Vancouver Summit - Deja Vu Edition

This was the first repeat OpenStack Summit location for me. While there have been repeat locations in the past, I wasn't at the first Summit at any of those locations. I think that means I'm getting old. :-)

There was a lot that had changed, and also a lot that stayed the same. The Vancouver Convention Center is still a fantastic venue, with plenty of space for sessions. And although I did attend all of the Oslo sessions, just like last time, we didn't over-schedule Oslo this time so I had a chance to attend some non-Oslo sessions as well. Since I'm also focusing on Designate these days, I made sure to catch all of those sessions, even the one at 5:30 PM on Thursday when everyone was a bit tired and ready to leave. And it was good - there was useful information in that presentation. I felt more productive at this Summit than last time, which is certainly a good thing.

With the intro out of the way, let's get down to the nuts and bolts of the sessions I attended.

OpenStack Virtual Baremetal on a Public Cloud


At long last, OVB has reached the goal we set for it way back when it was more idea than reality. The plan was to come up with a system where we could test baremetal deployment against OpenStack instances in an arbitrary cloud. That would allow something like TripleO CI to scale, for all practical purposes, infinitely. For years this wasn't possible because OVB required some configuration and/or hacks that were not appropriate for production clouds, which limited it to use in specific CI-oriented clouds. Theoretically it has been possible to use OVB on normal clouds for a couple of years now, but in practice public clouds were either running OpenStack versions that were too old or didn't expose the necessary features. Fortunately, this is no longer true.

Zuul Status Page Production-Ready Configuration

About a year ago I got fed up with all the dynamic Zuul status pages (like this one). They're extremely heavyweight pages that make my browser grind almost constantly and there's no way to disable the auto-refresh while you're looking through the list. At least not that I found, and when I asked on openstack-dev the responses agreed.

So I wrote my own.

My TripleO Development Workflow

I have complained extensively over the past couple of years about the over-automation of developer environments in TripleO. But wait, you say, isn't automation a good thing? And yes, it is, but the automation needs to happen in the right places (feel free to append "IMHO" to anything in this post ;-). The problem with a bunch of developer-specific automation is that it hides very real user experience problems because the developers just use their simplified interface and never touch the regular user interface. Essentially it's the opposite of dogfooding, which is something I feel is critical to writing good software. This is also known as the "Works in Devstack" problem for OpenStack as a whole (I will not be tackling that problem here though).

So if I don't like what most people are doing today, what would I prefer? That will be the topic of this post. I'll discuss what I do, and possible areas for improvement.

Ansible Tower with TripleO

I was asked to look into integrating Ansible Tower with TripleO a while back. It actually wasn't that difficult to do, but I've finally gotten around to recording a demo video showing how. In this post I will also provide a brief overview of how I installed Ansible Tower.

OpenStack Virtual Baremetal Usability Improvements

If you've looked at the OVB repo or docs recently you may notice that there have been some significant changes. This is a good news-good news situation: the changes are backwards compatible and if you use the new configuration method it's much easier to deploy with some of the more advanced options in OVB.

TripleO Network Isolation Template Generator Update

Just a quick update on the TripleO Network Isolation Template Generator. A few new features have been added recently that may be of interest.

Prevent cloud-init from Changing Your Hostname on Reboot

This is something that periodically bites me when I'm doing deployments in OVB. Because I'm dealing with cloud instances, cloud-init runs on each reboot and one of the things it does is change the hostname to whatever Nova's metadata says it should be. This behavior is very problematic for something like an undercloud VM because it can change your hostname from, say, undercloud.localdomain to undercloud-test.novalocal when you reboot the VM.

Writing TripleO Specs

I was recently copied on an email from a team with a lot of new contributors to TripleO that was wondering if there was any sort of tips or guidelines for writing specs. My initial reaction was "The spec templates tell you how to write them." Then I realized that if you haven't ever written a spec before you may not know that. So, with that said, here are some of my thoughts on spec writing:

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and opinions only. This is not endorsed by TripleO or anyone else in the OpenStack community. I'm just writing it in the hopes that it will be helpful.

Improving TripleO CI Throughput

If you spend any significant amount of time working on TripleO, you have probably run into the dreaded CI queue. In this case that typically refers to the check-tripleo queue that runs OVB. Why does that queue back up more than the regular check queue and what can/have we done about it? That's what we're going to talk about here.


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