We’ve come a long way already with our OpenStack Havana All-in-One lab, but we need to get to the customer facing side to really see what OpenStack will look like as we deploy and manage it. This is where we get to the OpenStack Dashboard tool which is known as Horizon.
In our first post (OpenStack Havana All-in-One Lab on VMware Workstation) we deployed the lab VM which gives us a minimally sized testing environment for OpenStack Havana feature testing. The lab is still fairly basic, but we will grow it along the way with some additional scripts as we append the other OpenStack projects into our build.
Following that post, we used the OpenStack Havana All-in-One: Booting your first Nova Instance post to launch a Nova instance from the console to illustrate how we create running guest instances on our Nova KVM hypervisor.
Time for the next steps.
Not just for the command line enthusiasts
Admittedly, I spend a significant amount of my day-to-day administration in shell scripts and command line even in Windows and vSphere environments. That being said, I am working on different tasks to create orchestration features for others so that they can use GUI tools to do their day-to-day administrative work.
Have no fear! There is a slick web UI that has been developed as a part of the OpenStack ecosystem. This is Horizon:
And the magical thing we have achieved is that it is already deployed inside your lab! Make sure that your OpenStack Havana All-in-One VM is online and you can access the Horizon interface by using the IP address as follows:
In my case, this was http://192.168.79.50/horizon
At the log in screen, you have two different accounts that you can use to log in that have already been created for you. The first is our admin account:
User Name: admin
When you log in with the admin account, you will see quite a few options and tabs available to you:
If you click on the Project tab in the left hand pane, you will see a nice view of the Usage Summary for your admin project. The pie charts are noticeably empty because we have no running instances.
Let’s launch an instance using Horizon to see what the user experience will be like. Remember how our command line process worked, and you will see why we had the parameters we used involved in the launch at the console.
Make sure you are in the Project tab in the left hand pane. Click on the Instances menu option and you will then see the Launch Instance button at the top right of your screen:
On the Details tab there are a few fields that we need to fill in to prepare our instance. Fill in the name as you’d like, which I’ve chosen as the ever original myinstance. Next, choose our flavor, which I’ve left as m1.tiny which will be a 1 GB boot volume and only uses 512 MB of RAM.
For the Instance Boot Source choose Boot from image as the option:
Once your boot source has been selected, you will use the Image Name drop down list to pick the Cirros 0.3.1 image that was uploaded during the all-in-one script process:
On the Access & Security tab, you have to select the Keypair to use. We will use the mykey Keypair we uploaded from the console prompt in the first post.
You can choose the Admin password, but in this case we won’t bother because we can just accept the default. This is meant to show us the deployment process more than anything.
Also, make sure that the Security Groups checkbox is checked for default:
We have all the information we need to proceed, so click the Launch button and watch what happens:
I see something happening!
Now you can see some activity in your Instances panel!
Yup, it worked! There are some options that you’ll see if you click on the right hand side in the More drop-list. There will be an error if you use the Associate Floating IP option because we haven’t created our floating IP pool yet. Don’t worry, we will get to that in our networking post.
You can choose what you’d like to do with your instance. It is important to understand the difference between Shut Off and Terminate though before you click. Shut Off means that the instance is shut down. For VMware admins, this is the same as the Shutdown Guest OS option.
Terminating the instance is, well, a little more aggressive.
What about the User Experience?
This is great for administrators, but one of the maxims of a cloud environment is a self-service interface for the customer. Not a problem! Log out of the Horizon dashboard using the Sign Out button at the top right.
At the login screen, you will use the customer credentials that we have created:
User Name: demo
When you login with the demo account, the view is a little more stripped back because this is the consumer version of your OpenStack cloud.
You’ll notice that in the left hand pane that there is only a Project tab. This gives the consumer of our OpenStack cloud the ability to manage their own services within their tenant environment. As we enable more services, the control tabs will show up as more options are installed.
As a “user” in the service, we can launch instances, create snapshots, manage security (tenant-only) and we can see the usage summary with the ability to export usage statistics to CSV.
The next thing we will do is to dial it back a bit and go over some terminology. Don’t worry, we will be doing some more technical steps again soon after.
Take some time to navigate around the Horizon interface and become familiar with both the admin, and the customer experience. It will be important as we delve into more use cases with further posts.
Feel free to let me know if you have any comments or questions, and most of all, be sure to share this wherever you can to help bring more folks up to speed on how to get started with OpenStack Havana! 🙂