Searchlight reflects on the 2018 OpenStack Technical Vision

In late-2018, the OpenStack Technical Committee composed a technical vision 1 of what OpenStack clouds should look like. This document compares the state of Searchlight relative to that vision to provide some guidance on broad-stroke ways in which Searchlight may need to change to match the vision. Note that there is also a Searchlight Vision document 2.

The TC vision document is divided into three sections, which this document mirrors. This should be a living document which evolves as Searchlight itself evolves.

The Pillars of Cloud

While the Searchlight API performs read-only accesses of Elasticsearch for user-facing features (i.e., search), the Searchlight Amin CLI provides read-write access to Elasticsearch for administrative tasks (e.g., re-index data, etc.), so basically, anything can talk to it, enabling the self-service and application control features that define a cloud.

OpenStack-specific Considerations


Because Searchlight only has Keystone as a hard-dependency, Searchlight deployment can be ported from one OpenStack cloud to another easily with minimal modification of the settings depends on the services Searchlight want to index.

Bidirectional Compatibility

Searchlight APIs is versioned and designed to allow client introspection of the available versions and features.

Cross-Project Dependencies

Searchlight depends on Keystone to have universal access to other OpenStack services and user authentication. Other services that Searchlight supports (e.g., Nova, Cinder, Glance, etc.) are soft dependencies.


At the current state, Searchlight only supports indexing resource information of one single OpenStack instance where Searchlight deployed. In the Stein cycle, we have designed a vision that is to make Searchlight a multi-cloud solution. It means that Searchlight will be able to search resource information across different cloud platforms and tenants. Moreover, by going in that direction, Searchlight would offer features such as tagging and or partitioning resource information arbitrarily.

Design Goals

Searchlight already maps well to most of the design goals in the TC vision document such as scalability, reliability, customization, and flexible utilization models. Searchlight also offers a graphical user interface to query the indexed resources. We should strive to keep this. Details of how we plan to do so should be maintained in the Searchlight Vision document.