Kill neutron-LBaaS, aka LBaaS project spinout

The Octavia project has, as part of creating the new LBaaS reference implementation, also implemented the LBaaS API as a standard pecan/wsgi openstack endpoint.

The Octavia LBaaS API would be identical and compatible with the Neutron LBaaS v2 API, excepting the /lbaas root url token being missing.

End users of the existing neutron API endpoint will see no differences for two cycles, which means potential removal in P or Q, depending on when this work lands. Note that if the shim is low-maintenance enough, it may live for even longer; that will be at the discretion of the neutron PTL and core team.

This spec describes the process for removing LBaaS as a neutron extension, and making it a standalone project of its own.

Problem Description

Octavia provides a virtually identical API and plugin mechanism that neutron-lbaas provides without the tight coupling, which calls into question why we are maintaining both, now that lbaasv1 is past deprecation. The main goals of this spinout will be simplifying the administration and implementation of both, while providing as seamless an experience as possible to operators and end users.

There are several reasons for spinning out the LBaaS project:

  • Having your service stuffed into the guts of a neutron-server, while your code is in a separate repo, has been a fairly brittle proposition.

    • Refactors to core neutron have a chance of breaking LBaaS.

    • Co-gate adds to instability of gate for both projects, and can be removed.

    • Neutron extensions get in the way of microversioning, and making that migration a mess.

  • We would no longer be double-testing nearly the same functionality, and consuming more infra and testing resources.

  • The active teams for LBaaS and neutron have virtually no overlap, so the added overhead of administering both is providing no benefit to neutron, and slowing down LBaaS.

  • Octavia has its own REST API, so why maintain two, if we can make them compatible?

The reasons against:

  • There is a certain amount of busywork required to finish getting ready to be a completely separate project, listed in proposed changes below, but the payoff in two simpler projects would seem worth it.

  • There is some value in having all the “networking” APIs under one umbrella, though there is precedent for higher-level services being outside (DNSaaS).

Proposed Change

This list of changes will be split into “phase one” and “phase two”. Phase one is the minimum list of changes necessary for a governance change and to stop maintaining neutron-lbaas as it is today, and phase two are logical next steps needed for any standalone openstack project.

Octavia is an API server, a service VM framework for LBaaS, and the reference implementation for LBaaS. Currently only service VM centric drivers are supported

Phase one:

  • In Octavia, an interface needs to be added so that non-service VM drivers can be used behind the API server (e.g. hardware appliances or existing lbaas drivers.) This driver interface should accept current neutron LBaaS v2 drivers directly, provided that those drivers limit themselves to passed in objects and public lbaas plugin interfaces. The current neutron lbaasv2 drivers will be moved into the octavia repo, though any driver reaching into neutron’s guts is likely to break. So, don’t reach into guts.

  • Modify the neutron-LBaaS API extension to be a direct proxy pass-through to the octavia api controller.

  • Notify vendors to verify their drivers work with the Octavia API controller, and to move their third-party CIs.

  • Notify other projects using LBaaS, notably Heat.

  • Remove neutron-LBaaS/neutron co-gate.

  • Verify minimum docs coverage from a user and API standpoint.

  • Apply for governance change from neutron stadium to the big tent. This includes moving neutron-lbaas into octavia, unless the neutron /lbaas proxy is a pecan route in neutron proper, and then neutron-lbaas can simply be removed/sent to the attic.

Phase two:

  • Create client library, and/or direct support in openstackclient/sdk. What happens to the existing ‘openstack loadbalancer’? Is it just a neutron proxy for a few releases? Long-term, it will be an OSC plugin.

  • Create/verify/move API/install guide/user docs that are already written for neutron-lbaas.

During this transition, and for sometime after, the neutron /lbaas proxy will make this transparent to users.


Spec that outlines specific changes needed in Octavia for this to happen:

Proposed neutron-lbaas proxy shim layer:

Brandon’s work on making an lbaasv2 driver layer directly in Octavia:

WIP governance patch, which will remain WIP until phase one is nearing completion:

Octavia’s ‘api_handler’ interface, which is similar to the current lbaasv2 driver interface (see 311586 for work to make this seamless with current drivers):