[tc] [ironic] Promoting ironic to a top-level opendev project?

Dmitry Tantsur dtantsur at redhat.com
Thu Apr 2 10:38:02 UTC 2020


On Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 12:17 PM Jean-Philippe Evrard <
jean-philippe at evrard.me> wrote:

> Hello,
> My opinion (a little bit conservative, for once) is inline...
> On Wed, 2020-04-01 at 19:03 +0200, Dmitry Tantsur wrote:
> The first and the main reason is the ambiguity in our positioning. We do
> see prospective operators and users confused by the perception that Ironic
> is a part of OpenStack, especially when it comes to the standalone use
> case.
> “But what if I don’t need OpenStack” is a question that I hear in most of
> these conversations. Changing from “a part of OpenStack” to “a FOSS tool
> that can integrate with OpenStack” is critical for our project to keep
> growing into new fields.
> I think the name "Ironic" associated with the term "bare metal" maps to
> OpenStack. You are right.
> It's in the heads of the people who were involved, in the search engines,
> etc.
> However, I am not 100% sure it maps with "needs Nova" or "cannot be
> standalone".

People do get surprised when they hear that Ironic can be used standalone,
yes. "A part of OpenStack" maps to "installed inside OpenStack" rather than
"is developed on the OpenStack platform".

> If you consider OpenStack taints this "standalone" part of Ironic, do you
> think that putting it as a top project of the **OpenStack Foundation **
> will help? I don't think so. People will still see it's an OpenStack
> _related_ technology, with a history of being an OpenStack project, which
> is now a standalone project inside the OpenStack foundation. At best, it
> confuses people which are not really aware of all these details.

Time to rename the Foundation? :) How is the same problem solved for Zuul
or Kata Containers?

> If you really want to leave OpenStack for standalone purpose, I would
> encourage to try a more radical approach, like gnocchi, who completely
> split out. Sadly it didn't turn out fine for them, but at least the
> difference was clear. It was out.

As an aside, I don't think gnocchi fell victim of their split, but rather
shared the overall fate of the Telemetry project.

I also think your suggestion goes against the idea of OpenDev, which to me
is to embrace a fast collection of Open Infrastructure projects, related to
OpenStack or not. If you say that anything going to OpenDev will be seen as
an OpenStack project, it defeats the purpose of OpenDev.

> Again, I don't think that being in the "openstack" namespace prevents
> standalone.
> In fact that's what I would like to see more with our current openstack
> projects: Be relevant as standalone. Swift and Ironic are very good
> examples. They make sense in OpenStack, as standalone services, that happen
> to work well together in an ecosystem for IaaS. The whole point of the
> OpenStack name, for me, is the coordinated testing and releasing. "Those
> independents bits are tested together!".
> Can't we work on the branding, naming, and message without the move? Why
> the hassle of moving things? Does that really bring value to your team?
> Before forging my final (personal) opinion, I would like more information
> than just gut feelings.

It's not "just gut feelings", it's the summary of numerous conversations
that Julia and I have to hold when advocating for Ironic outside of the
Nova context. We do this "Ironic does not imply OpenStack" explanation over
and over, often enough unsuccessfully.

And then some people just don't like OpenStack...

Now, I do agree that there are steps that can be taken before we go all
nuclear. We can definitely work on our own website, we can reduce reliance
on oslo, start releasing independently, and so on. I'm wondering what will
be left of our participation in OpenStack in the end. Thierry has suggested
the role of the TC in ensuring integration. I'm of the opinion that if all
stakeholders in Ironic lose interest in Ironic as part of OpenStack, no
power will prevent the integration from slowly falling apart.

> To me personally it feels in line with how OpenDev itself is reaching into
> new areas beyond just the traditional IaaS. The next OpenDev even will
> apparently have a bare metal management track, so why not a top-level
> project for it?
> I like the OpenDev idea, but I cannot unshake this off the OSF. In other
> words, I am not sure how far it goes "beyond the traditional IaaS" in my
> mind, because the OSF (and OpenDev) have missions after all. Would you care
> to explain for me? How does that map with the ironic reflection? I am
> confused, Ironic _for me_ is an infrastructure tool...

I'm referring to a very narrow sense of Nova+company. I.e. a solution for
providing virtual machines booting from virtual volumes on virtual
networks. Ironic does not clearly fit there, nor does, say, Zuul.

> Another reason is release cadence. We have repeatedly expressed the desire
> to release Ironic and its sub-projects more often than we do now. Granted,
> *technically* we can release often even now. We can even abandon the
> current release model and switch to “independent”, but it doesn’t entirely
> solve the issue at hand.
> First, we don’t want to lose the notion of stable branches.
> Independant doesn't mean _not branching_. In the old times, before
> cycle-trailing existed, OpenStack-Ansible was independent, we manually
> branched, and used the release tooling to do official releases. It's pretty
> close to what you are looking for, IMO.

Good point, noted.

> One way or another, we need to support consumers with bug fix releases.
> Second, to become truly “independent” we’ll need to remove any tight
> coupling with any projects that do integrated releases. Which is,
> essentially, what I’m proposing here.
> That's for me the simplest change you can do. When you move to
> independant, while still benefit from the release tooling and help of your
> current reviewer sets.
> Please note that I am still writing an idea in our ideas framework,
> proposing a change in the release cycles (that conversation again! but with
> a little twist), which I guess you might be interested in.

Please let me know when it's ready, I really am.


> Regards,
> Jean-Philippe Evrard
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