Getting Started with OpenStack

A quick tutorial for getting started with Cloudify and deploying your first blueprint on OpenStack


In this tutorial you will start a Cloudify manager on your OpenStack environment, and install a sample Cloudify 3.0 blueprint on it. The blueprint describes a nodejs application that connects to a MongoDB database and presents a wine catalog. To learn more about blueprint syntax and elements please refer to the Blueprints Tutorial.

Before You Begin

It is recommended that you try the standalone tutorial first to get yourself familiar with Cloudify and its concepts. Also, to complete this tutorial you’ll need to have an OpenStack cloud environment and credentials.

Step by Step Walkthrough

Step 1: Install the Cloudify CLI

The first thing you’ll need to do is install the Cloudify CLI, which will let you upload blueprints, create deployments from them and execute workflows on these deployments. To do so follow the steps described in the CLI installation guide. If you installed the CLI using PyPi, make sure to also install the OpenStack provider.

Step 2: Initialize the OpenStack Configuration

Next, you need to create an OpenStack congifuration and save your credentials into it. To create the configuration, type the following command:

cfy init openstack

This will create a Cloudify configuration file named cloudify-config.yaml in the current directory (it will also create a file named .cloudify to save the current context for the Cloudify CLI, but you shouldn’t care about that for now).

Next, open the file cloudify-config.yaml in your text editor of choice.

Uncomment the keystone, networking and compute elements and their respective sub elements (as listed below) in the file and change the following elements so that they match your own OpenStack environment (note that this will leave a few elements still commented out, leave them as is): auth_url, neutron_url, region, image and flavor. Bellow are sepcific examples for setting up cloudify on DevStac and HP Cloud. In both cases we only highlighted the configuration elements that you need to modify. The rest of the elements should be left commented.

Default Cloudify setup for DevStack

DevStack is a popular development environment for OpenStack. Bellow is the default values that you could use to configure cloudify for DevStack

        username: admin
        password: password
        tenant_name: password
        auth_url: http:://[YOUR-DEVSTACK-IP]:5000/v2.0

    # # Network configuration

    #Choose here an IP of a DNS server accessiable from your devstack machine.
    dns_nameservers: [‘’]

    #choose your Openstack public network name. The DevStack default is “public”
    name: public

    ##Compute section:

    # flavor and image ids are also environment specific and will have to be overridden. 
    # Image id is the image id that you generated when you added the Ubuntu image to Devstack.
    flavor: 2
    image: ####-####-####-####

Default setup for HP OpenStack

HP Cloud is a public OpenStack cloud. As such it is a fairly easy way get a hold of a fully operational OpenStack environment. To use HP Cloud you need setup an account on the HP Helion Cloud.

Note: According to the HP Cloud website: As of October 21st, 2015, we are no longer accepting new customer accounts on the HP Helion Public Cloud. This service will be shutting down on January 31st, 2016. For more information, please view the announcement.

If you’re going to use HP Cloud, you will only need to change the following configuration elements in the cloudify-config.yaml and type in your account username, password and tenant name. The tenant name is the project in the HP Cloud console (or your OpenStack Horizon dashboard).

        username: Enter-HP-Openstack-Username-Here
        password: Enter-HP-Openstack-Password-Here
        tenant_name: Enter-HP-Openstack-Tenant-Name-Here
        auth_url: Enter-HP-Openstack-Auth-Url-Here

You can find information on how to setup the HP authentiation URL here.

You can choose the follwoing auth_url value to connect to HP Cloud’s east region authentication service.

auth_url: ""

You will also need to set the region and image id elements under the compute section. The region value can be US-West (region-a.geo-1) or US-East (region-b.geo-1). You can use the HP image commands to list to possible options for image IDs. In our case we use image id 75d47d10-fef8-473b-9dd1-fe2f7649cb41 which is an Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS (amd64 20140606) image.

region: region-b.geo-1
    image: 75d47d10-fef8-473b-9dd1-fe2f7649cb41

If your running multiple users under the same tenant you may need to add prefix to each resource in the default configuration file.

    #  # You would probably want a prefix that ends with underscore or dash
        resources_prefix: <user specific prefix>

Step 3: Boostrap the Cloudify Manager

Now you’re ready to bootstrap your cloudify manager. To do so type the following command in the terminal windows:

cfy bootstrap

This should take a few minutes to complete. After validating the configuration, cfy will list all of the resources created, create the management VM and related networks and security groups (the latter two will not be created if they already exist), download the relevant Cloudify manager packages from the internet and install all of the components. At the end of this process you should see the following message:

bootstrapping complete
management server is up at <YOUR MANAGER IP ADDRESS> (is now set as the default management server)

To validate this installation, point your web browser to the manager IP address (port 80). You should see the Cloudify web UI. At this point there’s nothing much to see since you haven’t yet uploaded any blueprint.

