[openstack-dev] [Ironic] disambiguating the term "discovery"

Ganapathy, Sandhya sandhya.ganapathy at hp.com
Mon Nov 3 10:29:47 UTC 2014

Hi all,

Following the mail thread on disambiguating the term 'discovery' - 

In the lines of what Devananda had stated, Hardware Introspection also means retrieving and storing hardware details of the node whose credentials and IP Address are known to the system. (Correct me if I am wrong).

I am currently in the process of extracting hardware details (cpu, memory etc..) of n no. of nodes belonging to a Chassis whose credentials are already known to ironic. Does this process fall in the category of hardware introspection? 


-----Original Message-----
From: Devananda van der Veen [mailto:devananda.vdv at gmail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 5:41 AM
To: OpenStack Development Mailing List
Subject: [openstack-dev] [Ironic] disambiguating the term "discovery"

Hi all,

I was reminded in the Ironic meeting today that the words "hardware discovery" are overloaded and used in different ways by different people. Since this is something we are going to talk about at the summit (again), I'd like to start the discussion by building consensus in the language that we're going to use.

So, I'm starting this thread to explain how I use those two words, and some other words that I use to mean something else which is what some people mean when they use those words. I'm not saying my words are the right words -- they're just the words that make sense to my brain right now. If someone else has better words, and those words also make sense (or make more sense) then I'm happy to use those instead.

So, here are rough definitions for the terms I've been using for the last six months to disambiguate this:

"hardware discovery"
The process or act of identifying hitherto unknown hardware, which is addressable by the management system, in order to later make it available for provisioning and management.

"hardware introspection"
The process or act of gathering information about the properties or capabilities of hardware already known by the management system.

Why is this disambiguation important? At the last midcycle, we agreed that "hardware discovery" is out of scope for Ironic -- finding new, unmanaged nodes and enrolling them with Ironic is best left to other services or processes, at least for the forseeable future.

However, "introspection" is definitely within scope for Ironic. Even though we couldn't agree on the details during Juno, we are going to revisit this at the Kilo summit. This is an important feature for many of our current users, and multiple proof of concept implementations of this have been done by different parties over the last year.

It may be entirely possible that no one else in our developer community is using the term "introspection" in the way that I've defined it above -- if so, that's fine, I can stop calling that "introspection", but I don't know a better word for the thing that is find-unknown-hardware.

Suggestions welcome,


For what it's worth, googling for "hardware discovery" yields several results related to identifying unknown network-connected devices and adding them to inventory systems, which is the way that I'm using the term right now, so I don't feel completely off in continuing to say "discovery" when I mean "find unknown network devices and add them to Ironic".

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