Managing your Metal Flexibly

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Managing your Metal Flexibly
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The Foreman's new Metal-as-a-service feature The Foreman is adding a Metal-as-a-Service feature in the near future. In this lightning talk, we'll show the current status of the work, and discuss where it's heading to eventually. The Foreman is a complete lifecycle management tool for physical and virtual servers. Adding Metal-as-a-Service functionality will extend the ways in which The Foreman can help manage hardware within a given workflow.
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okay so yup my name is Greg sir cliff I work for red hat I work on a project
called the foramen and I'm going to show you a little bit this morning about a feature were working on but first thing
they talked a little bit about foreman and just for my info who already knows a bit about foreman who's tried it used it played with it okay about what I expected about about half the room so anyone who's seen a formant orcas in this slide we all use it and so for the people who don't know what formulates basically it's a provisioning and infrastructure management product project in which we try and get into the areas that other configuration management tools don't give you so that's things like getting the OS on to the metal it's spinning up cloud instances it's getting certificates into your configuration management system so it's all about the pre-installation OS management configuration and then also helping your configuration management providing data to it so that's drift management auditing and so on so it gives you it has its has a lot of
components to a lot of moving parts and I have to cover something in about four minutes that most people take an hour over so but yeah so we tie into DNS we tie into dhcp tftp pixie we try and get all the provisioning stack in one place so that you can just spin up a machine and a couple of clicks and all of the all of the operating system provisioning is taken care of for you we support loads of operating systems we support lots of different types of machines so real Hardware cloud stuff ECT Rackspace local virtualization on lib fair or Rev air moreover so it's about trying to get one workflow for all of your stuff and it also configuration measurements so reports audits etc so if you don't know what form it is and you want to know more about this I've got some links at the end you can find out more but unfortunately the rest of this probably won't make it a lot of sense so this is
lovely right we have this management it's all fantastic not quite if you just had a delivery of 50 servers you've got to go and type those mac addresses in by hand and no matter how good your monkeys are at typing in mac addresses there's going to be a typo somewhere you're gonna make a mistake and you won't know that and in a week's time you'll try and provision that
machine and it won't work and you'll make this face obligatory lockout
picture you'll make this face because it won't work and you'll be like but but this this is simple every other server works all the MAC addresses work everything's fine right two hours later when you've finished with your DHCP logs and your TCP dumps and you find that you made a typo two weeks ago you're going to be annoyed so there's got to be a better way to handle real metal you know cloud we don't care because the MAC addresses are given to us libvirt we don't care the MAC addresses are given to it but just this one time for real physical hardware we don't want to have to do that work so this brings it onto
the metal of the service model and how does it work so before we go on how to form and do it just general sort of overview of metal as a service the idea is that you make a distinction between hardware you know about and hardware you don't know about so you make sure all your unknown hardware machines you've never seen before you boot them to some separate system so you can do this very easily with pixie or I pixie you can do it slightly more complicated ways as well but the core concept is always the same boot your unknown hardware into some kind of RAM disk where it can register itself with a central system and then it sends all its information what's my hardware it sends it up your central system knows about it and then you as an admin can go and query that hardware and you say okay I need a new web server give me something with 500 gig of disk and 24 gig of ram or whatever I've got right and then you maintain the system it's a known system it boots off its local drive everything's good and when you're finished with it it doesn't need to be a web server anymore you delete it it boots back up off the ram disk and comes back into the pool so we map form it
onto that reasonably closely we have a pixie image that's based on tiny called Linux at the moment we're still looking at exactly what the final image should be but yeah it works pretty well it boots up it queries itself it finds out what how where it's got and it registers itself into Foreman which is great get all the hardware data get all of the things you need to know about the system and then we have a page where you can view all of that data you can tell it to refresh if you're missing if you think it's out of date I mean hardware doesn't change very often right but still it's there and you can provision it so that will send a signal back to the hardware reboot into the Installer anaconda precede whatever so what I'd like to do
at this point is a demo however demos in lightning talks are really really risky also the demo of a provisioning system generally takes longer than 15 minutes so what I have I'm going to talk you through the workflow I have some screenshots that I did a few days ago I'm also around for the rest of the day so I'm going to hang out at the overt booth later on I'll probably be wearing that hat so if you want to see the demo or you want to talk about any part of form and you can come see me there so this is a vm it it's a vm because that way i can take the screenshots but in reality you'd be thinking of this as a real physical server and you can see it's booted up Foreman has no concept that this machine has ever existed before and we've got a pixie image it comes up it boots up and pixie says well I don't know who you are so you're going to boot this discovery image and once it's booted you can see it's tiny core Linux it says so in the bottom corner we've got the reason I've got this bit at the bottom is so you can see the mac address so just going to the last two characters of 0a if you can't read it but that's just though so you can see the flow through the rest of the screenshots so we've got an IP address we've got we've got a mac address it's all come up informant some new some new
button so again if you've not seen the foreman interface the hosts page is something we see very often and there's a new button here in the top right called discovered hosts all out there if you click that you come through to this pool of hardware information you want to see all the servers that have registered themselves so in reality and in a real infrastructure you pull have quite a long list obviously I've only got one because it's a vm but but again it's the same mac address we got 0a we can tell that it's kvm until it checked in a long time ago so I could if I wanted to click that refresh fax button and you know just check the system still online make sure that I can if I try and provision it it will actually work so i could click through on to so you can see that the mac address is actually a link so i can click through and i can find out more about this host and this probably doesn't come out very well but you can see a few things down the bottom we've
