How we orchestrate OpenStack at Prozeta

Orchestration of infrastructure at Prozeta relies on the “role and profile” principle, using an orchestration stack based on Puppet, Foreman and Hiera.

Puppet and Foreman

Our orchestrated infrastructure is based primarily on Foreman and its surrounding ecosystem – Puppet, PuppetDB, Hiera and r10k.

We incorporate all of these components into our home-grown project called Mother, referring to a higher level “orchestration of orchestrator”. This allows us to easily create isolated orchestrators for cloud environments just by creating a Hiera configuration and spawning a VM.

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So, what this BlackStor really is?

Running an OpenStack platform is a never ending story of debugging and searching for the best possible components, including the storage subsystem. It is very naive to think that OpenStack is just about a one-time installation and running of GUI or API interfaces.

One of the challenges we were facing was in replicating/triplicating storage across multiple datacenters with the lowest possible latency and highest throughput.  At the beginning we were, as most other providers, running Ceph. Unfortunately that was a huge mistake which at the end of the day cost us a lot of wasted effort. However this article is not about Ceph storage…

In 2016 we entered a close cooperation with a company called Linbit, guys who invented a well-known storage technology called DRBD. DRBD has been an “old school”, part of the Linux world for many years. What it does is basically replicate block devices over the network. Version 9 supports up to 32 replicate copies of a single resource. But if you want to use it in a cloud environment, it’s necessary to do much more – to orchestrate on multiple levels.

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BlackStor – The White Hat in Cloud Storage 2/2

At the beginning of 2016, our Operations team started investigating other storage options. We had a lot of requirements – a solution that is stable, reliable, fast, predictable, can scale horizontally and vertically, doesn’t kill all the resources, is manageable, integratable with our metrics and monitoring systems, extendable and transparent (so no black box dependency on a single vendor). That is the point where DRBD came into play as a possible underlying technology. Continue reading “BlackStor – The White Hat in Cloud Storage 2/2”