Ironic ARM Support


The OpenStack community is seeking ARM hardware and system administrators or developers with background in provisioning ARM devices to partner with the Ironic bare metal team. The Ironic project produces the OpenStack service and libraries to manage and provision physical machines.

With an experimental image for Ironic Python Agent already available, some operators have successfully provisioned ARM hardware with Ironic. However, in order to promote it to supported status, we still need testing on actual hardware with third-party CI to bring it in parity with our support for x86 hardware. Also, Ironic documentation needs to contain information about what types of ARM hardware is supported and how to configure it. Companies interested in investing in this opportunity can provide hosted hardware for third-party CI or staff time to contribute to this goal.

Business Case

Ironic supports many different hardware platforms; many in cooperation with hardware vendors who create the hardware Ironic provisions. Historically, this cooperation has led those pieces of hardware to have well-tested drivers with support of many of the advanced features of the hardware.

Sponsoring the first Ironic ARM third-party CI environment, as well as providing one or more system administrators or developers with experience in managing it, would ensure that the provided ARM hardware would be well-supported in Ironic. Ironic has always been on the forefront of hardware automation, and working with the Ironic team is an extremely good way to level up your knowledge of hardware and how it interacts with cloud computing.

As an additional benefit, your hardware, running as part of the OpenStack CI system, will be tested automatically with any Ironic patch relating to ARM support. This helps you ensure your hardware provides a stable interface for any hardware automation system, not just Ironic.

Technical Details

Ironic is a collection of services and libraries for supporting automated deployment of bare metal servers. In the OpenStack ecosystem, it enables users to provision bare metal servers as if they were virtual machines. Outside of the OpenStack ecosystem, it’s also used standalone or with other cloud management tools such as Metal3.

Most Ironic features are hardware-agnostic, and tested against fake hardware emulated using VMs fronted by an emulated BMC interface. However, Ironic also has multiple third-party CI systems that test hardware driver code against actual hardware. This insures that operators can trust that those hardware specific features work properly in Ironic. Having actual hardware to test on is even more important when evaluating support for an entirely new system architecture.

A successful contribution to this Ironic project would include: #. Hosted hardware, integrated with Ironic via third-party CI. #. A system administrator or developer with experience in managing the hardware. #. Providing technical expertise about the BMC and how to interact with it.


Join the OpenStack Ironic (#openstack-ironic) or TC (#openstack-tc) channel on OFTC via matrix or IRC.

You can also reach out through the OpenStack Community Mailing List if you would like to get involved.