[ipxe-devel] Native Ceph Connectivity

Stephen Perkins perkins at netmass.com
Tue May 13 15:23:43 UTC 2014

Hi all,


I have a goal in mind and I'm not entirely sure how to reach it.    So. with
this in mind, I thought I would discuss what I want as an end result and
then ask if a certain approach may make sense.


End goal:  Create a highly available (no single point of failure) scale out
infrastructure for booting and running diskless XenServer hosts and lots of
Guest Operating systems that have live migration capabilities.  I want this
with as few systems in place as is possible.


While most people will start down the iSCSI path, I am not entirely sure
that this is the approach I would like to look at. The iPXE full iSCSI stack
is awesome and provides great capabilities but it requires a lot of
clustering work to make it highly available.  This is compounded if you want
a cluster with more than 2 nodes.


I am interested in using the ceph clustered storage system.  This system
already provides me with a highly available scale out solution and. once
configured and working give me the highly available storage I want and
integrates well with the Xen Clients.


But. the hard part is that I want to boot diskless XenServers from this ceph
store.   This is where:


                1) iPXE comes in

                2) My knowledge about ends


My thought is that I would boot a customized iPXE from a tiny USB DOM or a
highly available DHCP/TFTP/PXEboot infrastructure.  Once iPXE is running, I
would like to boot directly from a ceph cluster volume instead of the more
standard iSCSI volume.


So, I wanted to ask thoughts on whether it makes sense to try to develop
another backend connectivity option to iPXE.  I would like to look at adding
a ceph/RBD option that will allow me to provide a list of IP addresses (and
other needed config info) for the ceph cluster and allow me to mount a ceph
store to boot from.


Then. I would have to address the problem of how to get an initrd for
XenServer that would have the ceph modules available and allow me to boot a
root file system from there.


Is iPXE the correct place to look to help provide this?


Is this a hugely monumental project. or just a monumental project (given
that the ceph client code exists and is open source).


I thought I would reach out here before I wrote to the ceph group.  I my
approach is embarrassingly wrong, please feel free to let me know!




- Steve




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