Configuring the Bare Metal (ironic) service (optional)

Configuring the Bare Metal (ironic) service (optional)


This feature is experimental at this time and it has not been fully production tested yet. These implementation instructions assume that ironic is being deployed as the sole hypervisor for the region.

Ironic is an OpenStack project which provisions bare metal (as opposed to virtual) machines by leveraging common technologies such as PXE boot and IPMI to cover a wide range of hardware, while supporting pluggable drivers to allow vendor-specific functionality to be added.

OpenStack’s ironic project makes physical servers as easy to provision as virtual machines in a cloud.

OpenStack-Ansible deployment

  1. Modify the environment files and force nova-compute to run from within a container:

    sed -i '/is_metal.*/d' /etc/openstack_deploy/env.d/nova.yml

Setup a neutron network for use by ironic

In a general case, neutron networking can be a simple flat network. However, in a complex case, this can be whatever you need and want. Ensure you adjust the deployment accordingly. The following is an example:

neutron net-create cleaning-net --shared \
                                --provider:network_type flat \
                                --provider:physical_network ironic-net

neutron subnet-create ironic-net --name ironic-subnet
                      --ip-version=4 \
                      --allocation-pool start=,end= \
                      --enable-dhcp \
                      --dns-nameservers list=true

Building ironic images

Images using the diskimage-builder must be built outside of a container. For this process, use one of the physical hosts within the environment.

  1. Install the necessary packages:

    apt-get install qemu uuid-runtime curl
  2. Install the disk-imagebuilder package:

    pip install diskimage-builder --isolated


    Only use the --isolated flag if you are building on a node deployed by OpenStack-Ansible, otherwise pip will not resolve the external package.

  3. Optional: Force the ubuntu image-create process to use a modern kernel:

    echo 'linux-image-generic-lts-xenial:' > \
  4. Create Ubuntu initramfs:

    disk-image-create ironic-agent ubuntu -o ${IMAGE_NAME}
  5. Upload the created deploy images into the Image (glance) Service:

    # Upload the deploy image kernel
    glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.kernel --visibility public \
     --disk-format aki --container-format aki < ${IMAGE_NAME}.kernel
    # Upload the user image initramfs
    glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.initramfs --visibility public \
     --disk-format ari --container-format ari < ${IMAGE_NAME}.initramfs
  6. Create Ubuntu user image:

    disk-image-create ubuntu baremetal localboot local-config dhcp-all-interfaces grub2 -o ${IMAGE_NAME}
  7. Upload the created user images into the Image (glance) Service:

    # Upload the user image vmlinuz and store uuid
    VMLINUZ_UUID="$(glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.vmlinuz --visibility public --disk-format aki --container-format aki  < ${IMAGE_NAME}.vmlinuz | awk '/\| id/ {print $4}')"
    # Upload the user image initrd and store uuid
    INITRD_UUID="$(glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.initrd --visibility public --disk-format ari --container-format ari  < ${IMAGE_NAME}.initrd | awk '/\| id/ {print $4}')"
    # Create image
    glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME} --visibility public --disk-format qcow2 --container-format bare --property kernel_id=${VMLINUZ_UUID} --property ramdisk_id=${INITRD_UUID} < ${IMAGE_NAME}.qcow2

Creating an ironic flavor

  1. Create a new flavor called my-baremetal-flavor.


    The following example sets the CPU architecture for the newly created flavor to be x86_64.

    nova flavor-create ${FLAVOR_NAME} ${FLAVOR_ID} ${FLAVOR_RAM} ${FLAVOR_DISK} ${FLAVOR_CPU}
    nova flavor-key ${FLAVOR_NAME} set cpu_arch=x86_64
    nova flavor-key ${FLAVOR_NAME} set capabilities:boot_option="local"


Ensure the flavor and nodes match when enrolling into ironic. See the documentation on flavors for more information:

After successfully deploying the ironic node on subsequent boots, the instance boots from your local disk as first preference. This speeds up the deployed node’s boot time. Alternatively, if this is not set, the ironic node PXE boots first and allows for operator-initiated image updates and other operations.


The operational reasoning and building an environment to support this use case is not covered here.

Enroll ironic nodes

  1. From the utility container, enroll a new baremetal node by executing the following:

    # Source credentials
    . ~/openrc
    # Create the node
    KERNEL_IMAGE=$(glance image-list | awk "/${IMAGE_NAME}.kernel/ {print \$2}")
    INITRAMFS_IMAGE=$(glance image-list | awk "/${IMAGE_NAME}.initramfs/ {print \$2}")
    ironic node-create \
          -d agent_ipmitool \
          -i ipmi_address="${IPMI_ADDRESS}" \
          -i ipmi_username="${IPMI_USER}" \
          -i ipmi_password="${IPMI_PASSWORD}" \
          -i deploy_ramdisk="${INITRAMFS_IMAGE}" \
          -i deploy_kernel="${KERNEL_IMAGE}" \
          -n ${NODE_HOSTNAME}
    # Create a port for the node
    ironic port-create \
          -n $(ironic node-list | awk "/${NODE_HOSTNAME}/ {print \$2}") \
          -a ${NODE_MACADDRESS}
    # Associate an image to the node
    ironic node-update $(ironic node-list | awk "/${IMAGE_NAME}/ {print \$2}") add \
        driver_info/deploy_kernel=$KERNEL_IMAGE \
        driver_info/deploy_ramdisk=$INITRAMFS_IMAGE \
        instance_info/deploy_kernel=$KERNEL_IMAGE \
        instance_info/deploy_ramdisk=$INITRAMFS_IMAGE \
    # Add node properties
    # The property values used here should match the hardware used
    ironic node-update $(ironic node-list | awk "/${NODE_HOSTNAME}/ {print \$2}") add \
        properties/cpus=48 \
        properties/memory_mb=254802 \
        properties/local_gb=80 \
        properties/size=3600 \
        properties/cpu_arch=x86_64 \

