QoS minimum bandwidth allocation in Placement API

QoS minimum bandwidth allocation in Placement API


This spec describes how to model, from Neutron, new resource providers in Placement API to describe bandwidth allocation.

Problem Description

Currently there are several parameters, quantitative and qualitative, that define a Nova server and are used to select the correct host and network backend devices to run it. Network bandwidth is not yet among these parameters. This allows situations where a physical network device could be oversubscribed.

This spec addresses managing the bandwidth on the first physical device ie. the pyhsical interface closest to the nova server. Managing bandwidth further away, for example on the backplane of a Top-Of-Rack switch or end-to-end, is out of scope here.

Guaranteeing bandwidth generally involves enforcement of constraints on two levels.

  • placement: Avoiding oversubscription when placing (scheduling) nova servers and their ports.
  • data plane: Enforcing the guarantee on the physical network devices.

This spec addresses placement enforcement only. (Data plane enforcement is covered by [4].) However the design must respect that users are interested in the joint use of these enforcements.

Since the placement enforcement itself is a Nova-Neutron cross-project feature this spec is meant to be read, commented and maintained together with its Nova counterpart: Network bandwidth resource provider [2].

This spec is based on the approved Neutron spec Add a spec for strict minimum bandwidth support [3]. The aim of the current spec is not to redefine what is already approved in [3], but to specify how it is going to be implemented in Neutron.

Use Cases

The most straightforward use case is when a user, who has paid for a premium service that guarantees a minimum network bandwidth, wants to spawn a Nova server. The scheduler needs to know how much bandwidth is already in use in each physical network device in each compute host and how much bandwidth the user is requesting.

Data plane only enforcement was merged in Newton for SR-IOV egress (see Newton Release Notes [6]).

Placement only enforcement may be a viable feature for users able to control all traffic (e.g. in a single tenant private cloud). Such placement only enforcement can be also used together with the bandwidth limit rule. The admin can set two rules in a QoS policy, both with the same bandwidth values and then each server on such chosen compute host will be able to use at most as much bandwidth as it has guaranteed.

Proposed Change

  1. The user must be able to express the resource needs of a port.

    1. Extend qos_minimum_bandwidth_rule with ingress direction.

      Unlike enforcement in the data plane, Placement can handle both directions by the same effort.

    2. Mark qos_minimum_bandwidth_rule as supported QoS policy rule for each existing QoS driver.

      Placement enforcement is orthogonal to backend mechanisms. A user can have placement enforcement for drivers not having data plane enforcement (yet).

    Due to the fact that we exposed (and likely want to expose further) partial results of this development effort to end users, the meaning of a qos_minimum_bandwidth_rule depends on OpenStack version, Neutron backend driver and the rule’s direction. A rule may be enforced by placement and/or on the data plane. Therefore we must document, next to the already existing support matrix in the QoS devref [10], which combinations of versions, drivers, rule directions and (placement and/or data plane) enforcements are supported.

    Since Neutron’s choice of backend is hidden from the cloud user, the deployer must also clearly document which subset of the above support matrix is applicable for a cloud user in a particular deployment.

  2. Neutron must convey the resource needs of a port to Nova.

    Extend port with attribute resource_request according to section ‘How required bandwidth for a Neutron port is modeled’ below. This attribute is computed, read-only and admin-only.

    Information available at port create time (ie. before the port is bound) must be sufficient to generate the resource_request attribute.

    The port extension must be decoupled from ML2 and kept in the QoS service plugin. One way to do that is to use neutron.db._resource_extend like trunk_details uses it.

  3. Neutron must populate the Placement DB with the available resources.

    Report information on available resources to the Placement service using the Placement API [1]. That is information about the physical network devices, their physnets, available bandwidth and supported VNIC types.

    The cloud admin must be able to control (by configuration) what is reported to Placement. To ease the configuration work autodiscovery of networking devices may be employed, but the admin must be able to override its results.

Which devices and parameters will be tracked

Even inside a compute host many networking topologies are possible. For example:

  1. OVS agent: physical network - OVS bridge - single physical NIC (or a bond): 1-to-1 mapping between physical network and physical interface
  2. SR-IOV agent: physical network - one or more PFs: 1-to-n mapping between physical network and physical interface(s) (See Networking Guide: SR-IOV [7].)

Each Neutron agent (Open vSwitch, Linux Bridge, SR-IOV) has a configuration parameter to map a physical network with one or more provider interfaces (SR-IOV) or a bridge connected to a provider interface (Open vSwitch or Linux Bridge).

