July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Ironic: A modern approach to hardware provisioning

2:30pm–3:10pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Sponsored E141
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 3 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Ironic is a modern open-source tool for hardware provisioning. Combining a RESTful API, a scale-out control plane, and pluggable hardware drivers for both in- and out-of-band management, Ironic installs operating systems in a fast, efficient, and reliable fashion.

In fact, Ironic does not “install” an operating system in the traditional sense – it doesn’t use a kickstart/preseed file or an ISO image. Instead, compressed machine images are copied onto each host, and a minimal configuration (IP, host name, SSH keys) is applied at first boot. This guarantees the consistency of the initial state of each machine in a way that traditional installers do not. Bonus: it’s also faster!

With a vibrant community of developers from the most popular server hardware vendors, Ironic’s support for many of the latest and greatest management technologies is coming directly from the creators of these technologies. Meanwhile, the project’s leaders work to create a common abstraction layer that provides a consistent experience across all supported hardware. But Ironic is still a young project – it was only started in 2013 – and there is much on the roadmap.

In this session, Devananda will demonstrate how to install Ironic with Ansible, modify a cloud image for bare metal, and deploy it to a server. He will discuss the history and architecture of the project, and its current goals and challenges. Attendees should be familiar with the task of hardware provisioning and standards like PXE and IPMI, but do not need deep knowledge of related tools.

This session is sponsored by HP

Photo of Devananda van der Veen

Devananda van der Veen

HP Cloud

Devananda van der Veen has been building distributed systems with open source software for the past 15 years. Until recently he worked primarily with MySQL, building tools and providing consulting services for a few well-known companies, and occasionally speaking about his experiences. In 2012, Devananda began working on OpenStack, initially contributing to the Nova project, and founding the Ironic project a year later. He is committed to OpenStack’s success and the long-term health of this vibrant and open community, and has served on the OpenStack Technical Committee, the project’s technical policy board. Devananda is currently employed by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, where he is also leading a small engineering team. While calling Seattle “home base,” he can often be found speaking about Ironic and OpenStack at conferences around the world.