got how much memory we've got got things about the architecture interfaces we know about the system right so we can find out if this is something we want to use and once we've got a host we're happy with we want to provision this turn it into a database server whatever we've got it we've got a button up there provision and that brings you onto the edit page so this is actually three separate screenshots kind of merge together because the edit page has quite a lot of tabs on it so on the Left we've got to give this a name we can give it hosts groups environments all that good
puppet stuff we've already got the mac address in the IP address filled in for us on the top right because we know that the hardware is already running so we can fill that information in and we can choose an operating system for it so yeah fedora 17 or something so as soon
as i hit submit on that edit page it's going to come through it's going to send a signal to the hardware going to reboot it in this case i was doing debian um oops so it boots back up it comes up it goes into the Installer we get a nice partitioning information if you're watching the screen right i mean with real hardware you'd never gotten plug a monitor in just to check it's working but just to show it to there and so that's going to take office lee a while this is why it didn't do a demo because OS install state like 20 minutes and
eventually it comes up it becomes a real house so this is a screenshot from the host page in form and again if you've not seen it we get nice graphs we get information on the left again you can see the same IP address' same mac address it's the same machine and it's all flowing through and becoming a real host you can manage it you can look after it drift audits all that good stuff and eventually when you're done with it you can hit that delete button oh and just to prove a point or that doesn't come out very well that's the actual name of the machine from the libvirt consults come back up with the right name everything's good when we're done we hit that delete button in the top right hand side reboot the system it's going to go straight back into that discovered host page we can use it again for another role give it a new host name reprovision it with a different OS whatever we want to do with it so that's
kind of where it's at right now this is a feature that's likely to be coming later this year I think hopefully we're not very good at releasing very quickly informant but it can be played with those details on our mailing list of how you can get this up and running right now if you want to play with it it's very alpha we've got some more stuff that needs to happen so we need more hardware data on that fax page that's something we've actually some of the community members and I were hacking on a few days ago so we've actually got the disk disk structure or at least the total amount of disk space is now properly displayed so that's good we want to add filtering so again if you're familiar you know you can search for hosts informant so we'd like to add the same kind of search functionality so you can say show me all the hosts that have got more than 500 gig desk or more than twenty four cores or something so that needs to be in there and we'd quite like to do a kind of quoting system and there are other methods of service products that are coming together and some of them do a kind of a quota system where you say the first 20 houses that come up that match these criteria I want them to have the door on it with this disk structure so that would be quite cool I think so you can kind of auto provision the next lot of hardware that gets shipped and okay you might be in bed but the systems are still built right some things I'd quite like to so this is kind of a fairly solid roadmap these are things we'd like to do there's a couple of things I thought of while I was writing the talk I'd quite like to see whether you could just have some tick boxes if I need to provision 10 web servers I don't want to do them one at a time so it would be quite nice to just tick tick tick tick tick provision give it some kind of reg ex for the hostname and I think that that USB or pixi boot image could be made so that you can load more code into it maybe send it some custom facts send it some extra plugins one of the things that we've been talking about is how you've got a system that sitting there running a ramdisk so why don't you use this for hardware raid configuration or BIOS updates or firmware updates or something like that so there's there's a lot we could do with with the actual image itself what we got ok so that's
kind of the the total of the of the talk there's a there's a lot more information about foreman it's a huge project and an hour wouldn't do it justice but if you want to know a lot more about it there's a video by one of my colleagues which is superb we've got all our community main least we're very very active on IRC so do come and talk to us and yeah I guess
I'm done a little bit early I should
also say again I will be at the over at stand for most of the day so give me any
microphone you will probably need to come here in order to perfect ok so the question is how do you deal with a really large amount of hardware like a
thousand machines or something like that I can think of a few problems with that it might be quite a lot of load if you boot them all up at the same time that could be interesting I think that would work provided you know the request don't get lost somewhere um if you trim provision a thousand machines at once you're going to stress your pixie server that's for sure but in terms of how Foreman would deal with it I don't think it's too bad we want to add filter into this so you can say right give me all the machines in this data center and then give me all the machines in this data center that I'll del and have this much memory right so you can pick out exactly the sort of hard way you're looking for so you well done you spotted the deliberate mistake where I was meant to talk about the other people who are doing metal as a service rope so there's a few people are doing it bunt or doing a puppet raise ur ur doing it and we started out looking at razor we contributed some code to them which was quite useful while we were working out exactly how to do the discovery image and our image is built in a very similar way to the razor image they have a different way of looking at templating to us so it is possible to make the to work on the same network at the moment it's a little bit it's a little bit fiddly in places you can have sort of Foreman on one virtual machine say and raised around another virtual machine and have it all kind of managing the network together does work but realistically they're both provisioning products right so why would you have to
no more okay


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