Synchronize events with Neutron

Synchronize events with Neutron!/story/1304673

Most of neutron operations are asynchronous. We need to keep track of their results by leveraging neutron’s notifications, that it can send on certain events to ironic via HTTP calls.

Problem description

Updates to Neutron resources via its API are processed asynchronously on its backend. This exposes potential races with Ironic.

Example: an API request from Ironic to update a port’s DHCP settings will return successfully long before the associated dnsmasq config has been updated and the server restarted. There is a potential for a race condition where ironic will boot a machine before its DHCP has been properly configured, especially if the machine boots very quickly (e.g. a local VM).

Another issue, that has a more serious security impact, is if Neutron failed to bind the port when configuring the tenant network, ironic proceeds with finishing the deployment, leaving the port bound to the provisioning network.

Ironic should be able to receive notifications from neutron when the port state is changed. Only Ironic related ports should cause neutron to send notifications. This spec concentrates on the binding operations, but the event handlers can be extended further, for example to be able to process updates to DHCP options. Here is an example of nova notifier in neutron [1].

In this spec, the term “notification” is used when talking about the notifications sent by neutron. The term “event” is more generic, and is used when talking about the payload that is received on the ironic HTTP API.

Proposed change

When ironic changes neutron port information during provisioning or cleaning (e.g. updates port binding) or creates a port (multitenancy integration), we put the node into a *WAIT state, and pause the deployment/cleaning waiting for neutron notification. As several ports can be updated simultaneously, we need to put the node into a *WAIT state only after sending the requests for all of them.

The notifications are generated on neutron side, and are sent to a dedicated ironic API endpoint - /events. The framework for this is already present, there is no need for additional work on neutron side. Nova notifier can be seen at [1]. An external network event will contain the following fields:

    "events": [
            "event": "network.bind_port"
            "port_id": "VIF UUID",
            "mac_address": "VIF MAC address",
            "status": "VIF port status",
            "device_id": "VIF device ID",
            "binding:host_id": "hostname",

Event handler is an object processing the events received on the /events endpoint. This spec handles the neutron notifications case, but to make it more generic, it is proposed to define the event handlers inside the related driver interface, in the interface class’ event_handler field. For example, for network related events, it is going to be the following:

class NeutronNetwork(common.VIFPortIDMixin,
    """Neutron v2 network interface"""

    event_handler = NeutronEventHandler()

The base BaseNetworkEventHandler class will contain the following methods:

class BaseNetworkEventHandler(object):

    def configure_tenant_networks(self, task):
        """Ensures that all tenant ports are ready to be used."""

    def unconfigure_tenant_networks(self, task):
        """Ensures that all tenant ports are down."""

    def add_provisioning_network(self, task):
        """Ensures that at least one provisioning port is active."""

    def remove_provisioning_network(self, task):
        """Ensures that all provisioning ports are deleted."""

    def add_cleaning_network(self, task):
        """Ensures that at least one cleaning port is active."""

    def remove_cleaning_network(self, task):
        """Ensures that all cleaning ports are deleted."""

In the conductor methods that deal with network interface (e.g., do_node_deploy), we’re going to be saving the events we are expecting in the node’s driver_internal_info['waiting_for'] field and calling the network interface methods (this will be moved to conductor from the deploy interface). If the call is synchronous, we’ll just proceed to the next one when the previous is done, otherwise we’ll be triggering the state machine ‘wait’ event and saving the callback that will be called when the corresponding event is done. All callbacks will be stored in a simple dictionary keyed by node UUID. driver_internal_info['waiting_for'] is going to be a simple list of strings, each of which is going to be the corresponding driver interface and event handler’s method name, so that we know which method of the event handler of a specific driver interface to trigger when an action is asynchronous and we receieve the event. If an unexpected event is received, we’ll be ignoring it (and logging that an unexpected event appeared in the API).

Third-party driver interface methods can be also adding things they want to wait for by:

  • adding event names into the driver_internal_info['waiting_for'] list;
  • adding event names to callback mappings into global per-node CALLBACKS dictionary, along with the arguments with which it should be called.

This will allow to wait for custom events registered in custom driver interfaces.

Neutron does not know which method name it should include in the request body, as it only operates on the neutron entities, it knows about things such as port bound, port unbound, port deleted etc. We will be mapping the things we’re waiting for to things neutron passes in via the simple dictionary:

    'network.unconfigure_tenant_networks': 'network.unbind_port',
    'network.configure_tenant_networks': 'network.bind_port',
    'network.add_provisioning_network': 'network.bind_port',
    'network.remove_provisioning_network': 'network.delete_port',
    'network.add_cleaning_network': 'network.bind_port',
    'network.remove_cleaning_network': 'network.delete_port',

When an external network event is received, and if we’re waiting for it, ironic API performs node-by-mac and port-by-mac lookup, to check that the respective node and port exist. The port status received in the request body is saved to the port’s internal_info['network_status'], and then process_event is triggered. On the conductor side, process_event will be doing the event name to event handler method translation via NETWORK_HANDLER_TO_EVENT_MAP, and calling the event handler. Conductor will also be dealing with state machine transistions.

