2024.1 Project Work Items

Ironic developers and operators met at the vPTG in October, 2023 to plan the 2024.1 (Caracal) release. This document is the output of that planning, and will not be updated once published. For information or current status of items in progress, please look at the linked bugs. For information about items completed, please see the Ironic release notes for the given release in question.

Ironic contributors are busy; they work spanning multiple open source projects, and have varied downstream responsibilities. We cannot guarantee any or all planned work will be completed.

Each item in the table includes:
  • Name of the work item, linked to the description

  • Category can be…
    • Maintenance: work that must be performed to keep Ironic working

    • Bugfix: work to enhance existing code to cover more corner cases and resolve bugs

    • Feature: a new Ironic feature that did not previously exist

  • Champions are the people most familiar with the technologies involved, and are a good resource if you’d like to implement the work item.

  • Tracking link is a link to the bug (usually) tracking the work.

2024.1 Work Items





Eliminating Bug Backlog



JayF, dtantsur

Nova Ironic Driver sharding



JayF, johnthetubaguy, TheJulia

Merging Inspector into Ironic


Migrate inspection rules from inspector


Develop plan for streamlined testing



TheJulia, iurygregory

Feature Parity with Metalsmith




Redfish HttpBoot




Step Templates



TheJulia, JayF

Cleanup Legacy Client Library Use in Ironic


2042493, 2042494, 2042495


Marking Multiple Drivers for Removal



JayF, TheJulia

Purging UEFI boot records


2042570, 2041901

dtantsur, stevebaker

Goals Details

Eliminating Bug Backlog

The Ironic core team has not prioritized bug triage or cleanup in recent years for a myriad of reasons. We will resolve this issue, and pay off related bug debt, during the 2023.2 cycle. A new bug deputy role will be created and rotate on a schedule. The deputy will be responsible for performing bug triage on new bugs, providing a report on bugs for the weekly meeting, and moderating at least one “bug jam” meeting a week to work through the backlog of neglected untriaged or outdated bugs. Our goal is that by the end of the 2023.2 cycle, no untriaged bugs older than two weeks will exist in any supported Ironic projects.

We define a triaged bug as one that has been read, prioritized, and usually commented on by an Ironic developer. Bug triage is important because it ensures that critical issues are seen quickly once reported.

Nova Ironic Driver Sharding

The failure scenarios around the existing Nova Ironic driver are grim: when an instance is provisioned, it’s permanently tied to the nova-compute that provisioned it and cannot be managed if that compute goes down. Additionally, at high scale, there are more race conditions due to the length of time it takes to query all Ironic nodes.

Instead, we will be adding support to Ironic, adding a sharding key which Nova can consume. This will allow us to split Ironic node management across a cluster of nova-compute services. Additionally, operators who want high availabililty will be able to setup active/passive failover on nova-compute services managing Ironic nodes.

This work was nearly completed last cycle, but was held to permit more automated testing to be completed before release.

Develop Plan for Streamlined Testing

Ironic is a complex system, with many different ways of configuring it. This leads to complicated matrices of test jobs. In the 2024.1 cycle, Ironic contributors will work to develop a plan to simplify the testing matrix, consolidating jobs where possible and identifying minimal next steps we can take next cycle.

Merging Inspector into Ironic

Ironic Inspector was originally created as a service external to Ironic. Now, it’s used by a large number of Ironic operators around the world and should be integrated with the primary service.

This work has been progressing well. We will continue to work on this until it is complete.

Feature Parity with Metalsmith

Metalsmith was created to simplify human interaction with the deployment of nodes using Ironic, primarily to support TripleO use cases. This simplified deployment model should be brought to all Ironic deployments. We will do this by adding a new deployment API to Ironic, allowing the deployment of a server through one single API call.

Additionally, we will add logic and usage ergonomics to Ironic’s interactive client, with the goal of provisioning a single machine with python-ironicclient with the new deployment API being as easy as deploying one today with metalsmith.

Once this work has completed, we will retire the dedicated metalsmith client.

