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

Mark Goddard mark at stackhpc.com
Fri Jun 10 08:54:30 UTC 2022

This has been discussed before, but it would be nice if we as a community
had an easier way to answer this question. I know many of us feel
conflicted about aggressively promoting our own projects over alternatives,
but also want to give them a fair chance. Maybe each project needs a "why
pick me" page that could be linked to in a standard response.


On Thu, 9 Jun 2022 at 16:40, Jonathan Rosser <jonathan.rosser at rd.bbc.co.uk>

> 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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