Host Information

To enable negotiation of features between a service host (typically a compute node) and the network provider host, os-vif exposes some objects that describe the host running the plugins.

Host Information Objects

The following objects encode the information about the service host.


This class provides information about the host as a whole. This currently means a list of plugins installed on the host. In the future this may include further information about the host OS state.


This class provides information about the capabilities of a single os-vif plugin implementation that is installed on the host. This currently means a list of VIF objects that the plugin is capable of consuming. In the future this may include further information about resources on the host that the plugin can/will utilize. While many plugins will only ever support a single VIF object, it is permitted to support multiple different VIF objects. An example would be openvswitch which can use the same underlying host network functionality to configure a VM in several different ways.


This class provides information on a single VIF object that is supported by a plugin. This will include the versioned object name and the minimum and maximum versions of the object that can be consumed.

It is the responsibility of the network provider to ensure that it only sends back a serialized VIF object that satisfies the minimum and maximum version constraints indicated by the plugin. Objects outside of this version range will be rejected with a fatal error.

Negotiating networking

When a service host wants to create a network port, it will first populate an instance of the HostInfo class, to describe all the plugins installed on the host. It will then serialize this class to JSON and send it to the network manager host. The network manager host will deserialize it back into a HostInfo object. This can then be passed down into the network driver which can use it to decide how to configure the network port.

If the os-vif version installed on the network host is older than that on the service host, it may not be able to deserialize the HostInfo class. In this case it should reply with an error to the service host. The error message should report the maximum version of the HostInfo class that is supported. the service host should then backlevel its HostInfo object to that version before serializing it and re-trying the port creation request.

The mechanism or transport for passing the plugin information between the network and service hosts is left undefined. It is upto the user of os-vif to decide upon the appropriate approach.