Step 4: Upload the Blueprint and Create a Deployment

Next, we’ll upload the sample blueprint and create a deployment based on it. You will first need to clone this repository into your local file system. To do so type the following command:

git clone
cd cloudify-nodecellar-openstack/
git checkout tags/3.0

This will create a directory called cloudify-nodecellar-openstack in your current directory. You can see the blueprint file (named blueprint.yaml) alongside other resources related to this blueprint. To upload the blueprint, cd back to your cfy folder and type the following command:

cd -
cfy blueprints upload -b nodecellar1 cloudify-nodecellar-openstack/blueprint.yaml

The -b parameter is the unique name we’ve given to this blueprint on the Cloudify manager. A blueprint is a template of an application stack. Blueprints cannot be materialized on their own. For that you will need to create a deployment, which is essentially an instance of this blueprint (kind of like what an instance is to a class in an OO model). But first let’s go back to the web UI and see what this blueprint looks like. Point your browser to the manager URL again, and refresh the screen. You will see the nodecellar blueprint listed there.

Blueprints table

Click the row with the blueprint. You will now see the topology of this blueprint. A topology consists of elements called nodes. In our case, we have the following nodes: a network, a subnet, a security group, two VMs, a nodejs server, a mongodb server, and a nodejs application called nodecellar (which is a nice sample nodejs application backed by mongodb).

Nodecellar Blueprint

Next, we need to create a deployment so we can create this topology in our OpenStack cloud. To do so, type the following command:

cfy deployments create -b nodecellar1 -d nodecellar1

With this command we’ve created a deployment named nodecellar1 from a blueprint with the same name. This deployment is not yet materialized, since we haven’t issued any command to install it. If you click the “Deployments” icon in the left sidebar in the web UI, you will see that all nodes are labeled with 0/1, which means they weren’t yet created.

Step 5: Install the Deployment

In Cloudify, every thing that is executed for a certain deployment is done in the context of a workflow. A workflow is essentially a set of steps, executed by Cloudify agents (which are basically Celery workers). So whenever a workflow is triggered, it sends a set of tasks to the Cloudify agents, which then execute them and report back the results. For example, the install workflows which we’re going to trigger, will send tasks to create the various OpenStack resources, and then install and start the application components on them. By default, the Cloudify manager will create one agent per deployment, on the management VM. When application VMs are created by the default install workflow (in our case there’s two of them), this workflow also installs an agent on each of these VMs, and subsequent tasks to configure these VMs and install application componets are executed by these agents. To trigger the install workflow, type the following command in your terminal:

cfy deployments execute -d nodecellar1 install

These will take a couple of minutes, during which the OpenStack resources and VMs will be created and configured. To track the progress of the installation, you can look at the events emitted to the terminal window. Each event is labeled with its time, the deployment name and the node in our topology that it relates to, e.g.

2014-07-21T15:37:31 CFY <nodecellar1> [mongod_vm_41765] Starting node

You can also view the events in the deployment screen in the web UI.


Step 7: Test Drive the Application

To test the application, you will need to access it using its public IP address. Locate the VM that runs the nodejs server in your OpenStack dashboard, and use port 8080 to access it from your web browser. You should see the nodecellar application. Click the “Browse wines” button to verify that the application was installed suceesfully and can access the mongodb database to read the list of wines.


Step 8: Uninstall the Deployment

Uninstalling the deployment is just a matter of running another workflow, which will teardown all the resources that were provisionined by the install workflow. To run the uninstallation workflow, type the following command:

cfy deployments execute -d nodecellar1 uninstall

Similarly to the install workflow, you can track the progress of the uninstallation in the CLI or the web UI using the events that are displayed in both. Once the workflow completes, you can verify that the VMs were indeed destroyed and the other application related resources have also been removed.

Step 9: Delete the Deployment

The next step is deleting the deployment. Assuming the uninstallation went fine, all of the application resources should have been removed. However, the deployment itself is still recorded on the manager. For example, all of its static and runtime properties are still stored in the manager’s database. To clean up all the information related to the deployment on the manager, delete the deploymet as follows:

cfy deployments delete -d nodecellar1

Step 10: Teardown the Manager

Next, you can also teardown the manager if you have no use for it anymore. This can be done by issuing the following command:

cfy teardown -f --ignore-deployments

This will terminate the manager VM and delete the resources associated with it.

What’s Next

For a more elaborate installation tutorial, please refer to the Openstack Installation Guide.