The event handler will be looking at the status of the ironic resources, for example, in case of network events, we want to save the neutron port status in each port or port group to internal_info['network_status'] and consider an asynchronous action “done” only when port(group)s have the desired status. The event handler method that needs to be called on the event retrieval should be present in the event body generated by neutron. In case of desired event is “done”, it should be removed from the driver_internal_info['waiting_for'] list, and the provisioning action can proceed, by triggering the ‘continue’ state machine event and calling the callback that we have saved before.

To ensure that we don’t wait for events forever, the usual *WAIT states timeout periodic tasks will be used. A new one will be added for the new DELETE WAIT state. An example of such periodic task is at [2].


  • Using semaphores to pause the greenthread while waiting for events. This will make the code clearer and simpler, with only one downside – if the conductor is going to be restarted, we’ll loose the info about the events we wait for. This is still better than what we have now, and possibly can be worked around. Another downsides here being possible performance issues if a lot of greenthreads are running sumiltaneously, and the fact that conductor goes down during the rolling upgrade.
  • Use Neutron port status polling. There is an issue with that, as even if the neutron port’s status is ACTIVE, some actions might not have finished yet. The neutron’s notifier framework handles this problem for us.

Data model impact


State Machine Impact

A new DELETE WAIT state is introduced. Nodes can move to it from DELETING state, upon receiving ‘wait’ event. When ‘continue’ event is triggered while the node is in DELETE WAIT, the node switches back to the DELETING state. This is introduced because we need to unconfigure the tenant networks prior to starting the cleaning.

REST API impact

The new endpoint POST /events needs to be created. The default policy for this endpoint will be "rule:is_admin". Request body format is going to be the following:

    "events": [
            "event": "network.bind_port"
            "port_id": "VIF UUID",
            "mac_address": "VIF MAC address",
            "status": "VIF port status",
            "device_id": "VIF device ID",
            "binding:host_id": "hostname",

Only event field is required, and it has the format of <event_type>.<event>, where:

  • <event_type> is a name of the interface whose event handler will be called, during this spec implementation only network interface handlers will be added.
  • <event> is a name of the event that has happened, it will be converted to the event handler method name of the current <event_type> interface handler that will be called.

If the expected event handling fails, fail state machine event is triggered by the conductor.

The normal response code to the request on this endpoint is 200 (OK), the error codes are:

  • 400 (Bad Request), in case of none of the event handlers can process the event.
  • 404 (Not Found), in case of making a request with old API microversion header, or if the node can not be found by the MAC address that is sent in the request body.
  • 401 (Unauthorized), if the authorization has been refused for the provided credentials.
  • 403 (Forbidden), if the user that has issued the request is not allowed to use this endpoint.

Client (CLI) impact

Client will be updated to support sending an external notification. This functionality will only be added to the client’s python API, no new commands are going to be introduced. The new method will just be passing the JSON it receives to the /events endpoint.

This method will be used by the ironic notifier module within neutron to send the notification to the ironic API.

RPC API impact

A new method process_event is going to be added. Received external event is processed here.

In the conductor side of this method we compare current event we’re waiting for stored in driver_internal_info['waiting_for'] field with received "event" in the event body. If we received the desired event for all port(group)s we need, we trigger continue event on the state machine, and the callback that was saved into the per-node CALLBACKS dictionary prior to triggering the state machine’s ‘wait’ is called.

Driver API impact

As part of this change, to ensure that the network interface calls happen, and we wait for their completion, we’ll need to make the add_{cleaning,provisioning}_network network interface methods idempotent, so that we can call them in the conductor without breaking the out-of-tree network interfaces.

Nova driver impact


Security impact

With the move of the network interface calls to conductor, and waiting for their successful completion, we ensure that the network configuration corresponds to what we expect, thus enhancing security, and getting rid of bugs with giving an instance to a user that is still mapped to provisioning network if remove_provisioning_network and configure_tenant_networks methods fail asynchronously for that port.

Other end user impact

The neutron notifier needs to be configured. It needs the keystone admin credentials and (optionally, if not procided will be discovered from keystone endpoint catalog) the ironic API address to send events to.

Scalability impact


Performance Impact

The node provisioning and unprovisioning may take some additional time when we’ll be waiting for the external events.

Other deployer impact


Ramdisk impact


Developer impact

Developers will be able to create the needed event handlers for whatever events they would like to use during provisioning, and add those to the driver interfaces.



Primary assignee:
Other contributors:

Work Items

  1. Add the event handlers to neutron and flat network interfaces.
  2. Add the process_event conductor method, that will be handling the events.
  3. Add the /events endpoint.
  4. Implement the client side of changes.


  • Nova should be cleaning up only the ports owned by “compute” in case of the InstanceDeployFailure [3].


Integration and unit testing will be provided.

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility

This does not affect the usual upgrade procedure. To make use of events, both API and conductor need to be upgraded. During upgrade, the ironic notifier needs to be configured in neutron. There is going to be no need to enable this feature, it will be enabled by default.

In case of rolling upgrade, ironic conductors are upgraded first, then ironic APIs, then neutron is reconfigured to enable the notifier.

If we decide to make all the network interface calls asynchronous, step of enabling notifier in neutron becomes obligatory, otherwise an operator will have to send the notifications to ironic API manually, or the deployment will be failing by timeout as no network event is going to be received. This bit might need to be revisisted during review :)

Documentation Impact

This feature will be documented in the developer documentation and API reference.

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