Small cloud with trusted tenants

Small cloud with trusted tenants

Story

As an operator I would like to build a small cloud with both virtual and bare metal instances or add bare metal provisioning to my existing small or medium scale single-site OpenStack cloud. The expected number of bare metal machines is less than 100, and the rate of provisioning and unprovisioning is expected to be low. All users of my cloud are trusted by me to not conduct malicious actions towards each other or the cloud infrastructure itself.

As a user I would like to occasionally provision bare metal instances through the Compute API by selecting an appropriate Compute flavor. I would like to be able to boot them from images provided by the Image service or from volumes provided by the Volume service.

Components

This architecture assumes an OpenStack installation with the following components participating in the bare metal provisioning:

The following services can be optionally used by the Bare Metal service:

Node roles

An OpenStack installation in this guide has at least these three types of nodes:

  • A controller node hosts the control plane services.

  • A compute node runs the virtual machines and hosts a subset of Compute and Networking components.

  • A block storage node provides persistent storage space for both virtual and bare metal nodes.

The compute and block storage nodes are configured as described in the installation guides of the Compute service and the Volume service respectively. The controller nodes host the Bare Metal service components.

Networking

The networking architecture will highly depend on the exact operating requirements. This guide expects the following existing networks: control plane, storage and public. Additionally, two more networks will be needed specifically for bare metal provisioning: bare metal and management.

Control plane network

The control plane network is the network where OpenStack control plane services provide their public API.

The Bare Metal API will be served to the operators and to the Compute service through this network.

Public network

The public network is used in a typical OpenStack deployment to create floating IPs for outside access to instances. Its role is the same for a bare metal deployment.

Note

Since, as explained below, bare metal nodes will be put on a flat provider network, it is also possible to organize direct access to them, without using floating IPs and bypassing the Networking service completely.

Bare metal network

The Bare metal network is a dedicated network for bare metal nodes managed by the Bare Metal service.

This architecture uses flat bare metal networking, in which both tenant traffic and technical traffic related to the Bare Metal service operation flow through this one network. Specifically, this network will serve as the provisioning, cleaning and rescuing network. It will also be used for introspection via the Bare Metal Introspection service. See common networking considerations for an in-depth explanation of the networks used by the Bare Metal service.

DHCP and boot parameters will be provided on this network by the Networking service’s DHCP agents.

For booting from volumes this network has to have a route to the storage network.

Management network

Management network is an independent network on which BMCs of the bare metal nodes are located.

The ironic-conductor process needs access to this network. The tenants of the bare metal nodes must not have access to it.

Note

The direct deploy interface and certain Drivers, Hardware Types and Hardware Interfaces require the management network to have access to the Object storage service backend.

Controllers

A controller hosts the OpenStack control plane services as described in the control plane design guide. While this architecture allows using controllers in a non-HA configuration, it is recommended to have at least three of them for HA. See HA and Scalability for more details.

Bare Metal services

The following components of the Bare Metal service are installed on a controller (see components of the Bare Metal service):

  • The Bare Metal API service either as a WSGI application or the ironic-api process. Typically, a load balancer, such as HAProxy, spreads the load between the API instances on the controllers.

    The API has to be served on the control plane network. Additionally, it has to be exposed to the bare metal network for the ramdisk callback API.

  • The ironic-conductor process. These processes work in active/active HA mode as explained in HA and Scalability, thus they can be installed on all controllers. Each will handle a subset of bare metal nodes.

    The ironic-conductor processes have to have access to the following networks:

    • control plane for interacting with other services

    • management for contacting node’s BMCs

    • bare metal for contacting deployment, cleaning or rescue ramdisks

  • TFTP and HTTP service for booting the nodes. Each ironic-conductor process has to have a matching TFTP and HTTP service. They should be exposed only to the bare metal network and must not be behind a load balancer.

  • The nova-compute process (from the Compute service). These processes work in active/active HA mode when dealing with bare metal nodes, thus they can be installed on all controllers. Each will handle a subset of bare metal nodes.

    Note

    There is no 1-1 mapping between ironic-conductor and nova-compute processes, as they communicate only through the Bare Metal API service.

  • The networking-baremetal ML2 plugin should be loaded into the Networking service to assist with binding bare metal ports.

    The ironic-neutron-agent service should be started as well.

  • If the Bare Metal introspection is used, its ironic-inspector process has to be installed on all controllers. Each such process works as both Bare Metal Introspection API and conductor service. A load balancer should be used to spread the API load between controllers.

    The API has to be served on the control plane network. Additionally, it has to be exposed to the bare metal network for the ramdisk callback API.

Shared services

A controller also hosts two services required for the normal operation of OpenStack:

  • Database service (MySQL/MariaDB is typically used, but other enterprise-grade database solutions can be used as well).

    All Bare Metal service components need access to the database service.

  • Message queue service (RabbitMQ is typically used, but other enterprise-grade message queue brokers can be used as well).

    Both Bare Metal API (WSGI application or ironic-api process) and the ironic-conductor processes need access to the message queue service. The Bare Metal Introspection service does not need it.

Note

These services are required for all OpenStack services. If you’re adding the Bare Metal service to your cloud, you may reuse the existing database and messaging queue services.

Bare metal nodes

Each bare metal node must be capable of booting from network, virtual media or other boot technology supported by the Bare Metal service as explained in Boot interface. Each node must have one NIC on the bare metal network, and this NIC (and only it) must be configured to be able to boot from network. This is usually done in the BIOS setup or a similar firmware configuration utility. There is no need to alter the boot order, as it is managed by the Bare Metal service. Other NICs, if present, will not be managed by OpenStack.

The NIC on the bare metal network should have untagged connectivity to it, since PXE firmware usually does not support VLANs - see Networking for details.

Storage

If your hardware and its bare metal driver support booting from remote volumes, please check the driver documentation for information on how to enable it. It may include routing management and/or bare metal networks to the storage network.

In case of the standard PXE boot, booting from remote volumes is done via iPXE. In that case, the Volume storage backend must support iSCSI protocol, and the bare metal network has to have a route to the storage network. See Boot From Volume for more details.

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