Use OpenStack SDK in Nova

We would like to use the OpenStack SDK to interact with other core OpenStack services. Implementation began in Train and continues in Ussuri.

Problem description

Nova is using both python-${service}client and keystoneauth1 adapters to interact with other core services. Currently changes or fixes to a $service that Nova depends on may require changes to python-${service}client before Nova can be brought into parity. This also requires the OpenStack SDK to be brought into parity as it is used for the CLI.

Maintenance of python-${service}client can be burdensome due to high technical debt in the clients. By consuming the OpenStack SDK directly, we can eliminate the additional dependency on the python-${service}client and streamline the process.

Use Cases

As a developer on OpenStack, I would like to reduce the number of areas where maintenance must be performed when making changes related to the use of core OpenStack services.

As a core OpenStack project, Nova should make use of other projects in reliable and maintainable ways. To this end, we should use the OpenStack SDK for service to service interaction in place of direct API or python-${service}client implementations.

Proposed change

This spec proposes to use the OpenStack SDK in place of python-${service}client and other methods across Nova in three phases for each of the target services.

Target Services:
  • Ironic (python-ironicclient -> Baremetal SDK)

  • Cinder (python-cinderclient -> Block Storage SDK)

  • Glance (python-glanceclient -> Image v2 SDK)

  • Neutron (python-neutronclient -> Network SDK)

  • Placement (keystoneauth1 adapter -> OpenStack SDK Proxy)

The initial phase will consist of adding plumbing to construct an openstack.connection.Connection object to Nova components that interact with other services using a python-${service}client. The service proxy from this connection can then be used in place of existing keystoneauth1 adapter to retrieve the endpoint to configure the client. This is in progress at [[1]].

The main phase will be to iterate through calls to the python-${service}client and replace them with calls into the OpenStack SDK until the client is no longer needed. During this phase, we will close feature deficiencies identified in the OpenStack SDK as necessary. See OpenStack SDK Changes for a list of identified deficiencies. This process is in progress for python-ironicclient at [[2]].

For Placement, replace the keystoneauth1 adapter returned by nova.utils.get_ksa_adapter('placement') with the SDK’s placement proxy. This is transparent other than a small number of changes to mocks in tests. This is in progress at [[3]]. Eventually, the SDK may implement more support for placement. With the framework being in place, we can consider integrating such changes as they become available.

The final phase will simply be to remove the now-unused clients and clean up any remaining helpers and fixtures.

OpenStack SDK Changes

The OpenStack SDK includes a more complete selection of helpers for some services than others, but at worst provides the same primitives as a keystoneauth1 adapter. Development has started with Ironic, which has robust support within the OpenStack SDK. Other services will require additional work in the OpenStack SDK, or may need to be implemented using the API primitives provided by openstack.Proxy. It is more desirable to focus on expanding OpenStack SDK support for these projects rather than implementing them in Nova. Since there is not a spec repo for OpenStack SDK, we will try to outline the missing helpers by service here.

node.set_console_mode (available via patch_node)





One possibility that was considered was to replace calls into python-${service}client with methods that invoke the $service APIs directly through the keystoneauth1 adapter’s get/put/etc primitives. This would entail effectively porting the python-${service}client code into nova. While this would give us the opportunity to clean things up, it would involve a lot of low-level work like version discovery/negotiation, input payload construction and validation, and output processing.

Data model impact


REST API impact


Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact


Performance Impact

The initial phase will have minimal impact as the only change is the construction of the keystoneauth1 adapter by the OpenStack SDK rather than directly. The main phase will not likely have any difference in performance and the final phase should approximately offset any impact from the initial phase.

Other deployer impact


Developer impact

By using the OpenStack SDK as the single method of contact with other services, the maintenance footprint can be reduced. This also moves us towards a more stable OpenStack SDK as more consumers generally mean more chances to find and resolve bugs.

In addition, as new methods and services are supported by the OpenStack SDK, introducing them to Nova should be simpler and more reliable than the current methods.

Upgrade impact




Primary assignee:

dustinc <>

Other contributors:

mordred <>, dtantsur <>

Feature Liaison

Feature liaison:


Work Items

  1. (Implemented in Train) Introduce package requirements to Nova.

  2. (Partially implemented in Train) Introduce plumbing for the construction of an openstack.connection.Connection object for each $service.

  3. (Partially Implemented in Train) For each target $service (excluding Placement), close deficiencies in OpenStack SDK while replace invocations into python-${service}client one at a time, with calls into the SDK’s $service proxy.

    • For Placement, replace the keystoneauth1 adapter with the SDK’s placement proxy.

  4. Remove the now-unused python-${service}client, test fixtures, and other helpers and utils.



Existing unit tests will need to be updated to assert calls to the SDK instead of the client. In cases where the client call was mocked, this should be a matter of swapping out that mock and its assertions. No significant additional unit testing should be required.

Existing functional test cases should be adequate. Changes may be required in fixtures and other framework.

Existing integration tests should continue to function seamlessly. This will be the litmus test of success.

Documentation Impact



Items Implemented In Train



Release Name



Introduced, Partially Implemented