Instance Reservations

This is a design document detailing the addition of a concept of reservations for forthcoming instances to Ganeti.

Current state and shortcomings

Currently, for a new instance, all information about the instance, including a resolvable full name, needs to be present before an instance creation can be attempted. Moreover, the only way to find out if a cluster can host an instance is to try creating it. This can lead to problems in situations where the host name can only be determined, and hence DNS entries created, once the cluster for the instance is chosen. If lot of instances are created in parallel, by the time the DNS entries propagated, the cluster capacity might already be exceeded.

Proposed changes

The proposed solution to overcome this shortcoming is to support forthcoming instances. Those forthcoming instances only exist as entries in in the configuration, hence creation and removal is cheap. Forthcoming instances can have an arbitrary subset of the attributes of a real instance with only the UUID being mandatory. In a similar way, their disks are also considered forthcoming. If a forthcoming instance specifies resources (memory, disk sizes, number of CPUs), these resources are accounted for as if they were real. In particular, a forthcoming can always be turned into a real one without running out of resources.

RAPI extension

To accomdate the handling of forthcoming instances, the Ganeti remote API will be extended as follows.

The following functionality will be added to existing resources.

  • /2/instances/
    • POST. This request will have an additional, optional, forthcoming flag with default False. If the forthcoming flag is set, all parameters are optional, including the instance name. Even if forthcoming is set, the result of this request will still be the job id to be used later for polling. A job to create a forthcoming instance, however, will return the UUID of the instance instead of the hosts allocated for it.
  • /2/instances/[instance_name]/modify
    • PUT. This request will be able to handle forthcoming instances in the same way as existing ones.

The following resources will be added.

  • /2/instances/[instance_uuid]/modify
    • PUT. This will behave the same as the modify indexed by instance name and is added to allow modification of an instance that does not yet have a name.
  • /2/instances/[instance_uuid]/rename
    • PUT. This will behave the same as the rename indexed by instance name. This will allow to assign a name to a forthcoming instance.
  • /2/instances/[instance_name]/create
    • POST. Create the forthcoming instance. It is a prerequisite that all mandatory parameters of the instance are specified by now. It will return the id of the creation job, for later polling.

Representation in the Configuration

As for most part of the system, forthcoming instances and their disks are to be treated as if they were real. Therefore, the wire representation will be by adding an additional, optional, fortcoming flag to the instances and disks objects. Additionally, the internal consistency condition will be relaxed to have all non-uuid fields optional if an instance or disk is forthcoming.


The alternative to the chosen approach would be to add a new top-level object forthcoming_instances to the configuration. Both approaches bear the risk of introducing subtle bugs. Adding a new top-level object bears the risk of missing in some places to take into account the resources consumed by the forthcoming instances. Adding a new attribute and relaxing the consistency conditions bears the risk that some parts of the Python code cannot handle the fact that some fields are now optional if the instance is forthcoming. The design choice is to prefer the latter kind of errors, as they will always show up immediately when a faulty part of the code is touched and will always precisely indicate the part of the code base that needs to be changed.

Haskell Representation

The semantical condition on the instance fields renders the type into a Pascal-style variant record (one element of an enumeration type, and the remaining fields depend on the value of that field). Of course, in the Haskell part of our code base, this will be represented in the standard way having two constructors for the type; additionally there will be accessors for all the fields of the JSON representation (yielding Maybe values, as they can be optional if we’re in the Forthcoming constuctor).

Adaptions of htools

Forthcoming instances are handled by htools essentially the same way as real instances with more possible moves, as a forthcoming instance may change primary and secondary node simultaneously. The restriction of not changing node group without explicit user request to do so remains. Wherever possible, moves of forthcoming instances are preferred over moving real instances, as forthcoming instances can be moved for free. Implementation wise, the existing Instance data structure is used, and a new bit forthcoming is added; for forthcoming instances, the name field will carry the UUID.