Steven Hardy <sha...@redhat.com> wrote on 10/09/2013 05:24:38 AM:

>
> 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.

I agree with Steven here, models should define the dependencies and Heat
should realize/enforce them. An important design issue is granularity at
which dependencies are defined and enforced. I am aware of the
wait-condition
and signal constructs in Heat, but I find them a bit low-level as they are
prone
to the classic dead-lock and race condition problems.  I would like to have
higher level constructs that support finer-granularity dependences which
are needed for software orchestration. Reading through the various
disucssion
on this topic in this mailing list, I see that many would like to have such
higher level constructs for coordination.

In our experience with software orchestration using our own DSL and also
with
some extensions to Heat, we found that the granularity of VMs or Resources
to be
too coarse for defining dependencies for software orchestration. For
example, consider
a two VM app, with VMs vmA, vmB, and a set of software components (ai's and
bi's)
to be installed on them:

vmA = base-vmA + a1 + a2 + a3
vmB = base-vmB + b1 + b2 + b3

let us say that software component b1 of vmB, requires a config value
produced by
software component a1 of vmA. How to declaratively model this dependence?
Clearly,
modeling a dependence between just base-vmA and base-vmB is not enough.
However,
defining a dependence between the whole of vmA and vmB is too coarse. It
would be ideal
to be able to define a dependence at the granularity of software
components, i.e.,
vmB.b1 depends on vmA.a1. Of course, it would also be good to capture what
value
is passed between vmB.b1 and vmA.a1, so that the communication can be
facilitated
by the orchestration engine.

We found that such finer granular modeling of the dependencies provides two
valuable benefits:

1. Faster total (resources + software setup) deployment time. For the
example described
above, a coarse-granularity dependence enforcer would start the deployment
of base-vmB after
vmA + a1 + a2 + a3 is completed, but a fine-granularity dependence enforcer
would start base-vmA
and base-vmB concurrently, and then suspend the execution of vmB.b1 until
vmA.a1 is complete and then
let the rest of deployment proceed concurrently, resulting in a faster
completion.

2. More flexible dependencies. For example, mutual dependencies between
resources,
which can be satisfied when orchestrated at a finer granularity. Using the
example described
above, fine-granularity would allow vmB.b1 depends_on vmA.a1 and also
vmA.a3 depends_on vmB.b2,
but coarse-granularity model would flag this as a cyclic dependence.

There are two aspects that needs support:

1. Heat/HOT template level constructs to support declarative expression of
such fine-granularity
dependencies and the values communicated / passed for the dependence.
2. Support from Heat engine / analyzer in supporting the runtime ordering,
coordination between
resources, and also the communication of the values.

What are your thoughts?
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