novajoin and the 2016 OpenStack Barcelona Summit

The nova v2 vendordata (dynamic vendordata plugins) came up at the 2016 OpenStack Summit in Barcelona. It was expected at the outset to be a fairly short meeting since the two proposals were seemingly straightfoward: add authentication and caching. It ended up using all 40 minutes but in the end wasn’t all that contentious.

It was decided that authentication would be sent in all cases to the configured vendordata plugins. There was some brief discussion about whether the user token would be included but as I took it, nova would use its own (or some pre-configured) credential. This will require some paste configuration changes in novajoin but authentication should otherwise be supported.

The metadata server will also cache responses. Exactly how long, what, etc is TBD. If I remember I’ll update this post with the gerrit review link once it comes out.

The idea is to commit to master than back port to Newton stable.

The contentious part was related to that user token I mentioned. Adam Young from Keystone wanted that token to be sent along, even if expired, so one could know the roles of the user that kicked things off. The problem of course is that the user is just a snapshot in time. Roles change. Users are deleted. Apparently some users completely hammer on the metadata service today, some as frequently as every few minutes. At some point things could break if that user went away.

I was ambivalent about it. Adam’s point was that it could be used for access control which is a good idea. I think that if the roles were cached instead of the user, that might make more sense. But even then people would complain that they revoked or added access and the user can/can’t do things. It’s a no-win I think. I kept my mouth shut in any case.

In the end this is good news for novajoin. I was quite uncomfortable having unauthenticated requests at all (e.g. metadata requests from an instance) so that’ll go away soon.

The caching will solve the problems I had bending over backwards with the IPA OTP. There could still be problems if the time to enroll the instance > nova metadata cache so I’ll probably leave in my “last update wins” code, but this does make things a bit more predictable and will certainly be faster.

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