Add Intel® Speed Select Support!/story/2005390

Multiple types of servers are needed to handle diverse workloads. Purchasing and managing these servers introduces complexity and increases total cost of ownership(TCO). Intel Speed Select Technology(SST)[1] is a collection of features that improves performance and optimizes TCO by providing more control over CPU performance. With Intel SST, one server can do more which means the same server can be used to run different workloads. One of the feature is Intel Speed Select Technology-Performance Profile (SST-PP) which allows configuring the CPU to run at 3 distinct operating points or profiles.

With Intel SST-PP, one can set the desired core count and their base and turbo frequencies which can help to tune the server to specific workload performance.

Problem description

This spec proposes to support Intel SST-PP feature in Ironic. With Intel SST-PP, Ironic users can:

  • Run their servers at different configuration level.

  • Each configuration level supports different number of active cores and frequency.

  • Same server can be used to run multiple different workloads thus decreasing TCO.

Intel SST-PP Speed Select supports three configuration levels:

  • 0 - Intel SST-PP Base Config

  • 1 - Intel SST-PP Config 1

  • 2 - Intel SST-PP Config 2

Following table shows the list of active cores and their base frequency at different SST-PP config levels:

|   Config    |  Cores  |  Base Freq (GHz)  |
| Base        | 24      | 2.4               |
| Config 1    | 20      | 2.5               |
| Config 2    | 16      | 2.7               |

Proposed change

Intel SST-PP can be set over IPMI. Each configuration level has its own hexa raw code that the server understands. Ironic sends this code to the server via IPMI to set the desired SST-PP level.

We will map these configurations to traits that Ironic understands.




The solution works at two stages:


The solution to support Intel SST-PP is first enable scheduling the request for baremetal instance deployment on the nodes that supports it. We set the desired configuration as the trait in our flavor:

$ openstack flavor set --property \
  trait:CUSTOM_INTEL_SPEED_SELECT_CONFIG_2=required baremetal

Now, we also need to update the Ironic node’s trait with the supported configuration levels:

$ openstack baremetal node add trait node-0 \

Now, when user sends a request to boot a node with the baremetal flavor, placement API service will select the Ironic node that supports Intel SST-PP.


The Intel SST-PP needs to be set via IPMI before powering on the node in the process of provisioning. Ironic API service receives the desired configuration in node.instance_info.traits in the boot request. Ironic will then run the deploy template’s step matching the trait. The deploy template will specify the new configure_intel_speedselect step which configures the Intel SST-PP configuration level and then powers on the node.

Ironic will need below details to configure Intel SST-PP on the node:

  • Intel SST-PP configuration level: This is the required configuration level on the node. Possible values are the traits listed above. This information is set by admins in the flavor’s trait they want to boot the baremetal node with. Nova in turn updates the Ironic’s node information with the trait.

  • Number of sockets: This is the number of sockets per CPU. Setting Intel SST-PP needs to be done for every socket.

Both these information can be provided as an argument to the configure_intel_speedselect deploy step.


Continue to not support Intel SST-PP or users can manually configure it independent of Ironic.

Data model impact


State Machine Impact


REST API impact


Client (CLI) impact

“ironic” CLI


“openstack baremetal” CLI


RPC API impact


Driver API impact

  • Add a new hardware type IntelIPMIHardware to support Intel SST-PP enabled servers.

    class IntelIPMIHardware(IPMIHardware):
  • Add a new management interface IntelIPMIManagement to manage the configuration of Intel SST-PP on the servers. This class will have a new deploy step configure_intel_speedselect to configure Intel SST-PP on the nodes. This will also be enabled as a clean step so that it can be used to reset the configuration while node cleaning.

    class IntelIPMIManagement(ipmitool.IPMIManagement):
        @base.deploy_step(priority=200, argsinfo={
            'intel_speedselect_config': {
                'description': (
                     "Intel SST-PP configuration."
                'required': True
            'socket_count': {
                'description': (
                    "No. of sockets."
        def configure_intel_speedselect(self, task, **kwargs):
            return None

    The following table contains the intel_speedselect_config values for the proposed deploy templates:

    |   Deploy Template                      |  intel_speedselect_config  |
    | CUSTOM_INTEL_SPEED_SELECT_CONFIG_BASE  |  0x00                      |
    | CUSTOM_INTEL_SPEED_SELECT_CONFIG_1     |  0x01                      |
    | CUSTOM_INTEL_SPEED_SELECT_CONFIG_2     |  0x02                      |

Nova driver impact


Ramdisk impact


Security impact


Other end user impact

Users will have to update the traits with the desired Intel SST-PP configuration level in the corresponding flavors.

Scalability impact


Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

Deployers wishing to use feature will have to add the Intel SST-PP configuration in Node’s trait and also have to create corresponding deploy templates.

Developer impact




Primary assignee:


Work Items

  • Implement Intel SST-PP support code in Ironic.

  • Write the test code.

  • Write a document explaining how to use Intel SST-PP.




  • Unit tests

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility


Documentation Impact

New document will be added to explain the support of new Intel SST-PP feature in Ironic and how to use it.