Pacemaker Next Generation Architecture

Change the existing HA manifests and templates to deploy a minimal pacemaker architecture, where all the openstack services are started and monitored by systemd with the exception of: VIPs/Haproxy, rabbitmq, redis and galera.

Problem Description

The pacemaker architecture deployed currently via puppet/manifests/overcloud_controller_pacemaker.pp manages most service on the controllers via pacemaker. This approach, while having the advantage of having a single entity managing and monitoring all services, does bring a certain complexity to it and assumes that the operators are quite familiar with pacemaker and its management of resources. The aim is to propose a new architecture, replacing the existing one, where pacemaker controls the following resources:

  • Virtual IPs + HAProxy

  • RabbitMQ

  • Galera

  • Redis

  • openstack-cinder-volume (as the service is not A/A yet)

  • Any future Active/Passive service

Basically every service that is managed today by a specific resource agent and not systemd, will be still running under pacemaker. The same goes for any service (like openstack-cinder-volume) that need to be active/passive.

Proposed Change


Initially the plan was to create a brand new template implementing this new HA architecture. After a few rounds of discussions within the TripleO community, it has been decided to actually have a single HA architecture. The main reasons for moving to a single next generation HA architecture are due to the amount work needed to maintain two separate architectures and to the fact that the previous HA architecture does not bring substantial advantages over this next generation one.

The new architecture will enable most services via systemd and will remove most pacemaker resource definitions with their corresponding constraints. In terms of ordering constraints we will go from a graph like this one: (mitaka)

to a graph like this one: (next-generation-mitaka)

Once this new architecture is in place and we have tested it extensively, we can work on the upgrade path from the previous fully-fledged pacemaker HA architecture to this new one. Since the impact of pacemaker in the new architecture is quite small, it is possible to consider dropping the non-ha template in the future for every deployment and every CI job. The decision on this can be taken in a later step, even post-newton.

Another side-benefit is that with this newer architecture the whole upgrade/update topic is much easier to manage with TripleO, because there is less coordination needed between pacemaker, the update of openstack services, puppet and the update process itself.

Note that once composable service land, this next generation architecture will merely consist of a single environment file setting some services to be started via systemd, some via pacemaker and a bunch of environment variables needed for the services to reconnect even when galera and rabbitmq are down. All services that need to be started via systemd will be done via the default state:

The services running via pacemaker will be explicitely listed in an environment file, like here:


There are many alternative designs for the HA architecture. The decision to use pacemaker only for a certain set of “core” services and all the Active/Passive services comes from a careful balance between complexity of the architecture and its management and being able to recover resources in a known broken state. There is a main assumption here about native openstack services:

They must be able to start when the broker and the database are down and keep retrying.

The reason for using only pacemaker for the core services and not, for example keepalived for the Virtual IPs, is to keep the stack simple and not introduce multiple distributed resource managers. Also, if we used only keepalived, we’d have no way of recovering from a failure beyond trying to relocate the VIP.

The reason for keeping haproxy under pacemaker’s management is that we can guarantee that a VIP will always run where haproxy is running, should an haproxy service fail.

Security Impact

No changes regarding security aspects compared to the existing status quo.

Other End User Impact

The operators working with a cloud are impacted in the following ways:

  • The services (galera, redis, openstack-cinder-volume, VIPs, haproxy) will be managed as usual via pcs. Pacemaker will monitor these services and provide their status via pcs status.

  • All other services will be managed via systemctl and systemd will be configured to automatically restart a failed service. Note, that this is already done in RDO with (Restart={always,on-failure}) in the service files. It is a noop when pacemaker manages the service as an override file is created by pacemaker:

    With the new architecture, restarting a native openstack service across all controllers will require restarting it via systemctl on each node (as opposed to a single pcs command as it is done today)

  • All services will be configured to retry indefinitely to connect to the database or to the messaging broker. In case of a controller failure, the failover scenario will be the same as with the current HA architecture, with the difference that the services will just retry to re-connect indefinitely.

  • Previously with the HA template every service would be monitored and managed by pacemaker. With the split between openstack services being managed by systemd and “core” services managed by pacemaker, the operator needs to know which service to monitor with which command.

Performance Impact

No changes compared to the existing architecture.

Other Deployer Impact


Developer Impact

In the future we might see if the removal of the non-HA template is feasible, thereby simplifying our CI jobs and have single more-maintained template.



Primary assignee:


Other contributors:

Work Items

  • Prepare the roles that deploy the next generation architecture. Initially, keep it as close as possible to the existing HA template and make it simpler in a second iteration (remove unnecessary steps, etc.) Template currently lives here and deploys successfully:

  • Test failure scenarios and recovery scenario, open bugs against services that misbehave in the face of database and/or broker being down.




Initial smoke-testing has been completed successfully. Another set of tests focusing on the behaviour of openstack services when galera and rabbitmq are down is in the process of being run.

Particular focus will be on failover scenarios and recovery times and making sure that there are no regressions compared to the current HA architecture.

Documentation Impact

Currently we do not describe the architectures as deployed by TripleO itself, so no changes needed. A short page in the docs describing the architecture would be a nice thing to have in the future.


This design came mostly out from a meeting in Brno with the following attendees:

  • Andrew Beekhof

  • Chris Feist

  • Eoghan Glynn

  • Fabio Di Nitto

  • Graeme Gillies

  • Hugh Brock

  • Javier Peña

  • Jiri Stransky

  • Lars Kellogg-Steadman

  • Mark Mcloughlin

  • Michele Baldessari

  • Raoul Scarazzini

  • Rob Young