On the Dashboard, you can see the amount of resources you are using. You can also see how long your instances have been up and running.

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You may want to monitor your virtual machine(s), i.e. keep track of CPU usage, memory usage, etc. You may also want to set up system alerts. The Dashboard does not provide any tools to do this; you will have to use tools for virtual machine monitoring. Because the NeCTAR cloud uses OpenStack to manage the cloud, we require a monitoring tool which is compatible with OpenStack.

OpenStack has a tool called Ceilometer which collects measurements within OpenStack. Ceilometer is actively developed and is now an integrated part of OpenStack. The Ceilometer project is a framework for monitoring and metering the OpenStack cloud.

Ceilometer is a service offered by OpenStack which you can query via the command line. It collects and monitors performance and usage data:

  • Compute resources (e.g. CPU, Memory use, number of instances used)

  • Network activity, including data transfer (in/out) by location.

  • Storage (including object storage and volumes).

Ceilometer commands require installation of the client package. Given you have already used the openstack command in the previous sections, all you need to do is

pip install python-ceilometerclient

or if you haven’t used pip but your Linux package manager, install the client with your package manager as well, e.g. on Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install python-ceilometerclient

You will also need to source your OpenStack RC file as described earlier.

If you haven’t installed any OpenStack command line clients, follow instructions described earlier and replace openstackclient with ceilometerclient.

Detailed instructions on how to use ceilometer is out of scope of this tutorial. You can read up on the ceilometer command line reference in the official OpenStack documentation and command line reference. Good documentation and useful links are also given on the NeCTAR support website and in this good introductory article.