Month: November 2012

Bernhard Tellenbach

Bernhard TellenbachBernhard Martin Tellenbach is Associate Professor (Docent) at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. His interests are focused on IT security, coarsely ranging across network security, system security and network monitoring.

Prior to being appointed by ZHAW he was with ETH Zurich, University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil, Consecom AG, and ran his own IT consultancy business.  He was a visiting scholar at Microsoft Research Cambridge and Institut Eurécom.

His works have been published in several journals, and conferences. He serves as a technical reviewer for several international journals and conferences.

He is a member of the board of the Information Security Society Switzerland (ISSS) and the commission of experts of SwissICT, the largest professional association and voice of the Swiss IT sector.

Monitoring and OpenStack

Motivation for OpenStack monitoring

Many people think it maybe an unnecessary burden to set up a monitoring system for their infrastructure. However this, when it comes to an OpenStack installation should be considered indispensable and required. Knowing which resources are used by which VMs (and tenants) is crucial for cloud computing providers as well for their customers from billing and usage perspectives.

Customers want to be sure they get what they pay for at any time whereas the cloud provider needs the information for his billing and rating system. Furthermore this information can be useful when it comes to dimension and scalability questions.

Requirements for OpenStack monitoring

For monitoring an OpenStack environment there are different requirements:

  • An OpenStack monitoring tool must be able to monitor not only physical machines but also virtual machines or network devices.
  • The information of the monitored resources must be assignable to its tenant.
  • The metered values must be collected and correlated automatically
  • The monitoring tool must be as generic as possible to ensure support of any device.
  • The monitoring tool must offer an API.


architecture monitoring tool

Architecture Monitoring Tool


As-is state

There exist a lot of tools for network and server monitoring like Nagios, Zabbix and Munin. Most of them do not easily support OpenStack monitoring.

Zenoss is one of the few monitoring tools that supports an integration for OpenStack. It is possible to download and install an extension for OpenStack monitoring ( Unfortunately the latest version of this extension does only support the OpenStack API Version 1.1. The Folsom release ships with an OpenStack API version 2.0. The extension allows Zenoss to collect data only from a single tenant. That is not good enough because we need some more data to do rating and billing.

Another promising monitoring tool will be included in the upcoming OpenStack release Grizzly (March 2013) and is known as Ceilometer.  It will be part of the OpenStack core. Ceilometer makes it easy to monitor VMs belonging to a tenant. What Ceilometer cannot offer at the moment is physical device monitoring.

After an evaluation we decided to extend Ceilometer to monitor the physical devices as well. With this extension Ceilometer will be able to monitor the whole OpenStack environment of the ICCLab and provide the data for further systems like the billing module.

1st Swiss OpenStack User Group Meeting

The 1st Swiss OpenStack user group meeting that was organized by the zhgeeks and the ICCLab at the ETH Zürich met with a large response. Over 90 people attended the meeting with different background and interests in connection with OpenStack.


The meeting started with a good and brief introduction into the components and the community around OpenStack by Tim Bell and how it is used in CERN, the largest OpenStack cluster in Switzerland. The subsequent lightning talks, each about 10 minutes, covered different aspects in the current usage and development of OpenStack, including two from the ICCLab. We described our OpenStack testbed and also the topical area of software defined networking.

The slides and short abstracts about the introduction and lightning talks can be found on the official Swiss Openstack Usergroup Wiki.

ICCLab at SwiNG SDCD 2012

The ICCLab presented at SwiNG SDCD 2012 on how you can easily provision bare-metal physical servers. This presentation, “From Bare-Metal to Cloud” was an updated version of the presentation that was made at the EGI Technical Forum in Prague. The slides can be viewed below or downloaded from here.

As well as presenting the ICCLab was part of a discussion panel on the role of Cloud Computing and academic research. On the whole, it was a very interesting and rewarding event.

RTI Connext DDS : Setup and HelloWorld Example (Windows/Eclipse/Java)

This blog post aims to give you an overview over what RTI Connext DDS is, how it works and in which context it is used here at the ICCLab. Furthermore it shows you how to set it up and implement a simple HelloWorld-like application. It is not intended to explain details or specific concepts. For this you are kindly referred to the very abundant and well written documentation which comes with the product or can be found online.

The source code of the example can be found here –> HelloWorld_Source

Continue reading