OVS agent configuration:

# bridge_mappings as it exists already.
bridge_mappings = physnet0:br0,physnet1:br1

# Each right hand side value in bridge_mappings:
#   * will have a corresponding resource provider created in Placement
#   * must be listed as a key in resource_provider_bandwidths

resource_provider_bandwidths = br0:EGRESS:INGRESS,br1:EGRESS:INGRESS

# Examples:

# Resource provider created, no inventory reported.
resource_provider_bandwidths = br0
resource_provider_bandwidths = br0::

# Report only egress inventory in kbps (same unit as in the QoS rule API).
resource_provider_bandwidths = br0:1000000:

# Report egress and ingress inventories in kbps.
resource_provider_bandwidths = br0:1000000:1000000

# Later we may introduce auto-discovery (for example via ethtool).
# We reserve the option to make auto-discovery the default behavior
# when it is implemented.
resource_provider_bandwidths = br0:auto:auto

SR-IOV agent configuration:

physical_device_mappings = physnet0:eth0,physnet0:eth1,physnet1:eth2

resource_provider_bandwidths = eth0:EGRESS:INGRESS,eth1:EGRESS:INGRESS

How required bandwidth for a Neutron port is modeled

The required minimum network bandwidth needed for a port is modeled defining a QoS policy along with one or more QoS minimum bandwidth rules [4]. However neither Nova nor Placement know about any QoS policy rule directly. Neutron translates the resource needs of a port into a standard port attribute describing the needed resource classes, amounts and traits.

In this spec we assume that a single port requests resources from a single RP. Later we may allow a port to request resources from multiple RPs.

The resources needed by a port are expressed via the new attribute resource_request extending the port as follows.

Figure: resource_request in the port

{"port": {
    "status": "ACTIVE",
    "name": "port0",
    "device_id": "5e3898d7-11be-483e-9732-b2f5eccd2b2e",
    "resource_request": {
        "resources": {

The resource_request port attribute will be implemented by a new API extension named port-resource-request.

If a nova server boot request has a port defined and this port has a resource_request attribute, that means the Placement Service must enforce the minimum bandwidth requirements.

A host will satisfy the requirements if it has a physical network interface RP with the following properties. First, inventory of the new NET_BANDWIDTH_* resource classes and there is enough bandwidth available as shown in the ‘Networking RP model’ section. If a host doesn’t have an inventory of the requested network bandwidth resource class(es), it won’t be a candidate for the scheduler. Second, the physical network interface RP must have all the traits associated with it as listed in the required field of the resource_request attribute.

We propose two kinds of custom traits. First to express and request support for certain vnic_types. This trait uses prefix CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_. The vnic_type is then appended in all upper case. For example:


Second we’ll use traits to decide if a segment of a network (identified by its physnet name) is connected on the compute host considered in scheduling. This trait uses prefix CUSTOM_PHYSNET_. The physnet name is then appended in all upper case, any characters prohibited in traits must be replaced with underscores.

For example:


If a nova server boot request has a network defined and this network has a qos_minimum_bandwidth_rule, that boot request is going to fail as documented in the ‘Scoping’ section of [2] until Nova is refactored to create the port earlier (that is before scheduling). See also SPEC: Prep work for Network aware scheduling (Pike) [11].

For multi-segment Neutron networks each static segment’s physnet trait must be included in the resource_request attribute in a format that we can only specify after Placement supports request matching logic of any(traits). See any-traits-in-allocation_candidates-query [9].

Reporting Available Resources

Some details of reporting are described in the following sections of [2]:

  • Neutron agent first start
  • Neutron agent restart
  • Finding the compute RP

Details internal to Neutron are the following:

Networking RP model

We made the following assumptions:

