Nova Stable REST API

This document describes both the current state of the Nova REST API – as of the Newton release – and also attempts to describe how the Nova team intends to evolve the REST API’s implementation over time and remove some of the cruft that has crept in over the years.


Nova used to include two distinct frameworks for exposing REST API functionality. Older code is called the “V2 API” and existed in the /nova/api/openstack/compute/legacy_v2/ directory. This code tree was totally removed during Netwon release time frame (14.0.0 and later). Newer code is called the “v2.1 API” and exists in the /nova/api/openstack/compute directory.

The V2 API is the old Nova REST API. It is mostly replaced by V2.1 API.

The V2.1 API is the new Nova REST API with a set of improvements which includes Microversion and standardized validation of inputs using JSON-Schema. Also the V2.1 API is totally backwards compatible with the V2 API (That is the reason we call it as V2.1 API).

Stable API

In the V2 API, there is a concept called ‘extension’. An operator can use it to enable/disable part of Nova REST API based on requirements. An end user may query the ‘/extensions’ API to discover what API functionality is supported by the Nova deployment.

Unfortunately, because V2 API extensions could be enabled or disabled from one deployment to another – as well as custom API extensions added to one deployment and not another – it was impossible for an end user to know what the OpenStack Compute API actually included. No two OpenStack deployments were consistent, which made cloud interoperability impossible.

API extensions, being removed from the v2.1 API, are no longer needed to evolve the REST API, and no new API functionality should use the API extension classes to implement new functionality. Instead, new API functionality should use the microversioning decorators to add or change the REST API.

The extension is considered as two things in the Nova V2.1 API:

  • The ‘/extensions’ API

    This API exposed the list of enabled API functions to users by GET method. However as the above, new API extensions should not be added to the list of this API.

    The ‘/extensions’ API is frozen in Nova V2.1 API and is deprecated.

  • The plugin framework

    One of the improvements in the V2.1 API was using stevedore to load Nova REST API extensions instead of old V2 handcrafted extension load mechanism.

    There was an argument that the plugin framework supported extensibility in the Nova API to allow deployers to publish custom API resources.

From Nove V2.1 REST API, the concept of core API and extension API is eliminated also. There is no difference between Nova V2.1 REST API, all of them are part of Nova stable REST API.