[nova] Rebuild from cell0 limitation for personality files

Dan Smith dms at danplanet.com
Wed Apr 10 16:07:14 UTC 2019

> I wanted to get some wider attention on what I think will be a
> limitation in the rebuild from cell0 spec [1]. The main idea in that
> spec is the user tries to create a server which fails during
> scheduling to find a host and puts the instance into ERROR state and
> "buries" it in cell0. With a new microversion, the user can attempt to
> rebuild the server from cell0 and go through scheduling again. This is
> part of a bigger effort to support pre-emptible instances where
> scheduling fails during server create, an external reaper service
> tries to make room by destroying some pre-emptible instances, and then
> the server gets rebuilt.
> The issue I've found is that if the server was created with
> personality files using microversion 2.1, fails, and then the user
> goes to rebuild it, their personality files will be lost because (1)
> we don't persist personality files anywhere, not even the RequestSpec
> and (2) microversion 2.57 deprecated the personality files parameter
> from the rebuild API [2]. Since you'll have to use a newer
> microversion > 2.57 to rebuild from cell0, you can't specify the
> personality files again.
> Are we OK with this? We deprecated personality files for a reason [3]
> so this is a natural extension of that deprecation saying "going
> forward you should not be using these things and if you do there could
> be limitations".

This is the nature of per-request versions I think, so I'm okay with
it. It's not ideal, but there's not a whole lot that can be done about

> The user has an obvious recourse: delete the server and re-create it
> rather than rebuild from cell0.
> I don't want to consider un-deprecating personality files in the
> rebuild API just for this new microversion to rebuild from cell0.

Definitely not.

> Another alternative is persisting personality files in the RequestSpec
> but I'm not sure how much people would support that - although it
> would fix some other known limitations with personality files, like
> the fact that if you create a server with files and then shelve
> offload, the files are gone when you unshelve. I have a similar issue
> with cross-cell resize [4].

I'd definitely prefer we not do that.

Another alternative would be to chuck something into system_metadata for
the instance that says "this was created with personality files". We
could use that for the rebuild-from-cell0 operation, or any other future
one that can't honor those files and just fail the request. "Sorry bro,
this instance was created in a way that can't support this request."


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