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Erlang LATency Agent: software solution to gather telemetry of software components (written on erlang)
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README

Erlang Latency Agent (elata)
****************************

Copyright (C) 2011 Nokia Corporation. 

   This file is free documentation; the Nokia Corporation gives unlimited 
permission to copy, distribute and modify it.

Introduction
============

   The application intent is the behavior analysis of cloud-base software 
components using live telemetry gathered as the cloud sustain production 
load. End-to-end latency is seen by us as a major metric for quality 
assessment of software architecture and underlying infrastructure. It 
yields both user-oriented SLA and the objectives for each Cloud component. 
The ultimate goal is the ability to quantitatively evaluate and trade-off 
software quality attributes to ensure competitive end-to-end latency of 
Internet Services:

  1. Control of grade of service is fulfilling the requirements; 
  
  2. Quality assessment of distributed software architecture; 
  
  3. Resolution short term capacity decisions include for example 
     the determination of optimal configuration, the number of live servers; 
  
  4. Resolution of long term capacity decisions such as decisions 
     concerning the development and extension of data- and service 
     architecture, choice of technology, etc;
     
  5. Provide granular latency control for diverse data and computational 
     load in hybrid Cloud architectures.

   If performance metrics of the service do not meet defined requirements 
(inadequate) then business is impacted. It has been reported in multiple 
sources that latency affects on sales, user activity and various business 
metrics. The role of software behavioral analysis therefore is crucial in 
order to achieve proper level of accountability of the whole system.     
     
   Users of the application are empowered with ability to define latency 
tracking use-cases that are executed agains live systems in 24/7 manner. 
Thus each use-case should consider carefully especially when use-case 
covers 3rd party online services.

   The application consists of 
   
   * latency measurement agent (agt) is geo distributable component, 
     performs measurements against SUTs and reports result to back-end;
     
   * back-end (be) is manages use-cases, persists telemetry information,
     visualizes statistical information;

   * front-end (fe) handles user management and personalized views
   

Development environment: compile & build  
========================================

   The application source code is available at git repository

   git clone https://github.com/fogfish/elata.git
   
   Briefly, the shell command `./configure; make; make rel' should 
configure, build, and assembly distribution package. The following
instructions are specific to this package; see the `INSTALL' file for
instructions specific to GNU build tools. 

   The `configure' shell script attempts to guess dependencies and system 
configuration required to compile & build system. The application has 
following build time dependencies:

   1. Erlang/OTP (recommended release is R14B02) see http://www.erlang.org
      for instructions specific to Erlang/OTP. If you have multiple Erlang
      environments available at build machine then command line argument
      --with-erlang={prefix_to_otp} supplied to `./configure' binds elata
      application with chosen environment. 
      

   2. MochiWeb is Erlang-based lightweight http server (recommended version
      2.3.1). It is publicly available at GitHub. The following shell command
      build the mochiweb, they should be executed at root elata source tree
      thus mochiweb becomes a sub-project. You can manage mochiweb as
      independent project but then it has to be manually installed into OTP 
      environment. 

      git clone https://github.com/mochi/mochiweb.git;
      cd mochiweb;
      make       

      Note that MochiWeb is required to develop and prepare release packages 
      for back-end and front-end. 


The simplest way to compile this application is:

  1. `cd' to the directory containing the package's source code and type
     `./configure' to configure the package for your system.

     Running `configure' might take a while.  While running, it prints
     some messages telling which features it is checking for.

  2. Type `make' to compile the package.   

  3. Type `make rel' to prepare release packages. Each release package
     contains Erlang VM, compiled application objects and its dependencies. It
     is ready for distribution and installation on "clean" network nodes.
     The release package contains architecture dependence objects such as
     Erlang VM. It is important that architectures of build and target nodes
     are similar. 

     The package assembling process should fail if the version of dependent 
     component(s) do not match with declared one. The typical error message

     mochiweb: No valid version ("2.3.0") of .app file found. Found file "./
     mochiweb/ebin/mochiweb.app" with version "2.3.1"

     The issue is fixed either by using recommended releases or modification 
     of appropriate versions at release configuration(s): 
        src/agt.rel.in 
        src/be.rel.in
        src/fe.rel.in

     The shell command `make rel-clean' removes packages

  4. The results are release files:

        agt-x.y.z.tgz - latency measurement agent
        be-x.y.z.tgz - back-end including Web UI management console
        fe-x.y.z.tgz - front-end      


Installation: Agent
===================
    
   Copy agt-x.y.z.tgz to target host and extract the package content using
   the shell command `tar -xvf agt-x.y.z.tgz'

   The component is configured via releases/x.y.z/sys.config
   (see http://www.erlang.org/doc/man/config.html for file format).
   It is required to define:

   1. The `node' address and port at `ek' section that would be used to 
      communicate with back-end component. Use only IP address, no FQDN.

   Use `./bin/elata {start|stop}' shell command to launch and kill the agent.   


Installation: Back-end & Front-end
==================================

   Copy either be-x.y.z.tgz or fe-x.y.z.tgz (depending on your needs) to 
   target host and extract the package using `tar -xvf {fe|be}-x.y.z.tgz'

   The application utilizes rrdtools to persist a collected data and 
   visualize statistic. Please refer to http://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/
   for installation details. It is mandatory to configure rrdtools with
   rrdcached support. This daemon is used by elata application to scale
   disk I/O operation.    

   The component is configured via releases/x.y.z/sys.config
   (see http://www.erlang.org/doc/man/config.html for file format).
   It is required to define:

   1. The `node' address and port at `ek' section that would be used to 
      communicate with back-end component. Use only IP address, no FQDN.

   2. The list of `nodes' at `ek' section. It specifies the list agents 
      that should be connected. Use only IP address, no FQDN. Each node
      is configured via URI: "node://{ip-address}:{port}/?{title}", 
      title defines a human readable name that is visible on Web UI.

   3. If back-end/front-end is connected to Internet via proxy then
      `proxy' variable at `ek' section should define a proxy address & port

   4. The path prefix to rrdtools binaries at `codepath' of `be' section. 
      E.g. if rrdtools available at /usr/bin/rrdtool the value of `codepath'
      id "/usr".

   5. The path to persistent data that contains rrd-files, rendered 
      images, etc. It is configured at `datapath' of `be' section. Please note
      the folder must exists prior to application start.

   6. Optionally web ui management console is enabled via `console' attribute.

   7. The port for web ui is configured via `port' at `fe' section.
         
   Use `./bin/elata {start|stop}' shell command to launch and kill the agent.
   You have to ensure that rrdcached is not started by OS in background,
   otherwise telemetry would not be persisted. Alternatively, you can configure  
   your OS to run rrdcached with following options:

   rrdcached -g -w 120 -z 60 -l 127.0.0.1:42217 -B -b $datapath

   where data path equals to `datapath' at `be' section of release 
   configuration.





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