[openstack-dev] [TripleO] Network Configuration in TripleO UI

Jiri Tomasek jtomasek at redhat.com
Thu Dec 8 14:05:19 UTC 2016

Hi all,

I've been investigating how to implement TripleO network configuration 
in TripleO UI. Based on my findings I'd like to propose a solution.

tl;dr proposal: Slightly refactor Network environment files to match GUI 
usage, Use Jinja Templating to generate dynamic parts of the 

# Overview

I've used Ben Nemec's amazing Network template generator as a reference 
to help me understand how the network configuration works [1]. In 
general the process of configuring the network in TripleO is:

Define which Networks we intend to use -> Assign Roles to the Networks 
(+ Assign Role Services to the Network) -> Generate NIC config templates 
based on previous information

# Deeper dive into templates

We currently have 2 environment files in THT [2] which define network 

network-environment.yaml [3] - holds the information on NIC 
configuration for each Role using 
OS::TripleO::<RoleName>::Net::SoftwareConfig resource + related 
parameter configuration

network-isolation.yaml [4]
- defines the list of networks using OS::TripleO::Network::<NetworkName> 
- defines ports configuration for each network using 
OS::TripleO::Network::Ports::<NetworkName>VipPort (note that both 
resources point to the static templates - those templates don't require 
any manual modification)
- holds  Roles - Networks assignment using 
OS::TripleO::<RoleName>::Ports::<NetworkName>Port for each role and 
storage (again, templates referenced by those resources don't require 
any modification)

User is intended to go ahead and modify those environments and provide 
NIC config templates to achieve a network configuration that matches his 

# How GUI works

Before proceeding to proposed changes I need to describe briefly how 
TripleO UI works. TripleO UI is using THT as a source of truth, which 
means that it is trying not to add any additional business logic or 
manipulate templates. Rather it uses environment files as a 'features' 
which user can enable or disable depending on the needs of the 
deployment. The information about inter-environment relationships is 
tracked in capabilities-map.yaml which is also part of the THT. Based on 
these choices, UI allows user to configure parameters for those 
features. The parameter values and information about which environments 
are selected is stored in mistral environment. This approach leaves the 
plan templates intact. Huge benefit of this approach is that UI (or 
tripleo-common) does not need to hold explicit business logic related to 
certain deployment features as it is purely driven by THT. Also Adding a 
new feature involves only providing the templates/environments and it 
automatically appears as an option in UI.

To achieve best user experience while using this approach, the 
environment files need to be defined in a granular manner, so they don't 
require user to modify them and each describe an isolated 'feature'.

Roles and Network Configuration are exceptions to this concept as they 
require modification/generation of the templates/environments and 
therefore they use Jinja templating to achieve that.

# The proposal

So having described previous, here is the approach I think we should use 
to achieve network configuration using TripleO UI:

1. Put networks definitions into separate environment for each network:
- this way GUI can provide a list of networks available to use and let 
user select which of them he wants to use. These environments are not 
dynamic and if user wants to add a new network, he does so by creating 
new templates and environment for it. UI also provides means to 
configure parameters for each network at this point (if needed).

For example the environment for a Storage Network looks like this:

   OS::TripleO::Network::Storage: ../network/storage.yaml
   OS::TripleO::Network::Ports::StorageVipPort: ../network/ports/storage.yaml

2. Assign Roles to Networks
Having the Networks selected as well as Roles defined, TripleO UI 
provides user with means to assign Roles to Networks. This step involves 
generating the network-environment.yaml file. So TripleO UI sends the 
mapping of roles to network in json format to tripleo-common which in 
turn uses network-isolation.j2.yaml Jinja template to generate the 
environment file. I expect that pre-defined network-isolation.yaml will 
be included in default plan so the user does not need to start from 
scratch. Tripleo-common also provides an action to fetch network-roles 
assignment data by parsing the network-isolation.yaml

In addition, user is able to assign individual Role Services to a 
Network. ServiceNetMap parameter is currently used for this. GUI needs 
to make sure that it represents Services-Networks assignment grouped by 
Role so it is ensured that user assigns Services to only networks where 
their Role is assigned.

3. Generate NIC Config templates
TripleO UI provides means to configure NICS, Bonds etc. for each Role, 
using the information from previous steps. It sends the data in json 
format to tripleo-common which then generates nic config templates for 
each Role based on network/config/nic-configs/role.j2.yaml Jinja 
template and generates network-environment.yaml based on 
network-environment.j2.yaml which references those templates.

Note that network-environment.j2.yaml probably can't be combined with 
network-isolation.j2.yaml as every time that environment would need to 
get updated, all data the template needs would need to be provided.

There are wireframes made by Liz Blanchard currently available [5], 
althought they are not exactly up to date to this proposal. Ideally  
whole network configuration would happen on a screen based on the 
graphical representation of network [6].

Any comments to this proposal are very welcome, please note that I am 
not a networking expert so I might be missing something.

There is a spec [7] in progress aimed for Ocata, but the feature will 
highly probably not land in Ocata, so we'll need to update the spec and 
move it to next cycle.

[2] https://github.com/openstack/tripleo-heat-templates
[5] https://openstack.invisionapp.com/share/UM87J4NBQ#/screens/179046668
[6] https://openstack.invisionapp.com/share/UM87J4NBQ#/screens/179046679
[7] https://review.openstack.org/#/c/396383/


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