Chasing CI promotions

The purpose of this document is to go into more detail about the TripleO promotion from the point of view of the ci-squad ruck|rover.

There is other documentation in this repo which covers the stages of the Tripleo-CI promotion pipeline in promotion-stages-overview and also about relevant tooling such as the dlrn-api-promoter.

Ensuring promotions are happening regularly (including for all current stable/ branches) is one of the biggest responsibilities of the ruck|rover. As explained in promotion-stages-overview the CI promotion represents the point at which we test all the tripleo-* things against the rest of openstack. The requirement is that there is a successful promotion (more on that below) at least once a week. Otherwise the branch will be considered ‘in the red’ as in “master promotion is red” or “we are red for stein promotion” meaning was no promotion in (at least) 7 days for that branch.

Successful promotion

So what does it actually mean to have a “successful promotion”. In short:

  • The TripleO periodic jobs have to run to completion and

  • The periodic jobs in the promotion criteria must pass and

  • The promoter server must be running in order to actually notice the job results and promote!

Each of these is explained in more detail below.

TripleO periodic jobs

The TripleO periodic jobs are ci jobs that are executed in one of the TripleO periodic pipelines. At time of writing we have four periodic pipelines defined in the config repo zuul pipelines:

* openstack-periodic-master
* openstack-periodic-latest-released
* openstack-periodic-24hr
* openstack-periodic-wednesday-weekend

These pipelines are periodic because unlike the check and gate pipelines (see ci jobs for more on those) jobs that run on each submitted code review, periodic jobs are executed periodically, at an interval given in cron syntax as you can see in the definitions at config repo zuul pipelines):

- pipeline:
  name: openstack-periodic-master
  post-review: true
  description: Jobs in this queue are triggered to run every few hours.
  manager: independent
  precedence: high
      - time: '10 0,12,18 * * *'

As can be seen at time of writing the openstack-periodic-master jobs will run three times every day, at 10 minutes after midnight, noon and 6pm.

The four pipelines correspond to the four latest releases of OpenStack. The openstack-periodic-master runs jobs for master promotion, openstack-periodic-latest-released runs jobs for the latest stable branch promotion, openstack-periodic-24hr runs jobs for the stable branch before that and finally openstack-periodic-wednesday-weekend runs jobs for the stable branch before that.

You can see the full list of jobs that are executed in the pipelines in the rdo-infra periodic zuul layout.

It is important to finally highlight a common pattern in the pipeline layout. In each case the first job that must complete is the ‘promote-consistent-to-tripleo-ci-testing’ which is where we take the latest consistent hash and mark it as tripleo-ci-testing to become our new candidate (see promotion-stages-overview) to be used by the rest of the jobs in our pipeline. You will note that this is the only job that doesn’t have any dependency:

- periodic-tripleo-ci-rhel-8-ovb-3ctlr_1comp-featureset001-master:
      - periodic-tripleo-rhel-8-buildimage-ironic-python-agent-master
      - periodic-tripleo-rhel-8-master-containers-build-push
- periodic-tripleo-centos-7-master-promote-consistent-to-tripleo-ci-testing

Then the containers and overcloud image build jobs must complete and only then we finally run the rest of the jobs. These ordering requirements are expressed using dependencies in the layout:

- periodic-tripleo-rhel-8-buildimage-overcloud-full-master:
      - periodic-tripleo-centos-7-master-promote-consistent-to-tripleo-ci-testing
- periodic-tripleo-rhel-8-buildimage-ironic-python-agent-master:
      - periodic-tripleo-centos-7-master-promote-consistent-to-tripleo-ci-testing
- periodic-tripleo-ci-centos-7-ovb-1ctlr_1comp-featureset002-master-upload:
      - periodic-tripleo-centos-7-master-containers-build-push

As can be seen above the build image jobs depend on the promote-consistent job and then everything else in the layout depends on the container build job.

Promotion Server and Criteria

The promotion server is maintained by the Tripleo-CI squad at a secret location (!) and it runs the code from the DLRN API Promoter as a service. In short, the job of this service is to fetch the latest hashes from the RDO delorean service and then query the state of the periodic jobs using that particular hash.

