> Thanks, we're certainly interested in Murano, and are keen to discuss your
> roadmap, and where requirements and integration opportunities exist
Glad to here it. The same is true from Murano side.

On sample SQL workflow: that was just an example. I didn't want to bother
you with a SQL Server deployment details as it's really not that important.
What I've tried to say is that deployments consists of many steps, the
steps vary depending on instance's role, user input and so on. The step on
one machine
often requires some other machine already be in some state or some output
from a deployment step happened elsewhere.

I do understand that it is doable using Heat alone. Actually we do use Heat
for some parts of workflow. We do not talk to Nova or Neutron directly.
The special use case of Murano is that there is no HOT template author.
Heat is more an administrator's tool who knows how to write HOT templates
and wants to deal with low-level configuration aspects. But Murano is quite
different. In Murano the developers of workflows/scripts/metadata/etc are
not end-users. The user is not doing any sort of programming. He is given a
UI dashboard where he can compose desired environment from available
building blocks (services). Services may depend on each other and UI guides
him how to fulfill all requirements. User also conigures service's (VM's
etc.) settings. The number of instances in SQL Server cluster and which one
of them is going to be the master are such settings.

Because we do not know in advance all the instances and resources that
would be required for the services that user has chosen and the deployment
process is strongly depends on user input we cannot just have some
hardcoded HOT template. So what we do is we dynamically generate HOT
templates my parameterizing and merging several simpler templates together.
Then we use our orchestration engine to send commands to Murano Agents on
VMs to perform deployment steps in correct order with all needed input.
Probably we could do it without orchestration but then we would need to
dynamically generate all that WaitConditions and waiting/signaling scripts
etc. - something that would be error-prone and hard to manage at large

So we do believe that some external state orchestration would be very very
helpful for complex software services we deal with. Although Murano
currently has such engine it is far from perfect. As we thought on cleaner
and more explicit approach for state orchestration we came to a vision how
to implement it on top of task-orchestration engine like TaskFlow. And then
we came up with idea that we can go even farther and implement
TaskFlow-as-a-Service service with its own REST API etc that could handle
an abstract task orchestration while leaving all deployment-related out of
the scope of such service. That opens many additional opportunities for
integration that would not be available if we just use TaskFlow library

But we do believe that it would be better for all of us if it would be Heat
and not Murano who provides such orchestration capabilities.
And yes, I'm completely agree with you that it should not be a part of HOT
templates but something external to it. To my understanding external
orchestration needs to be capable of
1. Process some object (JSON) model describing what services/resources/etc.
are need to be deployed
2. During orchestration invoke some HOT templates (create nested stacks?)
with passing required attributes from that object model as an inputs for
the HOT template
3. Be able to send commands (bash scripts, puppet manifests, chef recipes
etc) to VM in correct order with a parameters taken from object model and
HOT outputs. See https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Murano/UnifiedAgent on how
it is in Murano

We are currently communicating with TaskFlow team on possible contributions
to Convection implementation and would be glad to participate in software
orchestration part on the Heat side. I'm not pretend that I know all the
answers or at least our design is good but in Murano we gained much
experience in software orchestration that might be useful for the Heat team
and we would definitely like to share our ideas. I also believe that now is
the time for that as on summit it may be too late because all the principal
decisions are already made.