  • Neutron supports the multi-provider extension therefore a single logical network might map to more than one physnet. Physnets of non-dynamic segments are known before port binding. For the sake of simplicity in this spec we assume each segment directly connected to a physical interface with a mimimum bandwidth guarantee is a non-dynamic segment. Therefore those physnets can be included in the port’s resource_request as traits.
  • Multiple SRIOV physical functions (PFs) can give access to the same physnet on a given compute but those PFs always implement the same vnic_type. This means that using only physnet traits in Placement and in the port’s resource request does not select one PF unambiguously but it is not a problem as both PFs are equivalent from resource allocation perspective.
  • Two different backends (e.g. SRIOV and OVS) can give access to the same physnet on the same compute host. In this case Neutron selects the backend based on vnic_type of the Neutron port specified by the end user during port create. Therefore physical device selection during scheduling should consider the vnic_type of the port as well. This can be done via the vnic_type based traits previously described.
  • Two different backends (e.g. OVS and LinuxBridge) can give access to the same physnet on the same compute host while they are also implementing the same vnic_type (e.g. normal). In this case the backend selection in Neutron is done according to the order of mechanism_drivers configured by the admin in neutron.conf. Therefore physical device selection during scheduling should consider the same preference order. As the backend order is just a preference but not a hard rule supporting this behavior is out of scope in this spec but in theory it can be done by a new weigher in nova-scheduler.

Based on these assumptions, Neutron will construct in Placement a RP tree as follows:

Figure: networking RP model

Compute RP (name=hostname)
 +-------+Network agent RP (for OVS agent), uuid = agent_uuid
 |          inventory: # later, model number of OVS ports here
 |             +
 |             |
 |             +------+Physical network interface RP,
 |             |       uuid = uuid5(hostname:br0)
 |             |         traits: CUSTOM_PHYSNET_1, CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_NORMAL
 |             |         inventory:
 |             |         {NET_BANDWIDTH_INGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000,
 |             |          NET_BANDWIDTH_EGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000}
 |             |
 |             +------+Physical network interface RP,
 |                     uuid = uuid5(hostname:br1)
 |                       traits: CUSTOM_PHYSNET_2, CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_NORMAL
 |                       inventory:
 |                       {NET_BANDWIDTH_INGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000,
 |                        NET_BANDWIDTH_EGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000}
 +-------+Network agent RP (for LinuxBridge agent), uuid = agent_uuid
 |             +
 |             |
 |             +------+Physical network interface RP,
 |                     uuid = uuid5(hostname:virbr0)
 |                       traits: CUSTOM_PHYSNET_1, CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_NORMAL
 |                       inventory:
 |                       {NET_BANDWIDTH_INGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000,
 |                        NET_BANDWIDTH_EGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000}
 +-------+Network agent RP (for SRIOV agent), uuid = agent_uuid
               +------+Physical network interface RP,
               |       uuid = uuid5(hostname:eth0)
               |         traits: CUSTOM_PHYSNET_2, CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_DIRECT
               |         inventory:
               |         {VF: 8, # VF resource is out of scope
               |          NET_BANDWIDTH_INGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000,
               |          NET_BANDWIDTH_EGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000}
               +------+Physical network interface RP,
               |       uuid = uuid5(hostname:eth1)
               |         traits: CUSTOM_PHYSNET_2, CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_DIRECT
               |         inventory:
               |         {VF: 8, # VF resource is out of scope
               |          NET_BANDWIDTH_INGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000,
               |          NET_BANDWIDTH_EGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000}
               +------+Physical network interface RP,
                       uuid = uuid5(hostname:eth2)
                         traits: CUSTOM_PHYSNET_3, CUSTOM_VNIC_TYPE_DIRECT
                         {VF: 8, # VF resource is out of scope
                          NET_BANDWIDTH_INGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000,
                          NET_BANDWIDTH_EGRESS_KILOBITS_PER_SECOND: 10000}

Custom traits will be used to indicate which physical network a given Physical network interface RP is connected to, as previously described.

Custom traits will be used to indicate which vnic_type a backend supports so different backend technologies can be distinguished, as previously described.

The current purpose of agent RPs is to allow us detecting the deletion of an RP. Later we may also start to model agent-level resources and capabilities.

Report directly or indirectly

Considering only agent-based MechanismDrivers we have two options:

  • direct: The agent reports resource providers, traits and inventories directly to the Placement API.
  • indirect: The agent reports resource providers, traits and inventories to Neutron-server which in turn reports the information to the Placement API.

Both have pros and cons. Direct reporting involves fewer components therefore it’s more efficient and more reliable. On the other hand freshness of the resource information may be important information in itself. Nova has the compute heartbeat mechanism to ensure scheduler considers the live Placement records only. In case freshness of Neutron resource information is needed the only practical way is to build on the Neutron-agent heartbeat mechanism. Otherwise the reporting and heartbeat mechanism would take different paths. If resource information is reported through the agent heartbeat mechanism then freshness of resource information is known by Neutron-server and other components (for example a nova scheduler filter) could query it from Neutron-server.