Redfish HttpBoot

An often requested method utilized to boot machines is to leverage the ability to tell the remote BMC that the item to boot is available via an HTTP(S) URL.

By informing the BMC directly what to boot, we can remove fragile parts of the boot process such as TFTP or even in some cases PXE altogether. This will be integrated and share code with the existing implementations of virtual media on Redfish.

Step Templates

Ironic has used automated step processes to perform needed tasks on machines for a long time. However, these have always operated in two modes, either fully automated, or fully specified. This makes it difficult to use these step-based automations in a way that is friendly to a less-technical operator.

To address this, we propose changing the current concept of Deploy Templates to a generic concept of Step Templates. These templates would be RBAC-aware, and would be able to be used in the API anywhere you’d currently pass a dictionary of steps, such as for manual cleaning or service.

Our goal for the this cycle will be to fully specify this feature and identify any potential pain points that could occur during the upgrade process.

Cleanup Legacy Client Library Use in Ironic

Ironic is integrated with a number of OpenStack services, interacting via client requests. Requests to some services (nova, neutron, keystone) are made via openstacksdk while others (swift, cinder, glance) are still made via the legacy client libraries. During the caracal cycle, we intend to complete the migration to use only openstacksdk.

Marking Multiple Drivers for Removal

Ironic has a long history of working closely with hardware vendors, and they’ve reciprocated in kind by helping develop drivers and manage CI against them for many years. However, with the emergence of advanced hardware management standards, like Redfish, the need for vendor-specific drivers is diminishing.

Furthermore, many of the legacy drivers originally targeted at older, nonstandard interfaces or server management solutions, due to their naming, often sound like they more closely match a given vendor’s hardware than the Redfish driver. These drivers, while still useful for older hardware which may not support redfish, are not ideal for modern hardware.

For this reason, and others, we have selected a number of drivers to be marked for removal. We do not intend to actively remove any of these drivers until it is clear any hardware they exclusively support has gone end of life. We are primarily taking this action to indicate to operators that they should be provisioning new hardware with Redfish-based drivers.

The Ironic community is extremely grateful to these vendors for supporting their drivers in Ironic for so long, and for supporting the open standards which, in most cases, are obsoleting the need for specific drivers.

Please note that suggested alternatives are not tested by Ironic CI and are suggestions based on specified system support or vendor recommendations.

Drivers to be marked for removal








Dell (iDRAC 5,6)

idrac-redfish (iDRAC 7+)


Lenovo (cluster manager)

redfish (to individual systems)


HPE servers (iLO 5 or older)

redfish (iLO 6 and newer)

Purging UEFI boot records

Stale EFI boot records can cause problems with booting or adding new records. Since Ironic manages a node it should be responsible for removing any existing boot record which resembles a disk or attached boot device (USB, CDROM, etc).

This can be done in-band with a step which can optionally be included during cleaning or deployment. However it also needs to be possible to do it via Redfish to handle the cases where the node won’t boot at all due to stale incorrect records.

Release Schedule

Contributors are reminded of our scheduled releases when they are choosing items to work on.

The dates below are a guide; please view https://releases.openstack.org/caracal/schedule.html for the full schedule relating to the release and https://docs.openstack.org/ironic/latest/contributor/releasing.html for Ironic specific release information.

Bugfix Release 1

The first bugfix release is scheduled to happen around the first week of December, 2023.

Bugfix release 2

The second bugfix release is scheduled to happen the first week of February, 2024.

Deadline Week

There are multiple deadlines/freezes the final week of February: * Final release of client libraries must be performed * Requirements freeze * Soft string freeze - Ironic services are minimally translated; this generally doesn’t apply to our services, such as API and Conductor, but may impact us via other projects which are translated. * Feature Freeze - Ironic does not typically have a feature freeze, but we may be impacted by other projects that do have a feature freeze at this date.

Final 2024.1 (Integrated) Release

The final releases for Ironic projects in 2024.1 must be cut by March 25.