Malleable Metal as a Service (M2)

Elastic Secure Infrastructure

Overview

BMI provides a provisioning and imaging service for bare-metal nodes on top of HIL, where the boot disk is network mounted. Boot disk images are stored in Ceph and accessed over iSCSI by the booting nodes, with local HDD/SSD optionally used for ephemeral storage. The use of Ceph allows sophisticated image management (e.g., snapshotting, and cloning from a master) similarly to that available in virtualized environments, while iSCSI allows access at near-local disk speeds (or faster).

Motivation

M2 enables us to re-purpose nodes to a project, and then re-purpose them to the original project, by pointing the node to the original image, avoiding all software customization. This allows us to move nodes between tasks in under five minutes, dramatically improving performance over our original provisioning tool.

Collaboration with Red Hat

We are working on integrating M2 with Foreman. Foreman users can then leverage M2’s capabilities of fast disk-less provisioning, snapshotting physical and virtual machines. M2 is crucial for elastic infrastructure.

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