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Python DTrace consumer and AMQP

April 1st, 2012 • Comments Off on Python DTrace consumer and AMQP

This blog post will lead through an very simple example to show how you can use the Python DTrace consumer and AMQP.

The scenario for this example is pretty simple – let’s say you want to trace data on one machine and display it on another. Still the data should be up to date – so basically whenever a DTrace probe fires the data should be transmitted to the other hosts. This can be done with AMQP.

The examples here assume you have a RabbitMQ server running and have pika installed.

Within this example two Python scripts are involved. One for sending data (send.py) and one for receiving (receive.py). The send.py script will launch the DTrace consumer and gather data for 5 seconds:

thr = dtrace.DTraceConsumerThread(SCRIPT, walk_func=walk)
thr.start()
time.sleep(5)
thr.stop()
thr.join()

The DTrace consumer is given an callback function which will be called whenever the DTrace probes fire. Within this callback we are going to create a message ad pass it on to the AMQP broker:

def walk(id, key, value):
    channel.basic_publish(exchange='', routing_key='dtrace', body=str({key[0]: value}))

The channel has previously been initialized (See this tutorial on more details). Now AMQP messages are passed around with up-to-date information from DTrace. All that there is left is implementing a ‘receiver’ in receive.py. This is again straight forward and also works using a callback function:

def callback(ch, method, properties, body):
    print 'Received: ', data

if __name__ == '__main__':
    channel.basic_consume(callback, queue='dtrace', no_ack=True)
    try:
        channel.start_consuming()
    except KeyboardInterrupt:
        connection.close()

Start the receive.py Python script first. Than start the send.py Python script. You can even start multiple send.py scripts on multiple hosts to get an overall view of the system calls made by processes on all machines šŸ™‚

The send.py script counts system calls and will send AMQP messages as new data arrives. You will see in the output of the receive.py script that data arrives almost instantly:

$ ./receive.py 
Received:  python 264
Received:  wnck-applet 5
Received:  metacity 6
Received:  gnome-panel 15
[...]

Now you can build life updating visualizations of the data gathered by DTrace.

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