When Placement and nova-scheduler choose to allocate the requested bandwidth on a particular network resource provider (that represents a physical network interface) that choice has its implications on:

  • Neutron-server’s choice of a Neutron backend for a port. (vif_type, vif_details)
  • Neutron-agent’s choice of a physical network interface. (Only in some cases like when multiple SR-IOV PFs back one physnet.)

The later choices (of neutron-server and neutron-agent) must respect the first (in the allocation), otherwise resources could be used somewhere else than allocated.

The choice in the allocation can be easily communicated to Neutron using the chosen network resource provider UUID if this UUID is known to both Neutron-server and Neutron-agent. If available resources are reported directly from Neutron-agent to Placement then Neutron-server may not know about resource provider UUIDs. Therefore indirect reporting is recommended.

Even when reporting indirectly we must keep the (Neutron reported part of the) content of the Placement DB under the as direct as possible control of Neutron agents. It is best to keep Neutron-server in a basically proxy-like role.

Content and format of resource information reported (from agent to server)

We propose to extend the configurations field of the agent heartbeat RPC message.

Beyond the agent’s hardcoded set of supported vnic_types the following agent configuration options are the input to extend the heartbeat message:

  • bridge_mappings or physical_device_mappings
  • resource_provider_bandwidths
  • If needed further options controlling inventory attributes like: allocation_ratio, min_unit, max_unit, step_size, reserved

Based on the input above the configurations dictionary of the heartbeat message shall be extended with the following keys:

  • (custom) traits
  • resource_providers
  • resource_provider_inventories
  • resource_provider_traits

The values must be (re-)evaluated after the agent configuration is (re-)read. Each heartbeat message shall contain all items known by the agent at that time. The extension of the configurations fields intentionally mirrors the structure of the placement API (and does not directly mirror the agent configuration format, though can be derived from it). The values of these fields shall be formatted so they can be readily pasted into requests sent to the Placement API.

Agent resource providers shall be identified by their already existing Neutron agent UUIDs as shown in the ‘Networking RP model’ section above.

Neutron-agents shall generate UUIDs for physical network interface resource providers. Version 5 (name-based) UUIDs should be used by hashing names like HOSTNAME:OVS-BRIDGE-NAME for ovs-agent and HOSTNAME:PF-NAME for sriov-agent since this way the UUIDs will be stable through an agent restart.

Please note that the agent heartbeat message contains traits and their associations with resource providers, but there’s no traits directly listed in the agent configurations. This is possible because both physnet and vnic_type traits we’ll use can be inferred from already known pieces of information.

Synchronization of resource information reported

Ideally Neutron-agent, Neutron-server and Placement must have the same view of resources. We propose the following synchronization mechanism between Neutron-server and Placement:

Each time Neutron-server learns of a new agent it diffs the heartbeat message (for traits, providers, inventories and trait associations) with all objects found in Placement under the agent RP. It creates the objects missing from Placement. It deletes those missing from the heartbeat. It updates the objects whose attributes are different in Placement and the heartbeat.

At subsequent heartbeats received Neutron-server diffs the new and the previous heartbeats. If nothing changed no Placement request is sent. If a change in heartbeats is detected Neutron sends the appropriate Placement request based on the diff of heartbeats using the last seen Placement generation number. If the Placement request is successful Neutron stores the new generation number. If the request fails with generation conflict Neutron falls back to diffing between Placement and the heartbeat.

Progress or block until the Compute host RP is created

Neutron-server cannot progress to report resource information until the relevant Nova-compute host RP is created. (The reason being the Nova-compute host RP UUID is unpredictable to Neutron.) We believe that while waiting for the Nova-compute host RP a Neutron-server can progress with its other functions.

Port binding changes

The order of relevant operations are the following:

  1. Placement DB is populated with both compute and network resource information.
  2. Triggered by a nova server boot Placement selects a list of candidates.
  3. Scheduler chooses exactly one candidate and allocates it in a single transaction. (In some complex nova server move cases the conductor may allocate but that’s unimportant here.)
  4. Neutron binds the port.

In steps (2) and (3) the selection includes the choice of RPs representing network backend objects (beyond the obvious choice of compute host). This naturally conflicts with Neutron’s current port binding mechanism.

To solve the conflict we must make sure:

  • Placement must produce candidates whose ports later can be bound by Neutron. (At least with roughly the same probability as scheduler is able today.)

