On 12/09/2014 05:00 PM, Jim Rollenhagen wrote:
On Tue, Dec 09, 2014 at 04:01:07PM +0400, Vladimir Kozhukalov wrote:
Just a short explanation of Fuel use case.

Fuel use case is not a cloud. Fuel is a deployment tool. We install OS on
bare metal servers and on VMs
and then configure this OS using Puppet. We have been using Cobbler as our
OS provisioning tool since the beginning of Fuel.
However, Cobbler assumes using native OS installers (Anaconda and
Debian-installer). For some reasons we decided to
switch to image based approach for installing OS.

One of Fuel features is the ability to provide advanced partitioning
schemes (including software RAIDs, LVM).
Native installers are quite difficult to customize in the field of
(that was one of the reasons to switch to image based approach). Moreover,
we'd like to implement even more
flexible user experience. We'd like to allow user to choose which hard
drives to use for root FS, for
allocating DB. We'd like user to be able to put root FS over LV or MD
device (including stripe, mirror, multipath).
We'd like user to be able to choose which hard drives are bootable (if
any), which options to use for mounting file systems.
Many many various cases are possible. If you ask why we'd like to support
all those cases, the answer is simple:
because our users want us to support all those cases.
Obviously, many of those cases can not be implemented as image internals,
some cases can not be also implemented on
configuration stage (placing root fs on lvm device).

As far as those use cases were rejected to be implemented in term of IPA,
we implemented so called Fuel Agent.
This is *precisely* why I disagree with adding this driver.

Nearly every feature that is listed here has been talked about before,
within the Ironic community. Software RAID, LVM, user choosing the
partition layout. These were reected from IPA because they do not fit in
*Ironic*, not because they don't fit in IPA.

Yes, they do not fit in Ironic *core* but this is a *driver*.
There is iLO driver for example. Good or bad is iLO management technology?
I don't know. But it is an existing vendor's solution. I should buy or rent
HP server for tests or experiments with iLO driver. Fuel is widely used
solution for deployment, and it is open-source. I think to have Fuel Agent
driver in Ironic will be better than driver for rare hardware XYZ for

If the Fuel team can convince enough people that Ironic should be
managing pets, then I'm almost okay with adding this driver (though I
still think adding those features to IPA is the right thing to do).

// jim

Important Fuel Agent features are:

* It does not have REST API
* it has executable entry point[s]
* It uses local json file as it's input
* It is planned to implement ability to download input data via HTTP (kind
of metadata service)
* It is designed to be agnostic to input data format, not only Fuel format
(data drivers)
* It is designed to be agnostic to image format (tar images, file system
images, disk images, currently fs images)
* It is designed to be agnostic to image compression algorithm (currently
* It is designed to be agnostic to image downloading protocol (currently
local file and HTTP link)

So, it is clear that being motivated by Fuel, Fuel Agent is quite
independent and generic. And we are open for
new use cases.

According Fuel itself, our nearest plan is to get rid of Cobbler because
in the case of image based approach it is huge overhead. The question is
which tool we can use instead of Cobbler. We need power management,
we need TFTP management, we need DHCP management. That is
exactly what Ironic is able to do. Frankly, we can implement power/TFTP/DHCP
management tool independently, but as Devananda said, we're all working on
the same problems,
so let's do it together.  Power/TFTP/DHCP management is where we are
working on the same problems,
but IPA and Fuel Agent are about different use cases. This case is not just
Fuel, any mature
deployment case require advanced partition/fs management. However, for me
it is OK, if it is easily possible
to use Ironic with external drivers (not merged to Ironic and not tested on
Ironic CI).

AFAIU, this spec https://review.openstack.org/#/c/138115/ does not assume
changing Ironic API and core.
Jim asked about how Fuel Agent will know about advanced disk partitioning
scheme if API is not
changed. The answer is simple: Ironic is supposed to send a link to
metadata service (http or local file)
where Fuel Agent can download input json data.

As Roman said, we try to be pragmatic and suggest something which does not
break anything. All changes
are supposed to be encapsulated into a driver. No API and core changes. We
have resources to support, test
and improve this driver. This spec is just a zero step. Further steps are
supposed to improve driver
so as to make it closer to Ironic abstractions.

For Ironic that means widening use cases and user community. But, as I
already said,
we are OK if Ironic does not need this feature.

Vladimir Kozhukalov

On Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM, Roman Prykhodchenko <
rprikhodche...@mirantis.com> wrote:

It is true that IPA and FuelAgent share a lot of functionality in common.
However there is a major difference between them which is that they are
intended to be used to solve a different problem.

IPA is a solution for provision-use-destroy-use_by_different_user use-case
and is really great for using it for providing BM nodes for other OS
services or in services like Rackspace OnMetal. FuelAgent itself serves for
provision-use-use-…-use use-case like Fuel or TripleO have.

Those two use-cases require concentration on different details in first
place. For instance for IPA proper decommissioning is more important than
advanced disk management, but for FuelAgent priorities are opposite because
of obvious reasons.

Putting all functionality to a single driver and a single agent may cause
conflicts in priorities and make a lot of mess inside both the driver and
the agent. Actually previously changes to IPA were blocked right because of
this conflict of priorities. Therefore replacing FuelAgent by IPA in where
FuelAgent is used currently does not seem like a good option because come
people (and I’m not talking about Mirantis) might loose required features
because of different priorities.

