[openstack-ansible] [kolla-ansible] Which deployment tool for first timer?

Laurent Dumont laurentfdumont at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 00:02:26 UTC 2022

For the sake of figuring out your options, I would also look at what
features do you actually require at the Openstack level.

I would start with the following questions to identify gaps or advantages
between the two tools.

   - What Openstack projects do you require beyond the basic services?
      - Manilla, Trove, Skydive, Octavia, Ceilometer?
   - What network topologies are you looking to support?
      - OVS, OVN, SRIOV?
   - What support model are you looking for?
      - Using community deployers means you wear many different hats. Don't
      get me wrong, support through IRC and mailing lists is great but it's a
      community effort. If this breaks at 2AM, you will be mostly on your own.
      - Canonical can offer a Juju based deployment for Openstack with
      commercial support.
      - RedHat offers RHOSP that is based around tripleo with commercial
   - Are you expecting to configure CEPH through your deployer?
   - Are there any specific tech you are already familiar with in either

I am actually working on some deep dive into kolla-ansible and
ansible-openstack for $work but I am a bit early in that process.

In the end, like Jonathan mentioned, they both are a means to an end.

That said, it is fair to say that having two different tools that
essentially serve the same purpose is a strange position to be in. But I
guess that comes with the flexibility of opensource!

On Thu, Jun 9, 2022 at 2:07 PM Dave Hall <kdhall at binghamton.edu> wrote:

> Jonathan,
> Thank you for replying.  I want to stress that I also understand that both
> Openstack-Ansible and Kolla-Ansible are serious projects and that I
> would not try to play one against the other.  I do perceive that although
> both use Ansible, both also take different approaches in their organization
> and configuration.
> My query was whether one might be easier for beginners to grok whereas the
> other might be the tool of choice for the enlightened ones.  Or perhaps
> it's just that Kolla uses Docker instead of LXC.
> It's just a lot to learn either way - this is big software.
> Regarding Openstack-Ansible, I will check out the IRC, although last I
> knew the University was blocking all IRC.
> I will also ask more questions here.
> Thanks.
> -Dave
> --
> Dave Hall
> Binghamton University
> kdhall at binghamton.edu
> On Thu, Jun 9, 2022 at 11:35 AM Jonathan Rosser <
> jonathan.rosser at rd.bbc.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hi Dave,
>> I have been hesitating to reply to your mailing list post because it
>> doesn't feel right to pitch two community tools against each other here on
>> the mailing list - so i won't do that here.
>> I would say that the deployment tool is a means to an end. So you should
>> look at the technology choices, upgrade paths, support for "day 2
>> operations", how bugs get addressed, documentation, operator experience etc
>> etc. Only you can decide which is appropriate for the constraints and
>> requirements of your deployment.
>> My reply will obviously be biassed, as I am a big contributor to
>> openstack-ansible. My observation is that the operators that gain the most
>> out of any of these tools are the ones who engage with the community around
>> those tools, primarily in the case of openstack-ansible that would be
>> through our IRC channel, weekly meetings and bug reports on Launchpad. You
>> will gain insight and be able to leverage the knowledge of other operators
>> who in some cases have literally written the book on various aspects of
>> OpenStack. Trying to fight though every decision or problem on your own is
>> the worst way to approach using any of these community driven tools.
>> If you instead want a more "shrink wrap" approach to an installer, or
>> more formal support, then it would be wise to look at the product oriented
>> offerings from the large vendors.
>> Both openstack-ansible and kolla-ansible will expect you to make a good
>> number of decisions about the specifics of your deployment, for example
>> storage, networking and security concerns. Both would also expect you to
>> gain sufficient knowledge about how OpenStack itself works to be able to
>> make good use of the customization opportunities that both provide. This is
>> really the unique selling point of the community tooling, you get a very
>> high degree of customization potential but that can come at the cost of
>> some complexity.
>> As you are already using openstack-ansible I would suggest that you
>> continue, but as I've already said I have an existing interest here and I
>> really don't want to start a tooling debate. Join us in IRC in
>> #openstack-ansible and discuss any pain points you have. This way we can
>> hopefully help you out, or address specific issues in the code - you may
>> have discovered legitimate bugs or a use case that is not straightforward
>> to fulfill. This is how all of the community tools get improved and evolved
>> over time.
>> On one specific point I would recommend that you move entirely to Debian
>> 11 as Xena will be the last release that openstack-ansible supports Buster.
>> I'm not sure there is a fool-proof installer really. Installing the code
>> is one thing, being effective though upgrades and applying bugfixes to a
>> production environment is a different and a more important concern in the
>> long term. Both openstack-ansible and kolla-ansible offer "all-in-one"
>> deployments which are intended as "should-just-work" demonstrators of how
>> things fit together and for lightweight testing. Scaling those out to
>> larger deployments is where the real work is, and neither tool sets out to
>> be particularly prescriptive about some parts of how you build your
>> environment.
>> Hopefully this is helpful,
>> Jonathan.
>> On 09/06/2022 15:58, Dave Hall wrote:
>> Hello,
>> My question is about OpenStack-Ansible vs. Kolla-Ansible.  While I am
>> sensitive to the effort that has been put into both of these projects, what
>> I really need right now is the most fool-proof way to deploy and manage a
>> small production cluster for academic instructional use.
>> (BTW, I do understand that there are other differences between Kolla and
>> regular openstack.)
>> I have been working for a couple months with OpenStack-Ansible to deploy
>> a small (3-node) Xena test cluster on VirtualBox VMs in preparation for a
>> larger deployment on real hardware - 6 to 10 nodes.  My VirtualBox
>> deployment has been:
>> Debian 11 deployment, Debian 10 infra, compute, and storage nodes
>> It has been slow going, at least partially due to some issues and
>> limitations with VirtualBox (and Vagrant early on).  However, deploying a
>> test cluster on VMs still seems preferable to just diving into deployment
>> on real hardware and going through multiple scrubs/reinstalls.
>> I've recently seen more posts in the list about Kolla-Ansible.  So, as a
>> 'beginner', should I shift and look at Kolla-Ansible, or should I stay
>> the course and continue with Openstack-Ansible?  What are the pros and
>> cons of each?
>> For that matter, is there some other deployment mechanism that would be
>> more fool-proof for a first-timer?  Although I'm more familiar with Ansible
>> than the other tools (Chef, Puppet, etc.) I'm most interested in how to get
>> a cluster up and running regardless of the underlying tools.
>> Thanks.
>> -Dave
>> --
>> Dave Hall
>> Binghamton University
>> kdhall at binghamton.edu
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