Fuel is an open source deployment and management tool for OpenStack. Developed as an OpenStack community effort, it provides an intuitive, GUI-driven experience for deployment and management of a variety of OpenStack distributions and plug-ins.
Fuel brings consumer-grade simplicity to streamline and accelerate the otherwise time-consuming, often complex, and error-prone process of deploying various configuration flavors of OpenStack at scale. Unlike other platform-specific deployment or management utilities, Fuel is an upstream OpenStack project that focuses on automating the deployment of OpenStack and a range of third-party options, so it’s not compromised by hard bundling or vendor lock-in.
Fuel automatically discovers any bare-metal and virtual nodes configured to boot from network. Once they are identified and bootstrapped, Fuel presents a complete picture of nodes ready for allocation, so you can assign roles and resources across your cloud. Fuel then runs pre-flight validations to ensure your network is configured properly, to overcome one of the most common start-up configuration problems in OpenStack deployment.
For example, DHCP conflicts are often not visible to conventional network checks. Fuel flags and exposes errors before and after node allocation, cutting debug time and ensuring timely deployment of your OpenStack cluster.
Given the wide array of configuration decisions you need to make in any OpenStack cluster, Fuel helps you get started through a consumer-grade, step-by-step wizard. It simplifies and sequences the array of configuration options you need to work through, to let you select your:
Host operating system
Hypervisors (including VMware)
Storage back ends (including Ceph)
Controller configuration specific to the high availability (HA) needs of your OpenStack environment
Controllers can be deployed on dedicated nodes or on virtual machines for a small footprint.
The wizard also simplifies iterative reconfiguration and redeployment of successive clusters as your environments grow and change.
Fuel helps to avoid lock-in by letting you choose from deployment with CentOS or Ubuntu as the host operating system. Mirantis validates the distros directly from trunk, so that you can use Fuel to maintain OpenStack.
OpenStack packages distributed with Mirantis OpenStack are pulled directly from the trunk and bug-fixed ahead of the community release. In addition to all of the core OpenStack packages, Mirantis OpenStack includes HA components and related OpenStack projects to maximize the resiliency and value of your OpenStack environment.
In addition to KVM and QEMU, Mirantis OpenStack lets you choose VMWare vCenter as your hypervisor technology, providing access to compute resources from attached ESXi servers. That means that if you have an existing VMware vCenter/ESX-based server environment, you can use those servers as compute resources for Mirantis OpenStack. Fuel installs a Nova compute service with the VMWare vCenter server driver activated onto a controller node. This service then communicates directly with vCenter so that the OpenStack scheduler can create VM instances on ESXi servers.
In addition to its intuitive GUI, Fuel provides a set of high-level APIs, that can be used by various applications and services to perform deployment and management of OpenStack clusters, such as to:
Create a cloud
Add a node to an existing cloud
Assign one or more roles to any node, or replicate a single role across many nodes
Delete a node from a cloud
Sort and filter nodes by attributes
Set volumes and/or partition hard disks across multiple physical hosts all at once
Collect, parse, organize, and download logs
Specify underlay network topology using network templates
Fuel provides a broad suite of tests that validate whether all key services are running in your OpenStack cloud, and also executes real-world functional tests to isolate problems in specific OpenStack subsystems. High availability cloud services and related OpenStack projects are also validated to confirm that they behave and operate as expected.