[openstack-dev] [TripleO] Is Swift a good choice of database for the TripleO API?

Clint Byrum clint at fewbar.com
Tue Dec 22 16:56:08 UTC 2015

Excerpts from Dougal Matthews's message of 2015-12-22 07:36:02 -0800:
> Hi all,
> This topic came up in the 2015-12-15 meeting[1], and again briefly today.
> After working with the code that came out of the deployment library spec[2]
> I
> had some concerns with how we are storing the templates.
> Simply put, when we are dealing with 100+ files from tripleo-heat-templates
> how can we ensure consistency in Swift without any atomicity or
> transactions.
> I think this is best explained with a couple of examples.
>  - When we create a new deployment plan (upload all the templates to swift)
>    how do we handle the case where there is an error? For example, if we are
>    uploading 10 files - what do we do if the 5th one fails for some reason?
>    There is a patch to do a manual rollback[3], but I have concerns about
>    doing this in Python. If Swift is completely inaccessible for a short
>    period the rollback wont work either.

You could create a unique swift container, upload things to that, and
then update a pointer in a well-known location to point at that container
for the new plan only after you've verified it is available. This is a
primitive form of Read-copy-update.

>  - When deploying to Heat, we need to download all the YAML files from
> Swift.
>    This can take a couple of seconds. What happens if somebody starts to
>    upload a new version of the plan in the middle? We could end up trying to
>    deploy half old and half new files. We wouldn't have a consistent view of
>    the database.

Perhaps you should land a change in Heat to allow templates to be directly
downloaded by the engine from swift without needing to be uploaded. In
the past allowing URLs to be downloaded unfettered was disabled because
we don't want Heat to be a DoS engine, but swift would be in-cloud and
could be restricted to the stack owner.

> We had a few suggestions in the meeting:
>  - Add a locking mechanism. I would be concerned about deadlocks or having
> to
>    lock for the full duration of a deploy.

Deadlocks only happen when competing interests lock _two_ things in
different order. Have one thing to lock, and you don't have to worry
about this.

>  - Store the files in a tarball (so we only deal with one file). I think we
>    could still hit issues with multiple operations unless we guarantee that
>    only one instance of the API is ever running.
> I think these could potentially be made to work, but at this point are we
> using the best tool for the job?
> For alternatives, I see a can think of a couple of options:
> - Use a database, like we did for Tuskar and most OpenStack API's do.

It's worth noting that many OpenStack API's/daemons are using the
database + MQ to provide consistency in a distributed fashion, and many
have identified that this doesn't scale particularly well, and looking
at tooz to help bring in DLM's. In fact, a spec recently landed around


So if you are only using the DB for consistency, you might want to just
use tooz+swift.

> - Invest time in building something on Swift.
> - Glance was transitioning to be a Artifact store. I don't know the status
> of
>   this or if it would meet out needs.

I'd say the artifact store is more about exposing options to users, and
less about providing primitives for an API.

More information about the OpenStack-dev mailing list