Allow drivers to have their own periodic tasks

This spec suggests allowing Ironic drivers to define their own periodic tasks.

Problem description

Currently Ironic conductor can run periodic tasks in a green thread. However, if some driver requires a driver-specific task to be run, it needs to patch conductor manager, which is not acceptable.

Proposed use cases:

  • For in-band inspection using discoverd driver-specific periodic task would be used to poll discoverd for inspection status.
  • For DRAC RAID implementation driver-specific periodic task may be used again to poll status information from BMC.
  • For deploy drivers supporting long-running ramdisks (e.g. IPA) a driver-specific periodic task may be used to poll for dead ramdisks when nothing is deployed on a node.

Proposed change

  • Create a new decorator @ironic.drivers.base.driver_periodic_task to mark driver-specific periodic tasks. It will mostly delegate it’s job to @periodic_task.periodic_task with the exception of additional argument parallel defaulting to True.

    Until parallel periodic tasks is implemented in Oslo, parallel=True will be implemented by wrapping the task into a function calling eventlet.greenthread.spawn_n to make it run in a new thread. It will also use Eventlet semaphore to prevent several instances of the same task from running simultaneously.

  • Modify ConductorManager.__init__ to collect periodic tasks from each present interface of each driver. It should use existing markers added by @periodic_task.periodic_task to a method to detect periodic task. Information about a periodic tasks should be placed in _periodic_spacing _periodic_last_run and _periodic_tasks attributes of the conductor.

  • The future modification should be adding something like add_periodic_task to a PeriodicTasks class in Oslo. The only thing that prevents me from suggesting it is that PeriodicTasks class is under graduation into a new oslo.service now. No changes are allowed at the moment. This should be done as a refactoring step later.

  • Once oslo.service is graduated and parallel periodic tasks are implemented there, get rid of the work around inside driver_periodic_task, and switch to using parallel periodic tasks from Oslo.


  • Each time modify conductor when we need a periodic task. That requires a consensus on how to make it in a generic way.
  • Just use LoopingCall. I believe that this approach is less controlable (in terms of how many threads we run, how many requests we make to e.g. DRAC BMC etc) and leads to code duplication.

Data model impact


REST API impact


RPC API impact


Driver API impact

No impact for the driver API itself.

Nova driver impact


Security impact


Other end user impact


Scalability impact

None expected

Performance Impact

This will allow large number of periodic tasks to be added to Ironic. Defaulting to parallel=True should minimize effect on performance. The decision of whether to add or not a new tasks is anyway to be done on a case-by-case basis.

Other deployer impact


Note that periodic_max_workers and rpc_thread_pool_size configuration options are not affecting driver-specific periodic tasks.

Developer impact

Driver developers can mark any method as a @driver_periodic_task.



Primary assignee:
Dmitry Tantsur, LP: divius, IRC: dtantsur

Work Items

  • Add ironic.drivers.base.driver_periodic_task decorator
  • Modify ConductorManager.__init__.
  • Propose add_periodic_task to oslo.service.



Unit testing will be conducted.

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility


Documentation Impact

Update driver interface documentation to mention how to create periodic tasks.


Parallel periodic tasks spec: