On 10/21/2014 02:11 AM, Devananda van der Veen wrote:
Hi all,

I was reminded in the Ironic meeting today that the words "hardware
discovery" are overloaded and used in different ways by different
people. Since this is something we are going to talk about at the
summit (again), I'd like to start the discussion by building consensus
in the language that we're going to use.

So, I'm starting this thread to explain how I use those two words, and
some other words that I use to mean something else which is what some
people mean when they use those words. I'm not saying my words are the
right words -- they're just the words that make sense to my brain
right now. If someone else has better words, and those words also make
sense (or make more sense) then I'm happy to use those instead.

So, here are rough definitions for the terms I've been using for the
last six months to disambiguate this:

"hardware discovery"
The process or act of identifying hitherto unknown hardware, which is
addressable by the management system, in order to later make it
available for provisioning and management.

"hardware introspection"
The process or act of gathering information about the properties or
capabilities of hardware already known by the management system.
I generally agree with this separation, though it brings some troubles to me, as I'm used to calling "discovery" what you called "introspection" (it was not the case this summer, but now I changed my mind). And the term "discovery" is baked into the.. hmm.. introspection service that I've written [1].

So I would personally prefer to leave "discovery" as in "discovery of hardware properties", though I realize that "introspection" may be a better name.

[1] https://github.com/Divius/ironic-discoverd

Why is this disambiguation important? At the last midcycle, we agreed
that "hardware discovery" is out of scope for Ironic -- finding new,
unmanaged nodes and enrolling them with Ironic is best left to other
services or processes, at least for the forseeable future.

However, "introspection" is definitely within scope for Ironic. Even
though we couldn't agree on the details during Juno, we are going to
revisit this at the Kilo summit. This is an important feature for many
of our current users, and multiple proof of concept implementations of
this have been done by different parties over the last year.

It may be entirely possible that no one else in our developer
community is using the term "introspection" in the way that I've
defined it above -- if so, that's fine, I can stop calling that
"introspection", but I don't know a better word for the thing that is

Suggestions welcome,


For what it's worth, googling for "hardware discovery" yields several
results related to identifying unknown network-connected devices and
adding them to inventory systems, which is the way that I'm using the
term right now, so I don't feel completely off in continuing to say
"discovery" when I mean "find unknown network devices and add them to

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