Contributing Cloud Test Resources

OpenStack utilizes a “project gating” system based on Zuul to ensure that every change proposed to any OpenStack project passes tests before being added to its source code repository. Each change may run several jobs which test the change in various configurations, and each job may run thousands of individual tests. To ensure the overall security of the system as well as isolation between unrelated changes, each job is run on an OpenStack compute instance that is created specifically to run that job and is destroyed and replaced immediately after completing that task.

This system operates across multiple OpenStack clouds, making the OpenStack project infrastructure itself a substantial and very public cross-cloud OpenStack application.

The compute instances used by this system are generously donated by organizations that are contributing to OpenStack, and the project is very appreciative of this.

By visiting this page, you can see the system in action at any time:

You’ll see every job that’s running currently, as well as some graphs that show activity over time. Each of those jobs is running on its own compute instance. We create and destroy quite a number of those each day (most compute instances last for about 1 hour).

Having resources from more providers will help us continue to grow the project and deliver test results to developers quickly. OpenStack has long-since become too complicated for developers to effectively test in even the most common configurations on their own, so this process is very important for developers.

If you have some capacity on an OpenStack cloud that you are able to contribute to the project, it would be a big help. This is what we need:

  • Nova and Glance APIs (with the ability to upload images)
  • A single instance with 500GB of disk (via Cinder is preferred, local is okay) per cloud region for our region-local mirror

Each test instance requires:

  • 8GB RAM
  • 8vCPU at 2.4GHz (or more or less vCPUs depending on speed)
  • A public IP address (IPv4 and/or IPv6)
  • 80GB of storage

In a setting where our instances will be segregated, our usage patterns will cause us to be our own noisy neighbors at the worst times, so it would be best to plan for little or no overcommitment. In an unsegregrated public cloud setting, the distribution of our jobs over a larger number of hypervisors will allow for more overcommitment.

Since there’s a bit of setup and maintenance involved in adding a new provider, a minimum of 100 instances would be helpful.

Benefits to Contributors

Since we continuously use the OpenStack APIs and are familiar with how they should operate, we occasionally discover potential problems with contributing clouds before many of their other users (or occasionally even ops teams). In these cases, we work with contacts on their operations teams to let them know and try to help fix problems before they become an issue for their customers.

We collect numerous metrics about the performance of the clouds we utilize. From these metrics we create dashboards which are freely accessible via the Internet to help providers see and debug performance issues.

The names and regions of providers are a primary component of hostnames on job workers, and as such are noticeable to those reviewing job logs from our CI system (as an example, developers investigating test results on proposed source code changes). In this way, names of providers contributing test resources become known to the technical community in their day-to-day interaction with our systems.

The OpenStack Foundation has identified Infrastructure Donors as a special category of sponsoring organization and prominently identifies those contributing a significant quantity of resources (as determined by the Infra team) at:

If this sounds interesting, and you have some capacity to spare, it would be very much appreciated. You are welcome to contact the Infrastructure team on our public mailing list at <>, or in our IRC channel, #openstack-infra on Freenode. You are also welcome to contact the Infrastructure Project Team lead privately at <> or fungi on Freenode.

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