In the previous post I examined how Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite could be integrated with ManageIQ Enterprise Cloud Management (ECM). With this integration in place Satellite could provide ECM with the content required to install an operating system into a virtual machine and close the loop in ongoing systems management. This was just a first look and there is a lot of work to be done to enable discovery of RHN Satellite and best practice automation out of the box via ECM. That said, the combination of ECM and RHN Satellite provide a solid foundation for proceeding to use cases higher in the stack.
With this in mind, I decided to attempt automating a self-service deployment of OpenShift using ManageIQ ECM, RHN Satellite, and puppet.
Lucky for me, much of the heavy lifting had already been done by Krishna Raman and others who developed puppet modules for installing OpenShift Origin. There were several hurdles that had to be overcome with the existing puppet modules for my use case:
- They were built for Fedora and OpenShift Origin and I am using RHEL6 with OpenShift Enterprise. Because of this they defaulted to using newer rubygems that weren’t available in openshift enterprise yet. It took a little time to reverse engineer the puppet modules to understand exactly what they were doing and tweak them for OpenShift Enterprise.
- The OpenShift Origin puppet module leveraged some other puppet modules (stdlib, for example), so the puppet module tool (PMT) was needed which is not available in core puppet until > 2.7. Of course, the only version of puppet available in EPEL for RHEL 6 was puppet-2.6. I pulled an internal build of puppet-2.7 to get around this, but still required some packages from EPEL to solve dependencies.
Other then that, I was able to reuse much of what already existed and deploy OpenShift Enterprise via ManageIQ ECM. How does it work? Very similar to the Satellite use case, but with the added step of deploying puppet and a puppet master onto the deployed virtual machine and executing the puppet modules.
If you are curious how the puppet modules work, here is a diagram that illustrates the flow of the openshift puppet module.
Here is a screencast of the self-service deployment in action.
There are a lot of areas that can be improved in the future. Here are four which were top of mind after this exercise.
First, runtime parameters should be able to be passed to the deployment of virtual machines. These parameters should ultimately be part of a service that could be composed into a deployment. One idea would be to expose puppet classes as services that could be added to a deployment. For example, layering a service of openshift_broker onto a virtual machine would instantiate the openshift_broker class on that machine upon deployment. The parameters required for openshift_broker would then be exposed to the user if they would like to customize them.
Second, gears within OpenShift – the execution area for applications – should be able to be monitored from ECM much like Virtual Machines are today. The oo-stats package provides some insight into what is running in an OpenShift environment, but more granular details could be exposed in the future. Statistics such as I/O, throughput, sessions, and more would allow ECM to further manage OpenShift in enterprise deployments and in highly dynamic environments or where elasticity of the PaaS substrate itself is a design requirement.
Third, building an upstream library of automation actions for ManageIQ ECM so that these exercises could be saved and reused in the future would be valuable. While I only focused on a simple VM deployment in this scenario, in the future I plan to use ECM’s tagging and Event, Condition, Action construct to register Brokers and Nodes to a central puppet master (possibly via Foreman). The thought is that once automatically tagged by ECM with a “Broker” or “Node” tag an action could be taken by ECM to register the systems to the puppet master which would then configure the system appropriately. All those automation actions are exportable, but no central library exists for these at the current time to promote sharing.
Fourth, and possibly most exciting, would be the ability to request applications from OpenShift via ECM alongside requests for virtual machines. This ability would lead to the realization of a hybrid service model. As far as I’m aware, this is not provided by any other vendor in the industry. Many of the analysts are coming around to the fact that the line between IaaS and PaaS will soon be gray. Driving the ability to select an application that is PaaS friendly (python for example) and traditional infrastructure components (a relational database for example) from a single catalog would provide a simplified user experience and create new opportunities for operations to drive even higher utilization at lower costs.
I hope you found this information useful. As always, if you have feedback, please leave a comment!
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