ceph-mgr orchestrator modules


This is developer documentation, describing Ceph internals that are only relevant to people writing ceph-mgr orchestrator modules.

In this context, orchestrator refers to some external service that provides the ability to discover devices and create Ceph services. This includes external projects such as ceph-ansible, DeepSea, and Rook.

An orchestrator module is a ceph-mgr module (ceph-mgr module developer’s guide) which implements common management operations using a particular orchestrator.

Orchestrator modules subclass the Orchestrator class: this class is an interface, it only provides method definitions to be implemented by subclasses. The purpose of defining this common interface for different orchestrators is to enable common UI code, such as the dashboard, to work with various different backends.

digraph G {
    subgraph cluster_1 {
        volumes [label="mgr/volumes"]
        rook [label="mgr/rook"]
        dashboard [label="mgr/dashboard"]
        orchestrator_cli [label="mgr/orchestrator_cli"]
        orchestrator [label="Orchestrator Interface"]
        ansible [label="mgr/ansible"]
        ssh [label="mgr/ssh"]
        deepsea [label="mgr/deepsea"]

        label = "ceph-mgr";

    volumes -> orchestrator
    dashboard -> orchestrator
    orchestrator_cli -> orchestrator
    orchestrator -> rook -> rook_io
    orchestrator -> ansible -> ceph_ansible
    orchestrator -> deepsea -> suse_deepsea
    orchestrator -> ssh

    rook_io [label="Rook"]
    ceph_ansible [label="ceph-ansible"]
    suse_deepsea [label="DeepSea"]


Behind all the abstraction, the purpose of orchestrator modules is simple: enable Ceph to do things like discover available hardware, create and destroy OSDs, and run MDS and RGW services.

A tutorial is not included here: for full and concrete examples, see the existing implemented orchestrator modules in the Ceph source tree.


Stateful service

a daemon that uses local storage, such as OSD or mon.

Stateless service

a daemon that doesn’t use any local storage, such as an MDS, RGW, nfs-ganesha, iSCSI gateway.


arbitrary string tags that may be applied by administrators to nodes. Typically administrators use labels to indicate which nodes should run which kinds of service. Labels are advisory (from human input) and do not guarantee that nodes have particular physical capabilities.

Drive group

collection of block devices with common/shared OSD formatting (typically one or more SSDs acting as journals/dbs for a group of HDDs).


choice of which node is used to run a service.

Key Concepts

The underlying orchestrator remains the source of truth for information about whether a service is running, what is running where, which nodes are available, etc. Orchestrator modules should avoid taking any internal copies of this information, and read it directly from the orchestrator backend as much as possible.

Bootstrapping nodes and adding them to the underlying orchestration system is outside the scope of Ceph’s orchestrator interface. Ceph can only work on nodes when the orchestrator is already aware of them.

Calls to orchestrator modules are all asynchronous, and return completion objects (see below) rather than returning values immediately.

Where possible, placement of stateless services should be left up to the orchestrator.

Completions and batching

All methods that read or modify the state of the system can potentially be long running. To handle that, all such methods return a completion object (a ReadCompletion or a WriteCompletion). Orchestrator modules must implement the wait method: this takes a list of completions, and is responsible for checking if they’re finished, and advancing the underlying operations as needed.

Each orchestrator module implements its own underlying mechanisms for completions. This might involve running the underlying operations in threads, or batching the operations up before later executing in one go in the background. If implementing such a batching pattern, the module would do no work on any operation until it appeared in a list of completions passed into wait.

WriteCompletion objects have a two-stage execution. First they become persistent, meaning that the write has made it to the orchestrator itself, and been persisted there (e.g. a manifest file has been updated). If ceph-mgr crashed at this point, the operation would still eventually take effect. Second, the completion becomes effective, meaning that the operation has really happened (e.g. a service has actually been started).


Given a list of Completion instances, progress any which are incomplete. Return a true if everything is done.

Callers should inspect the detail of each completion to identify partial completion/progress information, and present that information to the user.

For fast operations (e.g. reading from a database), implementations may choose to do blocking IO in this call.

Return type


class orchestrator._Completion
property exception

Holds an exception object.

property is_errored

Has the completion failed. Default implementation looks for self.exception. Can be overwritten.

property result

Return the result of the operation that we were waited for. Only valid after calling Orchestrator.wait() on this completion.

class orchestrator.ReadCompletion

Orchestrator implementations should inherit from this class to implement their own handles to operations in progress, and return an instance of their subclass from calls into methods.

property should_wait

Could the external operation be deemed as complete, or should we wait? We must wait for a read operation only if it is not complete.

class orchestrator.WriteCompletion

Orchestrator implementations should inherit from this class to implement their own handles to operations in progress, and return an instance of their subclass from calls into methods.

property is_effective

Has the operation taken effect on the cluster? For example, if we were adding a service, has it come up and appeared in Ceph’s cluster maps?

property is_persistent

Has the operation updated the orchestrator’s configuration persistently? Typically this would indicate that an update had been written to a manifest, but that the update had not necessarily been pushed out to the cluster.

progress = None

if a orchestrator module can provide a more detailed progress information, it needs to also call progress.update().

property should_wait

Could the external operation be deemed as complete, or should we wait? We must wait for a write operation only if we know it is not persistent yet.


