Orchestration with Heat

This article introduces the virtual machine service orchestration using OpenStack heat available for Pouta.

You can access this feature from the web user interface's left hand panel or using the OpenStack or Heat command line client. Orchestration provides you an easy way to create the entire infrastructure based on a reusable and human readable template file. The template can describe many components of the infrastructure, like the servers, volumes and floating IPs and in the same file it can attach the volumes and IPs to the specific instances. A template can also define multiple instances connected to specific networks, some of which have floating IPs and some a volume attached and the file can also be used to modify the existing infrastructure.

Orchestration via the web user interface


You should use "2016-10-14" or older as the Heat template version. Features in newer template versions may not be supported. You can find a list of the different template versions here.

These instructions will provide a simple example on how to set up a stack via the web user interface. To create a Heat stack, click the "Stacks" link under the Orchestration menu. The opened view will display all existing stacks and also provide the button "Launch Stack" to launch a new stack. In the window which was opened after clicking the "Launch Stack" button, you can start configuring your stack. Selecting a template is mandatory and the template data can also be provided as direct input, as depicted in the picture below. Note that this picture contains a valid, yet simple example of a template, which will build two instances and display the IP address of the first instance.

Template selection

After choosing "Next" the web user interface will ask for stack name and your password. After this you can launch the stack. After the stack is built, it can be managed from the Orchestration's Stacks view. The items which were built as a part of the stack can be found from their corresponding menus, for example in this example case the two instances can be seen and managed in the instances menu. From the stack's (Orchestration -> Stacks -> click the stack) Overview tab, you can also see the output defined by the "outputs" section in the picture's example. To delete all components created by the stack template, simply press "Delete Stack" in the Stacks page.

Using orchestration with command line client

Heat can be operated with the OpenStack command line client, but currently you can still use the deprecated Heat command line client as well. To create a stack with command line, use the command:

openstack stack create -t /path/to/my/stack.yml my-heat-stack

To show details of the newly created stack among other existing stacks, use commands:

openstack stack list
| ID                                   | Stack Name    | Stack Status    | Creation Time        | Updated Time |
| 98077bd5-9d69-47c3-98db-b0e19a60b1fa | my-heat-stack | CREATE_COMPLETE | 2016-06-08T07:34:46Z | None         |

Heat guidelines and command references

You can find information about writing Heat templates here. For more information, visit the OpenStack Heat wiki. For full reference to the OpenStack command line client, see the command line reference and for the Heat command line client, see the Heat CLI reference

To try out the example provided here, modify at least the "key_name" in the template code:

heat_template_version: 2015-10-15

description: >
  Simple template to deploy
  a single instance in cPouta

    type: OS::Nova::Server
      image: Ubuntu-16.04
      flavor: standard.tiny
      key_name: my-key
    type: OS::Nova::Server
      image: CentOS-7
      flavor: standard.small
      key_name: my-key
      description: >
        Outputs the networks of the
        deployed server
      value: { get_attr: [instance0, networks] }