“Not Our Software” Is No Excuse for Forklift Upgrades: CI/CD Using MCP DriveTrain — Q&A

These days, technology moves much too quickly for “forklift upgrades”, where you go for months or even years between versions of a software package. Not only are you depriving your users of features they can be using and keeping developers from getting valuable user feedback, you’re also increasing the risk that when you DO upgrade, you’re going to have problems.

drivetrain-lcm-thumb-1200x675Last week we spoke to Ryan Day about using Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) to keep not just your own software, but also externally produced software, up to date. It’s a subject that’s close to our hearts; Mirantis Cloud Platform is more than just OpenStack, adding not just Kubernetes but also DriveTrain, a unified cloud deployment and Infrastructure as Code tool.

You can view the whole webinar, and Ryan’s answered the Q&As here in this blog.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in seeing how DriveTrain can help you get a handle on your infrastructure, contact us, and we’ll be happy to show you how it’s done.

Q: Are OpenStack and Kubernetes are deployed in containers?

A: Containers provide a number of different advantages, and our goal is to eventually containerize all of the appropriate OpenStack services, but as they weren’t originally designed to be containerized, we want to make sure we proceed carefully to maintain the robustness Mirantis OpenStack is known for.  For this reason, in Mirantis Cloud Platform 1.0, some DriveTrain components are deployed in containers, but Kubernetes and OpenStack are installed with packages. Containerized OpenStack services are in Mirantis’ product roadmap.

Q: I’m currently having hardware difficulties deploying Fuel. Are there any specific hardware or network requirements for MCP?

If you’re having hardware difficulty with Fuel in Mirantis OpenStack 9.0 (MOS) or older, it could be related to the specific drivers packaged in the MOS ISO. However, with MCP, we rely primarily on Ubuntu’s hardware compatibility rather than packaged drivers. With regard to changing configuration options to suit various hardware choices, this is actually much easier with MCP because of the CI/CD nature of the software.

Q: Is it possible to download and test MCP without a support contract or managed services?

The best thing to do here is to contact us, so you can speak with an MCP expert, ask questions and see how MCP relates to your own use case.

Q: Does DriveTrain work with other OpenStack distributions?

Mirantis Cloud Platform is designed with a philosophy of “open cloud”, so theoretically, you can replace the “OpenStack” part of the deployment with another distribution. You would have to test/integrate to accommodate the differences in the distributions, but if you were really determined, you could do it. As you might expect, however, Mirantis has only tested DriveTrain with Mirantis OpenStack (MOS).

Q: Can I use salt to deploy to bare-metal?

You can use MaaS, Ironic, Foreman, and other tools to install an operating system on bare-metal, as long as they also install a salt minion agent. From this point on, Salt is responsible for all configuration, even on bare-metal. (I should note that at the moment, Salt automation of MaaS bare-metal provisioning is currently in tech-preview.)

Q: Does DriveTrain follow DevOps pipeline practices for open source projects?

Mirantis will continue to package and harden open-source cloud platforms such as OpenStack and Kubernetes, and we’ll continue to contribute back to the various communities whose tools we use. For example, in addition to OpenStack and Kubernetes, we leverage open source components for DriveTrain and StackLight, and any time we make improvements to those projects we will contribute those patches. That also goes for Salt formulas, which are also open source and are available at http://github.com/salt-formulas.

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