In general, stateless services do not require any specific placement rules, as they can run anywhere that sufficient system resources are available. However, some orchestrators may not include the functionality to choose a location in this way, so we can optionally specify a location when creating a stateless service.

OSD services generally require a specific placement choice, as this will determine which storage devices are used.

Error Handling

The main goal of error handling within orchestrator modules is to provide debug information to assist users when dealing with deployment errors.

class orchestrator.OrchestratorError

General orchestrator specific error.

Used for deployment, configuration or user errors.

It’s not intended for programming errors or orchestrator internal errors.

class orchestrator.NoOrchestrator(msg='No orchestrator configured (try `ceph orchestrator set backend`)')

No orchestrator in configured.

class orchestrator.OrchestratorValidationError

Raised when an orchestrator doesn’t support a specific feature.

In detail, orchestrators need to explicitly deal with different kinds of errors:

  1. No orchestrator configured

    See NoOrchestrator.

  2. An orchestrator doesn’t implement a specific method.

    For example, an Orchestrator doesn’t support add_host.

    In this case, a NotImplementedError is raised.

  3. Missing features within implemented methods.

    E.g. optional parameters to a command that are not supported by the backend (e.g. the hosts field in Orchestrator.update_mons() command with the rook backend).

    See OrchestratorValidationError.

  4. Input validation errors

    The orchestrator_cli module and other calling modules are supposed to provide meaningful error messages.

    See OrchestratorValidationError.

  5. Errors when actually executing commands

    The resulting Completion should contain an error string that assists in understanding the problem. In addition, _Completion.is_errored() is set to True

  6. Invalid configuration in the orchestrator modules

    This can be tackled similar to 5.

All other errors are unexpected orchestrator issues and thus should raise an exception that are then logged into the mgr log file. If there is a completion object at that point, _Completion.result() may contain an error message.

Excluded functionality

  • Ceph’s orchestrator interface is not a general purpose framework for managing linux servers – it is deliberately constrained to manage the Ceph cluster’s services only.

  • Multipathed storage is not handled (multipathing is unnecessary for Ceph clusters). Each drive is assumed to be visible only on a single node.

Host management


Add a host to the orchestrator inventory.


host – hostname


Remove a host from the orchestrator inventory.


host – hostname


Report the hosts in the cluster.

The default implementation is extra slow.


list of InventoryNodes

Inventory and status

Orchestrator.get_inventory(node_filter=None, refresh=False)

Returns something that was created by ceph-volume inventory.


list of InventoryNode

class orchestrator.InventoryFilter(labels=None, nodes=None)

When fetching inventory, use this filter to avoid unnecessarily scanning the whole estate.

Typical use: filter by node when presenting UI workflow for configuring

a particular server. filter by label when not all of estate is Ceph servers, and we want to only learn about the Ceph servers. filter by label when we are interested particularly in e.g. OSD servers.

class orchestrator.InventoryNode(name, devices)

When fetching inventory, all Devices are groups inside of an InventoryNode.

class orchestrator.InventoryDevice(blank=False, type=None, id=None, size=None, rotates=False, available=False, dev_id=None, extended=None, metadata_space_free=None)

When fetching inventory, block devices are reported in this format.

Note on device identifiers: the format of this is up to the orchestrator, but the same identifier must also work when passed into StatefulServiceSpec. The identifier should be something meaningful like a device WWID or stable device node path – not something made up by the orchestrator.

“Extended” is for reporting any special configuration that may have already been done out of band on the block device. For example, if the device has already been configured for encryption, report that here so that it can be indicated to the user. The set of extended properties may differ between orchestrators. An orchestrator is permitted to support no extended properties (only normal block devices)

available = None

can be used to create a new OSD?

dev_id = None


extended = None

arbitrary JSON-serializable object

id = None

unique within a node (or globally if you like).


Print a human friendly line with the information of the device


only_header – Print only the name of the device attributes


Device Path           Type       Size    Rotates  Available Model
/dev/sdc            hdd   50.00 GB       True       True ATA/QEMU
rotates = None

indicates if it is a spinning disk

size = None

byte integer.

type = None

‘ssd’, ‘hdd’, ‘nvme’

Orchestrator.describe_service(service_type=None, service_id=None, node_name=None, refresh=False)

Describe a service (of any kind) that is already configured in the orchestrator. For example, when viewing an OSD in the dashboard we might like to also display information about the orchestrator’s view of the service (like the kubernetes pod ID).

When viewing a CephFS filesystem in the dashboard, we would use this to display the pods being currently run for MDS daemons.


list of ServiceDescription objects.

class orchestrator.ServiceDescription(nodename=None, container_id=None, service=None, service_instance=None, service_type=None, version=None, rados_config_location=None, service_url=None, status=None, status_desc=None)

For responding to queries about the status of a particular service, stateful or stateless.