Deploy a baremetal node kicked with ironic


You will not have access unless you have a key set within nova before your ironic deployment. If you do not have an ssh key readily available, set one up with ssh-keygen.

nova keypair-add --pub-key ~/.ssh/ admin

Now boot a node:

nova boot --flavor ${FLAVOR_NAME} --image ${IMAGE_NAME} --key-name admin ${NODE_NAME}

Setup OpenStack-Ansible with ironic-OneView drivers

HP OneView is a single integrated platform, packaged as an appliance that implements a software-defined approach to managing physical infrastructure. The appliance supports scenarios such as deploying bare metal servers with ironic (Bare Metal service). In this context, the HP OneView driver enables the users of OneView to use ironic as a bare metal provider to their managed physical hardware.

Currently there are two ironic-OneView drivers:

  1. iscsi_pxe_oneview
  2. agent_pxe_oneview


When using the iscsi_pxe_oneview drivers, install ironic-conductor on metal. Add is_metal: true to the properties of the ironic_conductor_container section in /opt/openstack-ansible/ playbooks/inventory/env.d/ironic.yml before running the ironic installation playbook.

Considering that the ironic images and network are already in place. Configuring OpenStack-Ansible to set up ironic with the OneView drivers requires the following variables to be defined in /etc/openstack_deploy/user_variables:

## Ironic
   - pxe_ipmitool
   - agent_ipmitool
   - agent_pxe_oneview
   - iscsi_pxe_oneview
ironic_automated_clean: True

## Nova
nova_reserved_host_disk_mb: 0
nova_reserved_host_memory_mb: 0
nova_scheduler_host_subset_size: 99999999

## ironic-oneviewd
ironic_oneview_manager_url: "<oneview_url>"
ironic_oneview_username: "<oneview_username>"
ironic_oneview_password: "<oneview_password>"

Replace <oneview_*> with the respective OneView resources.

Run the os-ironic-install.yml playbook:

cd /opt/openstack-ansible/playbooks
openstack-ansible os-ironic-install.yml

Adding bare metal nodes

Ironic-OneView CLI is a command line interface tool for the OneView Drivers for ironic. It allows the user to easily create and configure ironic nodes, compatible with OneView Server Hardware objects, and create nova flavors to match available Ironic nodes that use OneView drivers. It also offers the option to migrate Ironic nodes using pre-allocation model to the dynamic allocation model.

  1. Install ironic-oneview-cli on the utility container:

    pip install ironic-oneview-cli
  2. Add the following variables to the openrc file:

    export OV_AUTH_URL=<oneview_url>
    export OV_USERNAME=<oneview_username>
    export OV_PASSWORD=<oneview_password>
    export OS_IRONIC_NODE_DRIVER=<ironic_driver>
    export OS_IRONIC_DEPLOY_KERNEL_UUID=<kernel_deploy_image_id>
    export OS_IRONIC_DEPLOY_RAMDISK_UUID=<ramdisk_deploy_image_id>

    Replace <*_id> with the ID of the respective resource. Also replace <oneview_*> with the respective OneView resources and <ironic_driver> with the driver being used to manage the node.


    Optionally we can use ironic-oneview-cli to generate a configuration file by running the following command:

    ironic-oneview genrc
  3. Create Ironic nodes, based on available HPE OneView Server Hardware objects, by running the following command:

    . openrc
    ironic-oneview node-create

    The tool will ask you to choose a valid Server Profile Template from those retrieved from HPE OneView appliance:

    Retrieving Server Profile Templates from OneView...
    | Id | Name                   | Enclosure Group Name | Server Hardware Type Name |
    | 1  | template-dcs-virt-enc3 | virt-enclosure-group | BL460c Gen8 3             |
    | 2  | template-dcs-virt-enc4 | virt-enclosure-group | BL660c Gen9 1             |

    Once a valid Server Profile Template has been chosen, the tool lists the available Server Hardware that match the chosen Server Profile Template. Choose a Server Hardware to be used as base to the Ironic node:

    Listing compatible Server Hardware objects...
    | Id | Name            | CPUs | Memory MB | Local GB | Enclosure Group Name | Server Hardware Type Name |
    | 1  | VIRT-enl, bay 5 | 8    | 32768     | 120      | virt-enclosure-group | BL460c Gen8 3             |
    | 2  | VIRT-enl, bay 8 | 8    | 32768     | 120      | virt-enclosure-group | BL460c Gen8 3             |


    Multiple Ironic nodes can be created at once by typing multiple Server Hardware IDs separated by blank spaces.

    The created Ironic nodes will be in the enroll provisioning state, going to the manageable state then cleaning. After a susccesfull cleaning the node should be on the available state. This means that the node is ready to be provisioned.

Creating flavors

Run the following command to create Nova flavors compatible with available Ironic nodes:

. openrc
ironic-oneview flavor-create

The tool will now prompt you to choose a valid flavor configuration, according to available Ironic nodes:

| Id | CPUs | Disk GB | Memory MB | Server Profile Template             | Server Hardware Type | Enclosure Group Name    |
| 1  | 8    | 120     | 8192      | second-virt-server-profile-template | BL460c Gen8 3        | virt-enclosure-group    |

After choosing a valid configuration ID, you will be prompted to name the new flavor. Leaving the field blank, a default name will be used.

Deploying a bare metal node

Boot the node with the previously created flavor:

nova boot --flavor <flavor_name> --image <image_name> --key-name <key>

Replace <flavor_name> with the name of the flavor created using ironic-oneview, also replace <image_name> with the name of the image to be used to provision the node (user image) and <key_name> with the key.

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