging.

The agents are generally thin wrappers around a core library, so other transports could be added in the future if the need presents itself.

Current Features

So, what can you do with Matahari?

Matahari is still under heavy development, but there is already a decent amount of usable functionality.

  • Host – An agent for viewing and controlling hosts
    • View basic host information such as OS, hostname, CPU, RAM, load average, and more.
    • Host control (shutdown, reboot)
  • Networking – An agent for viewing and controlling network devices
    • Get a list of available network interfaces and information about them, such as IP and MAC addresses
    • Start and stop network interfaces
  • Services – An agent for viewing and controlling system services
    • List configured services
    • Start and stop services
    • Monitor the status of services
  • Sysconfig – Modify system configuration
    • Modify system configuration files (Linux)
    • Modify system registry (Windows)

More things that are in the works can be found on the project backlog.

Use Cases

An example of a project that already utilizes Matahari is Pacemaker-cloud, which is also under heavy development. Pacemaker-cloud utilizes both the Host and Services agents of Matahari. Being able to actively monitor and control services on remote hosts is a key element of being able to provide HA in a cloud deployment.

In addition to providing ready-to-use agents, we also provide some code that makes it easier to write a QMF agent so that third-parties can write their own Matahari agents. One example of this that already exists is libvirt-qmf, which is a Matahari agent that exposes libvirt functionality over QMF.

Join Us

If Matahari interests you, follow us on github and join our mailing list.  Thanks!

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