This is not about health or performance monitoring of services: it’s about letting the orchestrator tell Ceph whether and where a service is scheduled in the cluster. When an orchestrator tells Ceph “it’s running on node123”, that’s not a promise that the process is literally up this second, it’s a description of where the orchestrator has decided the service should run.

Service Actions

Orchestrator.service_action(action, service_type, service_name=None, service_id=None)

Perform an action (start/stop/reload) on a service.

Either service_name or service_id must be specified:

  • If using service_name, perform the action on that entire logical service (i.e. all daemons providing that named service).

  • If using service_id, perform the action on a single specific daemon instance.

  • action – one of “start”, “stop”, “reload”

  • service_type – e.g. “mds”, “rgw”, …

  • service_name – name of logical service (“cephfs”, “us-east”, …)

  • service_id – service daemon instance (usually a short hostname)

Return type


OSD management

Orchestrator.create_osds(drive_group, all_hosts)

Create one or more OSDs within a single Drive Group.

The principal argument here is the drive_group member of OsdSpec: other fields are advisory/extensible for any finer-grained OSD feature enablement (choice of backing store, compression/encryption, etc).

  • drive_group – DriveGroupSpec

  • all_hosts – TODO, this is required because the orchestrator methods are not composable Probably this parameter can be easily removed because each orchestrator can use the “get_inventory” method and the “drive_group.host_pattern” attribute to obtain the list of hosts where to apply the operation


Like create_osds, but the osd_id_claims must be fully populated.


osd_ids – list of OSD IDs

Note that this can only remove OSDs that were successfully created (i.e. got an OSD ID).

class orchestrator.DeviceSelection(paths=None, id_model=None, size=None, rotates=None, count=None)

Used within myclass.DriveGroupSpec to specify the devices used by the Drive Group.

Any attributes (even none) can be included in the device specification structure.

count = None

if this is present limit the number of drives to this number.

id_model = None

A wildcard string. e.g: “SDD*”

paths = None

List of absolute paths to the devices.

rotates = None

is the drive rotating or not

size = None

Size specification of format LOW:HIGH. Can also take the the form :HIGH, LOW: or an exact value (as ceph-volume inventory reports)

class orchestrator.DriveGroupSpec(host_pattern, data_devices=None, db_devices=None, wal_devices=None, journal_devices=None, data_directories=None, osds_per_device=None, objectstore='bluestore', encrypted=False, db_slots=None, wal_slots=None)

Describe a drive group in the same form that ceph-volume understands.

data_devices = None

A orchestrator.DeviceSelection

data_directories = None

A list of strings, containing paths which should back OSDs

db_devices = None

A orchestrator.DeviceSelection

db_slots = None

How many OSDs per DB device

encrypted = None

true or false

host_pattern = None

An fnmatch pattern to select hosts. Can also be a single host.

journal_devices = None

A orchestrator.DeviceSelection

objectstore = None

filestore or bluestore

osd_id_claims = None

Optional: mapping of drive to OSD ID, used when the created OSDs are meant to replace previous OSDs on the same node.

osds_per_device = None

Number of osd daemons per “DATA” device. To fully utilize nvme devices multiple osds are required.

wal_devices = None

A orchestrator.DeviceSelection

wal_slots = None

How many OSDs per WAL device

Stateless Services

Orchestrator.add_stateless_service(service_type, spec)

Installing and adding a completely new service to the cluster.

This is not about starting services.

Orchestrator.update_stateless_service(service_type, spec)

This is about changing / redeploying existing services. Like for example changing the number of service instances.

Return type


Orchestrator.remove_stateless_service(service_type, id_)

Uninstalls an existing service from the cluster.

This is not about stopping services.



Report on what versions are available to upgrade to


List of strings


If an upgrade is currently underway, report on where we are in the process, or if some error has occurred.


UpgradeStatusSpec instance

class orchestrator.UpgradeSpec
class orchestrator.UpgradeStatusSpec



Report whether we can talk to the orchestrator. This is the place to give the user a meaningful message if the orchestrator isn’t running or can’t be contacted.

This method may be called frequently (e.g. every page load to conditionally display a warning banner), so make sure it’s not too expensive. It’s okay to give a slightly stale status (e.g. based on a periodic background ping of the orchestrator) if that’s necessary to make this method fast.

..note:: True doesn’t mean that the desired functionality

is actually available in the orchestrator. I.e. this won’t work as expected:

>>> if OrchestratorClientMixin().available()[0]:  # wrong.
...     OrchestratorClientMixin().get_hosts()

two-tuple of boolean, string

Client Modules

class orchestrator.OrchestratorClientMixin

A module that inherents from OrchestratorClientMixin can directly call all Orchestrator methods without manually calling remote.

Every interface method from Orchestrator is converted into a stub method that internally calls OrchestratorClientMixin._oremote()

>>> class MyModule(OrchestratorClientMixin):
...    def func(self):
...        completion = self.add_host('somehost')  # calls `_oremote()`
...        self._orchestrator_wait([completion])
...        self.log.debug(completion.result)

Useable in the Dashbord that uses a global mgr