Extending the perfSONAR API


This document describes how developers can extend the perfSONAR API to support new types of data and metadata.


Below is a definition of common terms used throughout this document:
  • subject - The thing being measured. For example, a router interface, a point-to-point measurement, tea in china or really just about anything about which information can be collected.
  • event type - The kind of measurement being performed. For example, utilization, throughput, the price, etc. The event type provides context for interpreting the measurement (e.g. an event type of throughput is always expressed as an integer in bits per second and represents the speed of a transfer).
  • metadata - A set of parameters describing the subject including the list of event types being measured about that subject.
  • data - The measurement results. All data belongs to a particular event type and is defined by the time it was performed and the value it measured at that time.
  • data type - The fundamental form of the data. For example: integer, floating-point number, JSON object, etc. Each event type has a particular data type and multiple event types may have the same data type. The difference between the data type and the event type is that event type carries additional context with it such as the units or meaning of the data, whereas data just tells you how it will look (e.g. this is a number).
  • summarization - A transformation of the data over a particular time period into a form that provides additional information about the measurement or combines multiple data points of the same event type to accomplish goals such as reducing the number of data points returned.

Adding New Event Types

Using an Existing Data Type

Adding a new event type to esmond is relatively easy if you would like to use an existing data type. The supported data types are as follows:

Data Type Supported Summarizations Description
float aggregation average A floating point number
histogram aggregation statistics A histogram where the key is a string bucket and the value is the count of items in that bucket. The statistics summary is only available for histograms where the buckets are numeric.
integer aggregation average A whole number integer
json None A JSON object or array. Any valid JSON is accepted.
percentage aggregation A special type that is registered as a numerator and a denominator but is returned in queries as a float. The registration form is used to improve summaries.
subinterval None An object with a time, duration and val that represents a time interval.

You may add a new event type by editing the file esmond/api/perfsonar/types.py and adding a new entry to the EVENT_TYPE_CONFIG dictionary. The EVENT_TYPE_CONFIG dictionary has keys with the event type name and another dictionary as the value indicating the type (a.k.a data type). For example, to add a new event type called process-count of type integer you would do the following:

    "process-count": {
        "type": "integer",

That’s it! Restart esmond and your new event type is available for use.

Adding a New Data Type

If you would like to add a new data type not already supported there are a few additional steps. Most types can fit into the json data type, but you may want to define an explicit type if you want to be able to summarize an object. The following steps need to be performed to define a new data type:

  1. Open esmond/api/perfsonar/validator.py

  2. Define a new class that extends DataValidator. You may override the following functions (none are required and all have a default behavior):

    • validate(obj) - Validate the given object, perform any required formatting (if any) and return the formatted value. By default just returns obj.value.
    • summary_cf(db, summary_type) - Return the name of the column family that should be used for the given summary type. By default returns None which means use the default. You may not need to override this if all your summaries are stored in the same column family as your base data.
    • average(db, obj) - Calculate an average on the given obj and store the result in obj.value. By default a NotImplementedError is raised.
    • aggregation(db, obj) - Aggregate given obj and store the result in obj.value. The meaning of aggregation is context-specific (e.g. for integer or float types it means calculate the sum). By default a NotImplementedError is raised.
    • statistics(db, obj) - Calculate the common statistical measures on obj such as min, median, max, etc and store result in obj.value. By default a NotImplementedError is raised.
  3. Open esmond/api/perfsonar/types.py

  4. In the file add a mapping of your data type to the DataValidator you just defined in TYPE_VALIDATOR_MAP. The key will be the name of your data type that you will use to reference it. For example, to add a new type foo you would do the following:

        "foo": FooValidator(),
  5. Update ALLOWED_SUMMARIES to indicate which summaries your data type supports. For example, if our new type foo supports an aggregation and average you would define it as follows:

        "foo": ['aggregation', 'average'],
  6. Open esmond/api/perfsonar/api.py and modify EVENT_TYPE_CF_MAP to map your new data type to a column family:

        'histogram': db.raw_cf,
        'integer': db.rate_cf,
        'json': db.raw_cf,
        'percentage': db.agg_cf,
        'subinterval': db.raw_cf,
        'foo': db.rate_cf

That completes the steps required to define the new data type. You can now follow the steps in Using an Existing Data Type to add a new event type using your data type.

Adding New Subject Types

NOTE: This section assumes some familiarity with Django and Tastypie. See the provided links for more details

It may be desirable to add support a new type of subject for which measurements can be collected. For example, the default esmond implementation comes with a point-to-point and network-element subject type for describing measurements performed between two IP addresses. Let’s say instead we want to measure some statistics about a car. Before we can define new event types like speed and miles per gallon, we need to define how we will describe our car. To do so, we perform the following steps:

  1. Create a new Django model with required parameters for all subjects of this type. We do this by opening esmond/api/models.py and defining a new class that extends django.db.models.Model. There is one required foreign key to the PSMetadata table that must be named metadata. Continuing our car example we might define something like below:

    class PSCarSubject(models.Model):
        metadata = models.OneToOneField(PSMetadata)
        vehicle_id_number = models.CharField(max_length=128)
        make = models.CharField(max_length=128)
        model = models.CharField(max_length=128)
        color = models.CharField(max_length=128)
        class Meta:
            db_table = "ps_car_subject"
  2. Define a REST resource for your new subject. Open esmond/api/perfsonar/api.py and add a class that extends esmond.api.perfsonar.api.CustomModelResorce and maps to the model defined in the previous step. For example:

    class PSCarSubjectResource(CustomModelResorce):
        psmetadata = fields.ToOneField('esmond.api.perfsonar.api.PSArchiveResource', 'metadata', null=True, blank=True)
        class Meta:
            resource_name = 'car_subject'
            allowed_methods = ['get', 'post']
            authentication = AnonymousGetElseApiAuthentication()
            authorization = DjangoAuthorization()
            excludes = ['id']
            filtering = {
                "vehicle_id_number": ['exact'],
                "make": ['exact'],
                "model": ['exact'],
                "color": ['exact']
        def alter_detail_data_to_serialize(self, request, data):
            formatted_objs = format_detail_keys(data)
            return formatted_objs
        def alter_list_data_to_serialize(self, request, data):
            formatted_objs = format_list_keys(data)
            return formatted_objs
        def get_resource_uri(self, bundle_or_obj=None):
            return None
  3. Add the subject to the REST API’s PSArchiveResource. Open esmond/api/perfsonar/api.py and add your new subject type as a field to PSArchiveResource. For example:

    class PSArchiveResource(ModelResource):
        event_types = fields.ToManyField(PSEventTypesResource, 'pseventtypes', related_name='psmetadata', full=True, null=True, blank=True)
        p2p_subject = fields.ToOneField(PSPointToPointSubjectResource, 'pspointtopointsubject', related_name='psmetadata', full=True, null=True, blank=True)
        car_subject = fields.ToOneField(PSCarSubjectResource, 'pscarsubject', related_name='psmetadata', full=True, null=True, blank=True)
        md_parameters = fields.ToManyField(PSMetadataParametersResource, 'psmetadataparameters', related_name='psmetadata', full=True, null=True, blank=True)
  4. Update the list of valid subject types The list of valid subject types lives in esmond/api/perfsonar/types.py as the SUBJECT_FIELDS array. Add the resource_name from the Meta` class of the tastypie.resources.ModelResorce (e.g. PSCarSubjectResource) previously defined. For example:

    SUBJECT_FIELDS = ['p2p_subject', 'networkelement_subject', 'car_subject']
  5. Map a subject type string to the REST Resource and Model Resource In the REST API metadata object there is a subject-type field that indicates the type of subject the metadata describes. You must define this string and add it to the SUBJECT_TYPE_MAP and SUBJECT_MODEL_MAP dictionaries in esmond/api/perfsonar/types.py. From a style perspective, the string should contain hyphens and not underscores (e.g. point-to-point). The SUBJECT_TYPE_MAP uses the string as the key and has the resource_name defined in the Meta class of the tastypie.resources.ModelResorce you defined earlier (e.g. PSCarSubjectResource). The SUBJECT_MODEL_MAP also uses the string as the key and the value is the name of our django.db.models.Model in all lowercase (e.g. pscarsubject). Putting it all together, you can add the car subject type as follows:

        "point-to-point": "p2p_subject",
        "network-element": "networkelement_subject",
        "car": "car_subject"
        "point-to-point": "pspointtopointsubject",
        "network-element": "psnetworkelementsubject",
        "car": "pscarsubject"
  6. Define how the subject parameters look in the REST interface You can map particular filters and fields in the REST interface to columns in your Django model by updating the SUBJECT_FILTER_MAP in esmond/api/perfsonar/types.py. The key is the name as it appears in the REST interface and the value is the column name as it would be seen by the PSMetadata model. The name as it appears in the REST Interface must not conflict with any existing subject fields. If you want to share the name with another subject field, then add it to the array of the existing entry in the map. As a good practice, you may want to prefix your fields with something that indicates the subject to limit future conflicts. For example we will prefix car- in all our fields Also, as a general style you will also want o use hyphens instead of underscored in your fields. Continuing our example:

        #point-to-point subject fields
        "source": ['pspointtopointsubject__source', 'psnetworkelementsubject__source'],
        "destination": ['pspointtopointsubject__destination'],
        "tool-name": ['pspointtopointsubject__tool_name', 'psnetworkelementsubject__tool_name'],
        "measurement-agent": ['pspointtopointsubject__measurement_agent', 'psnetworkelementsubject__measurement_agent'],
        "input-source": ['pspointtopointsubject__input_source', 'psnetworkelementsubject__input_source'],
        "input-destination": ['pspointtopointsubject__input_destination'],
        #car subject fields
        "car-vin": ['car_subject__vehicle_id_number'],
        "car-make": ['car_subject__make'],
        "car-model": ['car_subject__model'],
        "car-color": ['car_subject__color'],

That completes the basic process. A few additional notes worth considering:

  • If any of your subject fields are IP addresses you may add them to the IP_FIELDS array in esmond/api/perfsonar/types.py. This will allow users to search on this field using a hostname or IP address.
  • As a reminder you are NOT limited to only the fields in the subject for your metadata. All PSMetadata models reference both the subject model and the PSMetadataParameters model. The latter allows arbitrary defining of new fields by the client registering with the API. This can lead to a performance hit if too many of these fields are searched on simultaneously due to the way database JOINs will be structured which is why here are subject fields as well. Only fields that are required and are most commonly searched should go in the subject table to allow for greatest flexibility.