ExoGENI OpenStack Upgrade 2019

This short post is to announce the upcoming upgrade to all ExoGENI sites to a new version of OpenStack (Stein) and a new version of ORCA. We expect stability improvements from this upgrade as well as a few new features:

  • Provide access to Horizon GUI for users running VMs on ExoGENI sites. Once a slice is created, temporary Horizon credentials will be passed to the user via manifest and you will be able to login to the site’s Horizon desktop and manipulate your instances or take image snapshots. This improves debugging of e.g. boot issues. Example Flukes screen shown here.
  • Switch from EMI/EKI VM image type to QCOW2. Unfortunately this renders all existing user VM images unusable, however this change will greatly simplify the creation of VM images for our experimenters
    • A new image type has been added to ExoGENI image descriptors as the example below demonstrates:
<images>
     <image>
          <type>QCOW2</type>
          <signature>949282e0457af31ca7d91ff12e839dcb4ddd415f</signature>
          <url>http://geni-images.renci.org/images/standard/centos-comet/centos6.10-comet/centos6.10-comet.qcow2</url>
     </image>
</images>
  • There will be two ways by which you can create a new image – through Vagrant using qemu-img export utility and through the standard OpenStack tools – users will be able to take a snapshot of their running VM using the tools and then export the image out of the site for use on ExoGENI. Both of these methods will be described in the follow-on blog posts.
  • We will provide a number of starter images via the ImageRegistry that the experimenters can use as a starting point for their experiments after the upgrade. All old images will be invalidated and removed from the registry.
  • QCOW2 enables support for nested virtualization (with appropriate guest OS support), which will also become available on ExoGENI after the upgrade.
  • There are a few fixes to the ORCA functionality (in addition to supporting the new OpenStack) that are described in the release documentation.

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