[ops] Running VMware atop of OpenStack (eg: esxi)

Mathieu Gagné mgagne at calavera.ca
Mon Nov 25 22:11:42 UTC 2019

On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 1:03 PM Paul Belanger <pabelanger at redhat.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 12:54:50PM -0500, Mathieu Gagné wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 12:21 PM Paul Belanger <pabelanger at redhat.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Greetings,
> > >
> > > I wanted to ask if anybody in the community is running VMware a top of
> > > OpenStack in any capacity?  In Ansible we are doing a POC as part of our
> > > testing platform and running into some common ops issue. For example,
> > > what do people usually do for things like using config-drive? Is there
> > > any specific tooling you us to customize esxi images to run atop
> > > OpenStack.
> > >
> > > Bascially, looking for humans to bounce questions off and see who else
> > > is doing it.
> > >
> >
> > We don't plan on running ESXi on top of KVM but alongside KVM on a
> > baremetal. So I won't be able to address that specific use case.
> >
> > However I can share with you what we are planning to do with
> > config-drive support. (we are actively working on it as I'm typing)
> >
> > At first, we tried to package Glean for VMware and install that
> > package when we built the image. The issue with that is that the
> > package isn't signed. This can affect support and prevent the overall
> > system from being updated due to the presence of an unsigned package.
> > You would need some kind of partnership with VMware to get it signed.
> >
> > We therefore switched to a firstboot script which can be configured in
> > the kickstart when building the image:
> > https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/com.vmware.esxi.upgrade.doc/GUID-61A14EBB-5CF3-43EE-87EF-DB8EC6D83698.html
> > (see %firstboot section)
> >
> > You can have multiple %firstboot section both using busybox or python
> > as an interpreter.
> >
> > We have multiple sections performing various steps:
> > 1) Find the config-drive partition. Since it's baremetal, config-drive
> > is a primary partition at the end of the disk.
> > 2) Load the iso9660 module
> > 3) Mount the config-drive
> > 4) A whole Python section which parses config-drive and perform
> > hostname/network/password/publickeys configuration.
> > 5) General cleanup: unmount config-drive, unload iso9660 module
> >
> > Now since it's a firstboot script, VMware no longer complains about
> > unsigned packages.
> >
> > I hope this help.
> >
> Nice, this is exactly the type of thing I was hoping for! Awesome!  In
> fact, my initial though too was also update glean adding vmware support,
> good to know somebody else tried this first.
> As for first boot, this too in the approach we are taking. A teammate
> has created a python script to do the same. My first question was, why
> couldn't that script be glean? That is the part I am a little confused
> about.

To install Glean, you would usually create a .vib package and install that.
But since the package isn't signed, VMware complains. This isn't good
if you want to have support from VMware.
That's why we are now using a firstboot script which is added and
executed from the kickstart, avoiding this whole package signing

> Also, are you interested in working on this 'python' script together
> upstream? I suspect we might be working to solve the same issue related
> to hostname, network, SSH.

I'm happy to help and share what we have done so far. I however don't
have a lot of bandwidth.
I used to work on that internal project months ago, that's why I still
have some knowledge about the subject.
A coworker took over it and I'm helping him whenever I can to answer
his questions.
He is supposed to work on it this week so I should be able to get more
material to share in the following days.


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