Client protocols


Supplying and using data from monitoring are two quite different tasks and it’s rarely useful for a single client to do both. Because of this, StateTip uses two separate protocols on two different ports. This way one may expose StateTip for reading while keeping data submission limited.

Sender protocol

Default TCP port for sender connections is 3012.

Sender protocol is an unidirectional sequence of values, each of which is encoded as JSON hash in a single line. Each line has to contain a valid JSON object.

A JSON hash is expected to contain following keys:

  • "name" (string) – value group name
  • "origin" (string or null) – origin of the value
  • "key" (string) – key of the value
  • "related" (boolean) – type of the value group: related values or unrelated values

JSON hash can also have following keys:

  • "sort_key" (string or null) – key used to sort entries when lists keys or whole values from an origin; if null or omitted, "key" is used for sorting
  • "state" (string or null) – state carried by the value; if omitted, null is assumed
  • "severity" ("expected", "warning", or "error") – severity of the state; if omitted, "expected" is assumed
  • "info" (any JSON object) – additional information to be recorded along with the value; if omitted, null is assumed
  • "created" (integer) – unix timestamp (epoch time) that says when the value was collected; if omitted, StateTip sets it to current time
  • "expiry" (integer) – number of seconds (greater than zero), after which the value expires and is removed from StateTip; if omitted, StateTip sets it to a configured default

Example minimal valid value:

{"related": false, "name": "fs", "origin": "web01", "key": "/home"}

Example fully-specified valid value (wrapped for readability):

{"related": true,
  "name": "interfaces", "origin": "web01", "key": "vlan512",
  "sort_key": "vlan0512",
  "state": "up", "severity": "expected", "info": {"device": "eth0"},
  "created": 1470000000, "expiry": 3600}

Reader protocol

Default TCP port for reader connections is 3082.

Reader protocol is a protocol based on HTTP, because many languages already have a client, and even command line clients (curl(1) or wget(1)) can be used to read data from StateTip. All requests use GET verb.

URL to read data from StateTip will somewhat like this: http://localhost:3082/list/interfaces/web01. From this URL, only path portion has any meaning to StateTip (trailing "/" is ignored). Hostname and port are not used, apart from telling the HTTP client where to send request to.

NOTE: StateTip doesn’t provide any authentication or authorization mechanism on its own.

NOTE: Whenever a JSON object (either a hash or a list) is returned, it’s always encoded in one line. If many JSON objects are returned, each is encoded in its own line.

There are two basic path prefixes that can be used:

  • /list/... – List value group names, origins, keys, or specific value, one item per line. All lists (names, origins, and keys) are returned as plain text values (no specific encoding or quoting), and specific value is returned as a JSON hash.
  • /json/... – Similar to /list/... prefix, except the data will always be a JSON: an array for names, origins, and keys, hash for specific value.

For simplicity, the /list/... prefix was chosen for the paths below, but /json/... prefix can be used as well.

Following data queries are available:

  • /list/ – list value group names
  • /list/<name> – list origins of the specified value group; null origin makes a "~" entry, both in /list/... and in /json/...
  • /list/<name>/<origin> – list keys in specified value group origin
  • /list/<name>/~ – special case for null origin
  • /list/<name>/<origin>/<key> – retrieve specific value (again, null origin is encoded in the URL as "~")

A value (/list/<name>/<origin>/<key> path) is returned as a JSON hash that resembles a value from sender protocol, except it doesn’t contain "sort_key", "created", nor "expiry", and it always contain all the other keys. Example (wrapped for readability):

{"name": "interfaces", "origin": "web01", "key": "vlan512",
  "state": "up", "severity": "expected", "info": {"device": "eth0"}}

If requested value doesn’t exist, it’s either reported as null (/json/<name>/<origin>/<key> path) or empty string (/list/<name>/<origin>/<key> path).

Beside /list/... and /json/... prefixes, there are two more paths available:

  • /all/<name>/<origin> – Instead of listing keys, list whole values, as if multiple /list/<name>/<origin>/<key> calls were made.
  • /json-all/<name>/<origin> – Similar to /all/<name>/<origin>, but all the values are returned as a single JSON list.

These two paths allow to avoid sending multiple HTTP requests. They also mitigate possible key encoding problems, if some key contains a special character that would otherwise need to be quoted.

Command line examples

This is a hypothetical shell session that uses curl(1) to read monitoring data from StateTip:

$ curl http://localhost:3082/list

$ curl http://localhost:3082/json

$ curl http://localhost:3082/list/servers

$ curl http://localhost:3082/json/servers

$ curl http://localhost:3082/list/servers/~

$ curl http://localhost:3082/all/servers/~

$ curl http://localhost:3082/list/servers/~/web02

$ curl http://localhost:3082/list/interfaces

$ curl http://localhost:3082/json/interfaces/db01

$ curl http://localhost:3082/json/interfaces/db01/eth1

See Also

  • statetip(1)
  • curl(1)
  • wget(1)

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