[Openstack-operators] Call for sponsorship: hardware for Debian OpenStack packages functional testing

Thomas Goirand zigo at debian.org
Wed Nov 8 19:51:56 UTC 2017

tl;dr: I need hardware to run tempest on Debian + OpenStack. I wouldn't
refuse sponsorship of my work either.

Dear everyone,

As you may know, I have been packaging OpenStack in Debian nearly since
it existed (ie: since the Cactus release).

I used to be a Mirantis employee, though like many others from the
company, I've been "let go" last year (that's the wording of the
Mirantis marketing people... though I didn't want to go!). At the
moment, I'm still unemployed, even though I have very serious
opportunities offered to me.

Anyway, the thing is, every time my professional situation changes, I am
loosing the access to hardware used to do functional testing of the
Debian OpenStack packages. Currently, I don't have a server to run on,
so I cannot check if Pike works as expected.

I already had some offers from companies to use hardware that they also
would host. However, this also feels like not sustainable over a long
period of time. I would very much prefer to have such a hardware hosted
within the Debian infrastructure. Which is why I am hereby calling for
sponsorship of such a hardware.

Note that I already made such a request to the DSA team (Debian System
Administrators), and it was denied because they don't want to make
OpenStack a special case. Normally, DDs are supposed to test packages
themselves when uploading to Debian.

There's 3 types of setup that my current scripts are able to support:
1/ A Xen VM.
2/ A KVM vm.
3/ A Debian live system running on bare metal, which is reseted using
IMPI (using an ipmitool command).

It's that last one which is performing the best, because it's running on
bare metal, which avoids nested virtualization. Also, reinstalling the
system means simply doing a reset and waiting for the the server to be
up again. Last, the system runs on a tempfs, and IOPs are therefore a
way faster than on a normal disk (HDD / SSD). The local HDD is then used
as a scratch disk for testing Cinder and Swift, instead of a local
loopback in the case of KVM or Xen (so again, much faster). It also
needs to have IPMI, and preferably also KVM over IP.

The speed of the system used to do the functional testing is important,
because the time for setting-up the system is around 20 minutes (on
option 3 above, slower in other cases), then it takes roughly 1 hour to
run the functional test with tempest. Typically, such a debug process is
ran multiple times, iteratively, fixing one problem after another.

The hardware I last used was a multi-core 64 bits x86 system with 32 GB
of RAM, and an SSD scratch disk (100 GB of a single SSD is enough), plus
a server to run PXE network boot: tftp server, dhcp server, and apache
to provide the squashfs image to the server. That's about what I need.

Also, to be able to PXE boot the server, I need a 2nd server to run
dhcp, pxe and apache. On that server, I would run Xen to be able to also
install Jenkins server to do package build on each git push, which
avoids a lot of RC bugs in Debian, and speeds up therefore packaging.

So, all together, I'm searching for someone to sponsor:
- A 32 GB RAM server with at least 2 cores, and 100 GB SSD, and 2 nics
at least
and either:
- A 2nd server with a minimum of 1GB RAM & 20GB HDD and 2 nics
but preferably:
- 64 or even better 128 GB RAM, so I can host Jenkins servers and Debian
repositories (one per release, using virtualization), with a large
enough HDD to host the full set of packages per release: a pair of 1TB
HDD or more using RAID1 (or even better: 4 HDD with RAID10 for better
performances) seems a good choice to me.

If you are able to sponsor such a hardware, and send it either to
Univercity of British Columbia, or to Bytemarks in UK, please get in
touch with me.

Last thing. A number of companies offered me to sponsor my work
packaging OpenStack for Debian: at least 4 companies already. It really
feels like a number of companies were using my work over the years.
However, it never went through. As I've been unemployed for a long time,
I probably will accept a job not directly related to the packaging of
OpenStack. So if you wish that I continue what I've done, sponsoring is
welcome too. To such a sponsor, I can offer more than just the
packaging: I can offer my help for deploying OpenStack, and maintaining
it in production, plus whatever that company will need related to that,
and this either on Debian or Ubuntu (I can provide support for both,
even if my heart is on the Debian side). I also would accept any job
that would include OpenStack Debian packaging, and if it can be done
remote, from my home. The risk if this doesn't happen, is that the
Debian packaging of OpenStack stops. It was the case for Mitaka already,
and I decided to do Newton on my free time. I probably wont be able to
do that again for Queens, if I'm not paid for it: it's clearly not a
sustainable situation.


Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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