Getting to Know the Components of Mirantis OpenStack Express

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When you sign up for Mirantis OpenStack Express, you will receive an e-mail with login credentials for your Mirantis OpenStack Express Dashboard.  This is one of the three dashboards that enable you to manage your Mirantis OpenStack Express environment.  Those dashboards are:

  • Mirantis OpenStack Express Dashboard — You can think of this Dashboard as your 10,000 foot view of all of your cloud environments.  It has basic information such as the number of servers, login credentials and relevant IP address information for accessing the environment.

  • Fuel Control Plane Dashboard — This is where you manage your clouds and your cloud resources.  This is your multi-cloud management platform, enabling you to define the resources that make up your clouds and deploy relevant projects, such as Murano, Sahara or Ceilometer when you build your clouds.  You can also manage existing clouds.

  • Mirantis OpenStack Horizon Dashboard — This is the Horizon console component of OpenStack, where you define the components inside your OpenStack environment, such as tenants, networks and virtual machines. Because you can manage multiple clouds with Fuel, every cloud you create will have it’s own unique Horizon Dashboard.

Now let’s look at each dashboard in more detail.

Mirantis OpenStack Express Dashboard

When you first login to Mirantis OpenStack Express, you are presented with the Mirantis OpenStack Express Dashboard:



This dashboard shows you key information regarding your cloud, including:
  • The URL for the Fuel Control Plane Dashboard, referred to as the “Data Center Management URL”
  • The credentials for the Fuel Control Plane Dashboard
  • The credentials for the Fuel Control Plane Server (SSH)
  • The list of floating IP addresses associated with your Data Center
  • The URL to the Mirantis OpenStack Horizon Dashboard
  • The credentials for the Mirantis OpenStack Horizon Dashboard
  • The list of nodes in your Data Center
You can also add or remove physical servers by clicking the Configure button on the top right and increasing or decreasing number of the servers that make up your environment. Note that you can only remove “unallocated” servers.

Finally, you can delete your entire environment from this page, freeing up all resources and returning them back to the global pool.

Fuel Control Plane Dashboard

Accessing the URL for the Fuel Control Plane Dashboard will show your deployed cloud:



NOTE: You may receive a certificate warning when accessing this page. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your connection has been compromised. Your browser shows you this warning because the certificate is using ‘fuelmaster’ as the server name, and we are accessing the server using the IP address. To reassure yourself, check to see that the connection is still encrypted by viewing the warning itself, which should look something like this:

From here, you can drill down to see the Express cloud that was built for you to see the nodes that make up your OpenStack Deployment:



When you first sign up for Mirantis OpenStack Express, a single cloud is created for you as a convenience. However, there is no reason you need to keep the cloud that was created for you. You can select nodes from that cloud and click the Delete button to return those nodes to the Unallocated Nodes resource pool and then create additional clouds from those newly freed resources.

You can find a full user guide for Fuel on the Mirantis website.

Mirantis OpenStack Horizon Dashboard

Click the URL from the Mirantis OpenStack Express Dashboard to launch a browser to the Horizon login page:



From here, you can use the credentials from the Mirantis OpenStack Express Dashboard page to login and view your environment. Because Mirantis OpenStack is a Pure Play OpenStack distribution, you can find explanations of all of the functionality and usage of OpenStack on the official OpenStack documentation page, but the basic idea is that Horizon gives you access to all of the “knobs and levers” you need to perform tasks such as creating instances, managing networks, and configuring storage. Horizon also acts as the front end for OpenStack projects such as Sahara and Murano.



Each additional cloud you create will have its own Horizon URL, which you can find on the Fuel dashboard. Only the initial cloud’s Horizon URL is reported in the Mirantis OpenStack Express dashboard.

Want to read more?  This article is an excerpt from our new guide, Mirantis OpenStack Express: Application On-boarding Guide (currently in beta).  Please let us know what you think.

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