Having two separate drivers along with two separate agents for those
different use-cases will allow to have two independent teams that are
concentrated on what’s really important for a specific use-case. I don’t
see any problem in overlapping functionality if it’s used differently.

P. S.
I realise that people may be also confused by the fact that FuelAgent is
actually called like that and is used only in Fuel atm. Our point is to
make it a simple, powerful and what’s more important a generic tool for
provisioning. It is not bound to Fuel or Mirantis and if it will cause
confusion in the future we will even be happy to give it a different and
less confusing name.

P. P. S.
Some of the points of this integration do not look generic enough or nice
enough. We look pragmatic on the stuff and are trying to implement what’s
possible to implement as the first step. For sure this is going to have a
lot more steps to make it better and more generic.

On 09 Dec 2014, at 01:46, Jim Rollenhagen <j...@jimrollenhagen.com> wrote:

On December 8, 2014 2:23:58 PM PST, Devananda van der Veen <
devananda....@gmail.com> wrote:

I'd like to raise this topic for a wider discussion outside of the
track and code reviews, where it has thus far mostly remained.

In previous discussions, my understanding has been that the Fuel team
sought to use Ironic to manage "pets" rather than "cattle" - and doing
required extending the API and the project's functionality in ways that
one else on the core team agreed with. Perhaps that understanding was
(or perhaps not), but in any case, there is now a proposal to add a
FuelAgent driver to Ironic. The proposal claims this would meet that
needs without requiring changes to the core of Ironic.


I think it's clear from the review that I share the opinions expressed in
this email.

That said (and hopefully without derailing the thread too much), I'm
curious how this driver could do software RAID or LVM without modifying
Ironic's API or data model. How would the agent know how these should be
built? How would an operator or user tell Ironic what the
disk/partition/volume layout would look like?

And before it's said - no, I don't think vendor passthru API calls are an
appropriate answer here.

// jim

The Problem Description section calls out four things, which have all
discussed previously (some are here [0]). I would like to address each
invite discussion on whether or not these are, in fact, problems facing
Ironic (not whether they are problems for someone, somewhere), and then
why these necessitate a new driver be added to the project.

They are, for reference:

1. limited partition support

2. no software RAID support

3. no LVM support

4. no support for hardware that lacks a BMC


When deploying a partition image (eg, QCOW format), Ironic's PXE deploy
driver performs only the minimal partitioning necessary to fulfill its
mission as an OpenStack service: respect the user's request for root,
and ephemeral partition sizes. When deploying a whole-disk image,
does not perform any partitioning -- such is left up to the operator
created the disk image.

Support for arbitrarily complex partition layouts is not required by,
does it facilitate, the goal of provisioning physical servers via a
cloud API. Additionally, as with #3 below, nothing prevents a user from
creating more partitions in unallocated disk space once they have
access to
their instance. Therefor, I don't see how Ironic's minimal support for
partitioning is a problem for the project.


There is no support for defining a RAID in Ironic today, at all,
software or hardware. Several proposals were floated last cycle; one is
under review right now for DRAC support [1], and there are multiple
outs for RAID building in the state machine mega-spec [2]. Any such
for hardware RAID will necessarily be abstract enough to support
hardware vendor's driver implementations and both in-band creation (via
IPA) and out-of-band creation (via vendor tools).

Given the above, it may become possible to add software RAID support to
in the future, under the same abstraction. This would closely tie the
deploy agent to the images it deploys (the latter image's kernel would
dependent upon a software RAID built by the former), but this would
necessarily be true for the proposed FuelAgent as well.

I don't see this as a compelling reason to add a new driver to the
Instead, we should (plan to) add support for software RAID to the
agent which is already part of the project.


LVM volumes can easily be added by a user (after provisioning) within
unallocated disk space for non-root partitions. I have not yet seen a
compelling argument for doing this within the provisioning phase.


There are already in-tree drivers [3] [4] [5] which do not require a
One of these uses SSH to connect and run pre-determined commands. Like
spec proposal, which states at line 122, "Control via SSH access
intended only for experiments in non-production environment," the
SSHPowerDriver is only meant for testing environments. We could
extend this driver to do what the FuelAgent spec proposes, as far as
power control for cheap always-on hardware in testing environments with
pre-shared key.

(And if anyone wonders about a use case for Ironic without external
control ... I can only think of one situation where I would rationally
want to have a control-plane agent running inside a user-instance: I am
both the operator and the only user of the cloud.)


In summary, as far as I can tell, all of the problem statements upon
the FuelAgent proposal are based are solvable through incremental
in existing drivers, or out of scope for the project entirely. As
software-based deploy agent, FuelAgent would duplicate the majority of
functionality which ironic-python-agent has today.

Ironic's driver ecosystem benefits from a diversity of
drivers. Today, we have two divergent software deployment drivers which
approach image deployment differently: "agent" drivers use a local
agent to
prepare a system and download the image; "pxe" drivers use a remote
and copy the image over iSCSI. I don't understand how a second driver
duplicates the functionality we already have, and shares the same goals
the drivers we already have, is beneficial to the project.

Doing the same thing twice just increases the burden on the team; we're
working on the same problems, so let's do it together.



[1] https://review.openstack.org/#/c/107981/










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