OpenStack Cluster

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In order to have a system to provision virtual machines on demand for various use cases (such as for Jenkins slaves) a small OpenStack installation has been deployed on a XenServer pool of four physical machines.

Architecture and Components

OpenStack defines a terminology for its components, see [1]. It distinguishes between three types of nodes which are used to govern the functioning of the system: Controller Node (controller), Compute Node (compute) and Network Node (network). In the deplyment guides these are viewd as separate nodes, in order to support high scalabilty, but given the small size of our cluster, we decided to go ahead with an all-in-one design that incorporates the functionality of all three nodes into one.

OpenStack provides clear separation between its components, and leaves it up to the user which to install and which not depending on his needs. The components that we selected are:

  • keystone - identity service for users and for other openstack components alike
  • nova - compute service, which governs VM management
  • glance - image service, that stores and provisions cloud images to nova
  • cinder - volume service, that provides persistent storage volumes to VMs
  • horizon - web-based ui

We decided to drop the use of neutron (networking service) in favor of the nova-network legacy neworking service because of its simplicity.

OpenStack and XenServer