For the Paris summit, the OpenCrowbar team delivered a PackStack demo that leveraged Crowbar’s ability to create a OpenStack ready state environment. For the Vancouver summit, we did something even bigger: we updated the OpenCrowbar Ceph workload.
Ceph is the leading open source block storage back-end for OpenStack; however, it’s tricky to install and few vendors invest the effort to hardware optimize their configuration. Like any foundation layer, configuration or performance errors in the storage layer will impact the entire system. Further, the Ceph infrastructure needs to be built before OpenStack is installed.
OpenCrowbar was designed to deploy platforms like Ceph. It has detailed knowledge of the physical infrastructure and sufficient orchestration to synchronize Ceph Mon cluster bring-up.
We are only at the start of the Ceph install journey. Today, you can use the open source components to bring up a Ceph cluster in a reliable way that works across hardware vendors. Much remains to optimize and tune this configuration to take advantage of SSDs, non-Centos environments and more.
We’d love to work with you to tune and extend this workload! Please join us in the OpenCrowbar community.
Sometimes a solving a small problem well makes a huge impact for operators. Talking to operators, it appears that automated configuration of Squid does exactly that.
If you were installing OpenStack or Hadoop, you would not find “setup a squid proxy fabric to optimize your package downloads” in the install guide. That’s simply out of scope for those guides; however, it’s essential operational guidance. That’s what I mean by open operations and creating a platform for sharing best practice.
Deploying a base operating system (e.g.: Centos) on a lot of nodes creates bit-tons of identical internet traffic. By default, each node will attempt to reach internet mirrors for packages. If you multiply that by even 10 nodes, that’s a lot of traffic and a significant performance impact if you’re connection is limited.
For OpenCrowbar developers, the external package resolution means that each dev/test cycle with a node boot (which is up to 10+ times a day) is bottle necked. For qa and install, the problem is even worse!
Our solution was 1) to embed Squid proxies into the configured environments and the 2) automatically configure nodes to use the proxies. By making this behavior default, we improve the overall performance of a deployment. This further improves the overall network topology of the operating environment while adding improved control of traffic.
This is a great example of how Crowbar uses existing operational tool chains (Chef configures Squid) in best practice ways to solve operations problems. The magic is not in the tool or the configuration, it’s that we’ve included it in our out-of-the-box default orchestrations.
It’s time to stop fumbling around in the operational dark. We need to compose our tool chains in an automated way! This is how we advance operational best practice for ready state infrastructure.
- UI, CLI and API stable and functional
- Boot and discovery process working PLUS ability to handle pre-populating and configuration
- Chef and Puppet capabilities including Birk Shelf v3 support to pull in community upstream DevOps scripts
- Docker, VMs and Physical Servers
- Crowbar’s famous “late-bound” approach to configuration and, critically, networking setup
- IPv6 native, Ruby 2, Rails 4, preliminary scale tuning
- Remarkably flexible and transparent orchestration (the Annealer)
- Multi-OS Deployment capability, Ubuntu, CentOS, or Different versions of the same OS
Whew….Yesterday, Dell announced TWO OpenStack block storage capabilities (Equallogic & Ceph) for our OpenStack Essex Solution (I’m on the Dell OpenStack/Crowbar team) and community edition. The addition of block storage effectively fills the “persistent storage” gap in the solution. I’m quadrupally excited because we now have:
- both open source (Ceph) and enterprise (Equallogic) choices
- both Nova drivers’ code is in the open at part of our open source Crowbar work
Frankly, I’ve been having trouble sitting on the news until Dell World because both features have been available in Github before the announcement (EQLX and Ceph-Barclamp). Such is the emerging intersection of corporate marketing and open source.
As you may expect, we are delivering them through Crowbar; however, we’ve already had customers pickup the EQLX code and apply it without Crowbar.
The Equallogic+Nova Connector
If you are using Crowbar 1.5 (Essex 2) then you already have the code! Of course, you still need to have the admin information for your SAN – we did not automate the configuration of the storage system, but the Nova Volume integration.
We have it under a split test so you need to do the following to enable the configuration options:
- Install OpenStack as normal
- Create the Nova proposal
- Enter “Raw” Attribute Mode
- Change the “volume_type” to “eqlx”
- The Equallogic options should be available in the custom attribute editor! (of course, you can edit in raw mode too)
Want Docs? Got them! Check out these > EQLX Driver Install Addendum
Usage note: the integration uses SSH sessions. It has been performance tested but not been tested at scale.
The Ceph+Nova Connector
The Ceph capability includes a Ceph barclamp! That means that all the work to setup and configure Ceph is done automatically done by Crowbar. Even better, their Nova barclamp (Ceph provides it from their site) will automatically find the Ceph proposal and link the components together!