The main input to the promotion server is the configuration which defines the promotion criteria. This is the list of jobs that must pass so that we can declare a successful promotion:


The promoter service queries the delorean service for the results of those jobs (for a given hash) and if they are all found to be in SUCCESS then the hash can be promoted to become the new current-tripleo.

It is a common practice for TripleO CI ruck or rover to check the indexed promoter service logs to see why a given promotion is not successful for example or when debugging issues with the promotion code itself.

Hack the promotion with testproject

Finally testproject and the ability to run individual periodic jobs on demand is an important part of the ruck|rover toolbox. In some cases you may want to run a job for verification of a given launchpad bug that affects perioric jobs.

However another important use is when the ruck|rover notice that one of the jobs in criteria failed on something they (now) know how to fix, or on some unrelated/transient issue. Instead of waiting another 6 or however many hours for the next periodic to run, you can try to run the job yourself using testproject. If the job is successful in testproject and it is the only job missing from criteria then posting the testproject review can also mean directly causing the promotion to happen.

You first need to checkout testproject:

git clone
cd testproject
vim .zuul.layout

To post a testproject review you simply need to add a .zuul.layout_ file:

- project:
        - periodic-tripleo-centos-7-train-containers-build-push:
              force_periodic: true

So the above would run the periodic-tripleo-centos-7-train-containers-build-push. Note the required force_periodic variable which causes the job to run as though it is in the periodic pipeline, rather than in the check pipeline which you will use in testproject.

An example is there and if you need to include a known fix you can simply have a Depends-On in the commit message.

Specifying a particular hash

Jobs in the periodic promotion pipelines are using the tripleo-ci-testing repo as described in the promotion-stages-overview, since that is the candidate we are trying to promote to current-tripleo. The tripleo-ci-testing and all other named tags in tripleo, are associated with a particular hash that identifies the delorean repo. For example looking at centos7 master tripleo-ci-testing at time of writing we see:


So the centos7 master tripleo-ci-testing hash is 544864ccc03b053317f5408b0c0349a42723ce73_ebb98bd9a. The corrresponding repo is given by the baseurl above and if you navigate to that URL with your browser you can see the list of packages used in the jobs. Thus, the job specified in the example above for testproject periodic-tripleo-centos-7-train-containers-build-push would use whatever the current tripleo-ci-testing points to.

However it is possible to override the particular hash (and thus repo) used by a job you run with testproject, using the dlrn_hash_tag featureset_override:

- project:
        - periodic-tripleo-ci-centos-7-ovb-1ctlr_1comp-featureset002-train-upload:
              force_periodic: true
                dlrn_hash_tag: 4b32d316befe0919fd98a147d84086bc0907677a_046903a2

Thus, in the example above the periodic-tripleo-ci-centos-7-ovb-1ctlr_1comp-featureset002-train-upload job would run with the hash: 4b32d316befe0919fd98a147d84086bc0907677a_046903a2 regardless of the current value of tripleo-ci-testing.

The most common reason for overriding the hash in this way is when we notice that a particular job failed during one of the recent periodic pipeline runs. Looking at one of the indexed promoter service logs you may notice something like the following text:

2020-02-21 03:57:07,458 31360 INFO promoter Skipping promotion of centos7-master
{'timestamp': 1582243926, 'distro_hash': 'ebb98bd9545e026f033683143ae39e9e236b3671',
'promote_name': 'tripleo-ci-testing', 'user': 'review_rdoproject_org',
'repo_url': '',
'full_hash': '544864ccc03b053317f5408b0c0349a42723ce73_ebb98bd9',
'repo_hash': '544864ccc03b053317f5408b0c0349a42723ce73_ebb98bd9',
'commit_hash': '544864ccc03b053317f5408b0c0349a42723ce73'}
from tripleo-ci-testing to current-tripleo,
missing successful jobs: [u'periodic-tripleo-ci-centos-7-ovb-3ctlr_1comp-featureset035-master',

In particular note the last line ‘missing successful jobs’. This means that for the hash 544864ccc03b053317f5408b0c0349a42723ce73_ebb98bd9 a promotion could not happen, because in this particular run, those two identified jobs were failed. If the jobs were fixed in the meantime or you now know how to fix them and get a good result, you could re-run those with testproject specifying the particular hash. If they execute successfully then on the next run the promoter will promote that hash to become the new current-tripleo.