[openstack-dev] [Ironic] Announcing Bifrost

Julia Kreger juliaashleykreger at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 21:01:45 UTC 2015

At present, the only configuration in which ironic is tested is as part of
a complete  OpenStack cloud. While this is also the most common usage,
there has  been significant interest in running Ironic outside of OpenStack
contexts as an independent service for provisioning hardware in trusted
environments. This work was done initially as a proof-of-concept to
determine the viability of that use case.

Bifrost is a set of Ansible playbooks that automates the task of deploying
a base image onto a set of known hardware using Ironic. It provides modular
utility for one-off operating system deployment with as few operational
requirements as reasonably possible. Our intention is to utilize this to
further develop tooling around and testing of Ironic in the context of a
standalone installation.

How it works:

Bifrost works by installing Ironic with no other OpenStack services on a
node, coupled with the minimum required infrastructure (DHCP, TFTP, HTTP)
to utilize the Ironic-Python-Agent method of deploying a node. We intend to
add support for additional deployment methods as time goes on.

After installation, a hardware inventory file is read, and all the hardware
is enrolled with Ironic. This is also used to generate node-specific
config-drives containing SSH keys and static network configuration, which
are written out during deployment.

Post-deployment, the deployed machines are configured to boot from their
local disks. The Bifrost node can be completely removed, and all machines
will remain operational.

If by chance, you don't have any hardware available to test Bifrost on, a
testing mode exists which can leverage virtual machines on a Linux system.
This will be used to provide CI for Bifrost, and, we hope, functional
testing of Ironic in the near future. Checkout the README for more

The README can be found at

Special thanks to:

David Shrewsbury
Monty Taylor
Devananda van der Veen
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