  • The choices made by Placement and made by Neutron port binding must be the same. Therefore the selection must be coordinated.

    If more than one Neutron backend can satisfy the resource requirements of a port on the same host then it cannot happen that Placement chooses one, but Neutron binds another.

    One way to do that is for Neutron-server to read (from Placement) the allocation of the port currently being bound and let it influence the binding. However this introduces a slow remote call in the middle of port binding therefore it is not recommended.

    Another way is to pass down part of the allocation record in the call/message chain leading to the port binding PUT request. In the port binding PUT request use the binding_profile attribute. That way we would not need a new remote call, just to add an argument/payload to already existing calls/messages.

    The Nova spec ([2]) proposes that the resources requested for a port are included in a numbered request group (see Granular Resource Request Syntax [8]). A numbered request group is always matched by a single resource. In general Neutron needs to know which resource provider matched the numbered request group of the port.

    To express the choice made by placement and nova-scheduler we propose to add an allocation entry to binding_profile:

      "name": "port with minimum bw being bound",
      "id": ...,
      "network_id": ...,
      "binding_profile": { "allocation": RP_UUID }

    If a port has the resource_request attribute then it must be bound with binding_profile.allocation supplied. Otherwise binding_profile.allocation must not be present.

    Usually ML2 port binding tries the mechanism drivers in their configuration order until one succeeds to set the binding. However if a port being bound has binding_profile.allocation then only a single mechanism driver can be tried - the one implicitly identified by RP_UUID.

    In case of hierarchical port binding binding_profile.allocation is meant to drive the binding only on the binding level that represents the closest physical interface to the nova server.

Out of Scope

Minimum bandwidth rule update: When a minimum bandwidth rule is updated, the ML2 plugin will list the bound ports with this QoS policy and rule attached and will update the Allocation value. The consumer_id of each Allocation is the device_id of the port. This is out of scope in this spec and should be done during the work related to os-vif migration tasks [5].

Trunk port: Subports of a trunk port are unknown to Nova. Allocating resources for subports is a task for Neutron only. This is out of scope too.


  • Unit tests.
  • Functional tests.
    • Agent-server interactions.
  • Fullstack.
    • Handling agent failure cases.
  • Tempest API tests.
    • Port API extended with resource_request.
    • Extensions of binding_profile.
  • Tempest scenario tests.
    • End-to-end feature test.

In test frameworks where we cannot depend on Nova we can mock it away by:

  • Creating and binding the port as Nova would have done it, including.
    • Setting its binding_profile.
    • Setting its binding_host_id as if Placement and Scheduler would have chosen the host.


  • When upgrading a system with minimum_bandwidth rules to support both data plane and placement enforcement we see two options:

    1. It is the responsibility of the admin to create the allocations in Placement for all ports using minimum_bandwidth rules. Please note: this assumes that bandwidth is not overallocated at the time of upgrade.
    2. Add tooling for 1. as described in the ‘Upgrade impact’ section of [2].
  • The desired upgrade order of components is the following: Placement, Nova, Neutron

    If for some reason the reverse Neutron-Nova order is desired, then the Neutron port API extension of resource_request must not be turned on until both components are upgraded.

  • Neutron-server must be able to handle agent heartbeats both with and without resource information in the configurations.

Work Items

These work items are designed so Neutron end-to-end behavior can be prototyped and tested independently of the progress of related work in Nova. But part of it depends on already available Placement features.

  • Extend agent heartbeat configuration with resource provider information.
  • (We already have it): Persist extended agent configuration reported via heartbeat.
  • (We already have it): Placement client in neutron-lib for the use of neutron-server.
  • Neutron-server initially diffs resource info reported by agent against Placement.
  • Neutron-server diffs consequent agent heartbeat configurations.
  • Neutron-server turns the diffs into Placement requests (with generation handling).
  • Extend rule qos_minimum_bandwidth_rule with direction ingress.
  • Extend port with resource_request based on QoS rule mimimum-bandwidth-placement.
  • Make the reported agent configuration queriable so neutron-server can infer which backend is implied in the RP allocated (as in binding_profile.allocation).
  • In binding a port with binding_profile.allocation replace the list of tried mechanism drivers with the one-element list of the inferred backend.
  • (We already have it): Send binding_profile to all agents.
  • In sriov-agent force the choice of PF as implied by the RP allocated.

For each of the above:

  • Tests.
  • Documentation: api-ref, devref, networking guide.
  • Release notes.
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