On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM, Steven Hardy <sha...@redhat.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 09, 2013 at 12:53:45AM +0400, Stan Lagun wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > I’m one of the engineer working on Murano project. Recently we started a
> > discussion about Murano and Heat Software orchestration and I want to
> > continue this discussion with more technical details.
> Thanks, we're certainly interested in Murano, and are keen to discuss your
> roadmap, and where requirements and integration opportunities exist.
> > In our project we do deployment of complex multi-instance Windows
> services.
> > Those services usually require specific multi-VM orchestration that is
> > currently impossible or at least not that easy to achieve with Heat. As
> you
> > are currently doing HOT software orchestration design we would like to
> > participate in HOT Software orchestration design and contribute into it,
> so
> > that the Heat could address use-cases which we believe are very common.
> >
> > For example here is how deployment of a SQL Server cluster goes:
> >
> >    1.
> >
> >    Allocate Windows VMs for SQL Server cluster
> Heat can already do this, you just define either OS::Nova::Server or
> AWS::EC2::Instance resource in your template, or possibly a group of
> instances via OS::Heat::InstanceGroup if the configuration is the same for
> all VMs
> >    2.
> >    Enable secondary IP address from user input on all SQL Windows
> instances
> So this again is already possible, via several resource types,
> AWS::EC2::NetworkInterface, AWS::EC2::EIP, OS::Neutron::Port etc..
> I suggest using the Neutron resources where possible, if you don't care
> about Clouformation portability.
> >    3.
> >    Install SQL Server prerequisites on each node
> So Heat is already able to do this, via a couple of methods, for Linux VMs,
> so we just need the in-instance agent support for windows (cloud-init,
> optionally combined with agents like cfn-init from heat-cfntools)
> Can you clarify what you're using for in-instance agents currently,
> cloudbase-init, and/or some bespoke tools?
> >    4.
> >    Choose a master node and install Failover Cluster on it
> >    5.
> >    Configure all nodes so that they know which one of them is the master
> I'm not sure what's involved in these steps, but it seems like there are
> serialization requirements, which can be handled via WaitConditions.
> One thing I think we do need to look at is ways to enable expression of
> serialization requirements via HOT, which don't require use of the
> AWS-compatible WaitCondition resources.
> So I think we already have the required functionality, we just need to
> build out better native interfaces to it.
> >    Configure all nodes so that they know which one of them is the master
> >    6.
> >
> >    Install SQL Server on all nodes
> >    7.
> >
> >    Initialize AlwaysOn on all nodes except for the master
> >    8.
> >
> >    Initialize Primary replica
> >    9.
> >
> >    Initialize secondary replicas
> >
> >
> > All of the steps must take place in appropriate order depending on the
> > state of other nodes. Some steps require an output from previous steps
> and
> > all of them require some input parameters. SQL Server requires an Active
> > Directory service in order to use Failover mechanism and installation of
> > Active Directory with primary and secondary controllers is a complex
> > workflow of its own.
> So all of this seems possible right now using WaitConditions, but as
> mentioned above we should look at ways to provide a better and more
> flexible native interface to similar functionality.
> > That is why it is necessary to have some central coordination service
> which
> > would handle deployment workflow and perform specific actions (create VMs
> > and other OpenStack resources, do something on that VM) on each stage
> > according to that workflow. We think that Heat is the best place for such
> > service.
> Yep, we already do coordination of VM deployment and other openstack
> resources, by managing implicit and explicit dependencies between those
> resources.
> > Our idea is to extend HOT DSL by adding  workflow definition capabilities
> > as an explicit list of resources, components’ states and actions. States
> > may depend on each other so that you can reach state X only after you’ve
> > reached states Y and Z that the X depends on. The goal is from initial
> > state to reach some final state “Deployed”.
> IMHO there isn't a real need to provide explicit control of the workflow
> implied by the resource dependencies for the sort of use-case you describe.
> What I think is needed is simply a better native interface to serialization
> primitives/resources.
> > There is such state graph for each of our deployment entities (service,
> > VMs, other things). There is also an action that must be performed on
> each
> > state.
> > For example states graph from example above would look like this:
> >
> > The goal is to reach Service_Done state which depends on VM1_Done and
> > VM2_Done states and so on from initial Service_Start state.
> >
> > We propose to extend HOT DSL with workflow definition capabilities where
> > you can describe step by step instruction to install service and properly
> > handle errors on each step.
> So as has already been mentioned, Heat defines an internal workflow, based
> on the declarative model defined in the template.
> The model should define dependencies, and Heat should convert those
> dependencies into a workflow internally.  IMO if the user also needs to
> describe a workflow explicitly in the template, then we've probably failed
> to provide the right template interfaces for describing depenendencies.
> > We already have an experience in implementation of the DSL, workflow
> > description and processing mechanism for complex deployments and believe
> > we’ll all benefit by re-using this experience and existing code, having
> > properly discussed and agreed on abstraction layers and distribution of
> > responsibilities between OS components. There is an idea of implementing
> > part of workflow processing mechanism as a part of Convection proposal,
> > which would allow other OS projects to benefit by using this.
> >
> > We would like to discuss if such design could become a part of future
> Heat
> > version as well as other possible contributions from Murano team.
> So as others have mentioned, you may also want to look at the TaskFlow
> project, as if you really want to define workflow directly, that seems like
> it may be the most appropriate place to do it.
> However I'd very much like to continue the discussion, so we can understand
> what is missing in Heat to support your use-case.
> Can you evaluate the existing Heat functionality, and provide feedback
> definining specific issues, so we can define what the functionality gaps
> are, and discuss the best way to solve them?
> Thanks!
> Steve
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Sincerely yours
Stanislav (Stan) Lagun
Senior Developer
35b/3, Vorontsovskaya St.
Moscow, Russia
Skype: stanlagun
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