Upgrading from Nova to Placement

Upgrading from Nova to Placement

This document is for people who are upgrading from an existing Rocky-based installation of OpenStack, where Placement is a part of Nova, to a Stein-based system, using the independently packaged placement service. It is also for people who have already upgraded to Stein but are using the version of the placement service included in Nova in the Stein release.

Upgrading to the extracted placement is not a requirement when upgrading the rest of OpenStack to Stein. The version of the placement service in the Nova Stein release may be used. It is possible to upgrade to Stein and then deploy and switch to the extracted placement at a later time.

The placement code in Nova will be removed in Train so the switch to using extracted placement must happen before upgrading to Train.


The extracted placement code has features and performance and bug fixes that are not present in the placement code in Nova, but no code that is required by Nova. See the release notes for more detail.

If you are installing a new OpenStack, you will want the installation docs.

Upgrading to use the extracted placement service requires migrating several database tables from the nova_api database to a placement database. Depending on the number of compute hosts in your system and the number of active virtual machines, the amount of data to copy can vary widely. You can get an idea by counting rows in the resource_providers and consumers tables.

To avoid losing data while performing the copy it is important that writing to the placement database (on either side of the upgrade) is stopped. You may shut down solely the placement service but this will result in errors attempting to use the service from Nova. It is potentially less disruptive to shut down the entire control plane to avoid confusing errors. What strategy is best will vary. This document describes the simple way.


In some installations of nova and placement, data may already be in a database named placement and not nova_api. If that is the case, you will not need to copy data. Make sure that there are tables and rows in that database and that it is of expected quantity and recently modified (many tables have created_at and updated_at columns). In some cases the placement database will be present but empty.

There are database migrations scripts in the placement code repository which may be used to copy the data or as models for your own tooling: mysql-migrate-db.sh and postgresql-migrate-db.sh.

For best results run the database migration on your database host. If you are unable to do this, you will need to take some additional steps below.

This document assumes that the same HTTP endpoint will be used before and after the upgrade. If you need to change that see Configure User and Endpoints for guidance.

Initial Steps

  1. Install the new placement code on a controller node. This can be openstack-placement from PyPI or you can use packages from a Linux distribution. If you are using the latter be aware that:

    • The name of the package can be found in the installation docs.
    • You need to install the packages on a different host from the old nova, to avoid accidentally upgrading before you are ready.
  2. Create a placement database with appropriate access controls. If you need details on how to do this, see Create Database.

  3. Create and configure the placement.conf file.

  4. Move placement-policy.yaml, if required.

    • If it exists, move /etc/nova/placement-policy.yaml to /etc/placement/policy.yaml. If you wish to use a different filename adjust placement.policy_file.
  5. Configure the database migration tool.

    • Create the configuration file.

      $ mysql-migrate-db.sh --mkconfig /tmp/migrate-db.rc
    • Edit the file to set the values for the NOVA_API_USER, NOVA_API_PASS, PLACEMENT_USER, and PLACEMENT_PASS entries. These are the usernames and passwords for accessing the database.

    • If you are unable to run the migration script on the database host you will need to set NOVA_API_DB_HOST and PLACEMENT_DB_HOST.

    • Do not change MIGRATE_TABLES unless you need to migrate tables incrementally.

  6. Configure the web server that will host the placement service. The details of this are beyond the scope of this document. Install and configure Placement from PyPI may provide some guidance. Make sure you also disable the previously running placement service in the web server configuration.

Migrate the Data

  1. Shut down or disable your control plane in whatever way works best for you.

  2. Run the migration script:

    $ mysql-migrate-db.sh --migrate /tmp/migrate-db.rc

    If your controller host (the one where you have been editing /etc/placement/placement.conf) and database host are not the same, and you have run the migration script on the database host, the final step in the process will fail. This step stamps the database with an initial version (the hash of the first alembic migration) so that future migrations will work properly. From the controller host, you may do it manually with:

    $ placement-manage db stamp b4ed3a175331
  3. Sync the placement database to be up to date with all migrations:

    $ placement-manage db sync

Finalize the Upgrade

  1. Start up the new placement service.
  2. Restart your control plane services. If you are upgrading to Stein, continue with the upgrade of the rest of the system.
  3. Verify the content of the new service by using the osc-placement tool to list resource providers, allocations and other resources in the service.
  4. Verify the integration of placement with the rest of your OpenStack installation by creating and deleting a test server.
  5. At some point in the future you may remove the tables in the nova_api database that were migrated to the placement database.
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