Searchlight Use Cases and Our Vision

Searchlight Use Cases and Our Vision

Searchlight was originally developed and released in the Kilo release of Glance as the Catalog Index Service [1]. At the Liberty Summit, we decided to broaden the scope to provide advanced and scalable search across multi-tenant cloud resources. Over the years, we gathered feedbacks and comments both from the cloud developers and users to clarify the real use cases of Searchlight. We also developed a grand vision for Searchlight to help sustain the project in a rapid changing world.

Use Cases

Searchlight can be used in several scenarios such as:

  • Cloud resources lookup: whenever the user needs to query some information of the desired OpenStack services (e.g. Nova, Neutron, etc.), instead of using the service’s APIs individually, she only needs to use one single Searchlight web interface to perform all the queries. Currently, Searchlight supports indexing OpenStack services such as Cinder, Designate, Glance, Ironic, Neutron, Nova, and Swift. Searchlight also provides a context menu for quick operations on resource search results, e.g., creating an instance from an image.
  • Cloud resource repository: because Searchlight keeps records of real-time notification data from other OpenStack’s components, it is aware of the committed, available cloud resources, and other operational events. This capacity of Searchlight can be leveraged by virtual infrastructure management (VIM) applications, e.g., self-healing, self-configuration, RCA, etc. This is a work-in-progress [2].
  • Multi-cloud discovery: Searchlight resource repositories can be connected forming a distributed resource discovery infrastructure across multi-cloud deployment, i.e., cross OpenStack domain, OpenStack-Azure, AWS, or Containers on OpenStack VMs. This new role of Searchlight can take advantages of the existing user-friendly interface for multi-cloud resource administrators [3] while also providing a unified API for the automation of the resource management operation.

Our Vision

With the modular architecture of Searchlight and based on the discussions of the Searchlight team, we envisioned making Searchlight a universal search interface not only for OpenStack but also other cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure [4], AWS [5], or even Kubernetes [6], etc.. The final product of this vision could be building a multi-cloud management application and a unified API for multi-cloud resource discovery, which serves as a cloud information base for automation application, e.g., VIM management, NFV MANO. This requires new designs of additional data models, APIs, communication, and features which are analyzed further in specific use case analysis & design documents. References will be provided when available.

Search as a Service
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