[openstack-dev] [Infra] Generic solution for bare metal testing

Jim Rollenhagen jim at jimrollenhagen.com
Tue Apr 12 14:17:57 UTC 2016

On Thu, Apr 07, 2016 at 02:42:09AM +0000, Jeremy Stanley wrote:
> On 2016-04-06 18:33:06 +0300 (+0300), Igor Belikov wrote:
> [...]
> > I suppose there are security issues when we talk about running
> > custom code on bare metal slaves, but I'm not sure I understand
> > the difference from running custom code on a virtual machine if
> > bare metal nodes are isolated, don't contain any sensitive data
> > and follow a regular redeployment procedure.
> [...]
> With a virtual machine, you can delete it and create a new one.
> Nothing remains behind.
> With a physical machine, arbitrary code running in the scope of a
> test with root access can do _nasty_ things like backdoor your
> server firmware with shims that even masquerade as the firmware
> updater and persist through redeployments that include firmware
> refreshes.
> Physical servers persist, and are therefore vulnerable in this
> scenario in ways which virtual servers are not.

Right, it's a huge effort to run a secure bare metal cloud running
arbitrary code. Homogenous hardware and vendor cooperation is a must,
and that's only part of it.

I don't foresee the infra team having the resources to take on such a
task any time soon (but of course, I'm not well-informed on the infra
team's workload).

Another option for baremetal in the gate is baremetal flavors in other
public clouds - Rackspace has one (OnMetal) but doesn't yet support
custom images, and others have launched or are working on one. Once
there's two clouds that support baremetal with custom images, we could
put those resources in the upstream CI pool.

// jim

> -- 
> Jeremy Stanley
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