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Rule The Stack - OpenStack Summit Vancouver BC

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Sep 25, 2015

At the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, BC there will be a new chance to see who has the skillset to be crowned "Ruler of the Stack"

At a minimum you must build a complete OpenStack infrastructure with compute, storage, and networking using 6 provided physical nodes and launch some virtual machines. You will be competing on speed and accuracy of your deployment and there will be both bonuses and penalties applied to determine your final time/score. To encourage participation we have developed the competition to be scalable from a fairly simple deployment as a baseline. But to really showcase the skills of a true “Ruler of the Stack” the competition will include additional elements like rolling upgrade, live migration, etc. AND, as a further incentive, competitors will be given what will certainly be the most sought-after T-shirt at the summit. Over the next few weeks leading up to the summit we will update this page with more details, hints, and tips on how to avoid the penalties and achieve the bonuses. So check back often!

There will be a total of physical 6 nodes to work with, in three different configurations. You will start by identifying the best use of resources and assign the physical nodes in the most appropriate configuration. Since Kilo will be released shortly before the summit, we want to see who can be fastest to implement the latest, so deploying with Kilo will be your goal (unless you will attempt the “rolling upgrade” bonus, read the details below).

To participate, you will need to sign up for a time slot in with the Rule The Stack staff at the Yaletown Lounge. When your time slot begins, the timer will start. Please let the Rule The Stack staff know which of the bonuses you will be attempting. (Those attempting rolling upgrade and live migration bonuses will be given longer timelsots though succesfully achieving the bonuses will result in lower overall scored times). The timer will stop once you have completed your deployment, including any of the bonus configurations. The result will be your clock time. You will also need to provide any necessary passwords to test your configuration upon completion. The Rule the Stack staff will evaluate your deployment and verify the bonuses and assess any penalties to create your scored time. The Ruler of the Stack will be the contestant with the lowest overall scored time and will win a Dell XPS 13 Touch w/ 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor and Infinity Display (QHD+ touch screen). We believe the winning scored time may well be a negative time since some of the bonuses are quite difficult, and will be appropriately rewarded. There will also be multiple other prizes, including Intel NUC systems, Basis Peak watches, Dell Venue 8 tablets, and more, awarded based on times and specific bonuses achieved.

While you will have access to the internet, we strongly remind you that we are on a shared network on the demo floor, and network latency and pulling down files from github may not be the best way to go the fastest. So feel free to preload a USB stick or DVD, or even bring your own deployment node that you plug into the local network so that you don’t have to wait on network transfer. All installation tools and independent hardware (USB media, DVDs, deployment nodes, etc.) MUST be removed before the testing begins and your deployment will be expected to run solely and independently on the provided hardware.

Physical Node Configurations:

Server Config 1 Config 2 Config 3

2 x Intel® Xeon® E5-2650v2


1x800GB SSD

2 x Intel® Xeon® E5-2650v2


2x800GB SSD

2 Intel®Xeon® E5-2697 V3


1x800GB SSD


More detailed configuration can be found in the attached setup diagrams...

Bonuses and Penalties

  • Penalty 1 – time will be added for any release prior to Kilo, except in the case of a rolling upgrade, where the initial deployment should be on an earlier release, but the end configuration target will still be Kilo. The penalty will be 10 minutes time added to your score for every major release prior to Kilo (10 minutes for Juno, 20 minutes for Havana)
  • Penalty 2 – time will be added for any unconfigured nodes, 10 minutes for each unconfigured node.
  • Penalty 3 - time will be added for less than optimum use of the physical nodes, though some flexability is allowed with justification for any configuration you choose (really, this is meant to be a simple check that you are paying attention to the given configuration and thinking ahead about how to configure your stack).

But enough about the penalties, lets get to the bonuses! 

  • Bonus 1 - Virtual machines deployed as a collection via Heat. We will expect to be able to launch a created stack via Horizon. Achieving this objective will result in a 5 minute deduction applied to your scored time.
  • Bonus 2 - Getting the most out of your datacenter investment is crucial to being a competant Ruler of the Stack. Demonstrate your expertise by exposing the full compute capablities and extended instruction sets of the underlying physical nodes. Since this competition is running on Intel hardware, to achieve this bonus you must demonstrate AVX/AVX2 capabilites are exposed within your VMs. The test will be a simple 'cat /proc/cpuinfo' within a lanched VM. Achieving this objective will result in a 3 minute deduction applied to your scored time.
  • Bonus 3 - Provinding a secure compute environment within your datacenter is a critical need for many of your potential customers. To show that you are ready to meet the demand for secure computing, implement trusted boot within your environment. Achieving this objective will result in a 10 minute deduction applied to your scored time.
  • Bonus 4 - As mentioned above, there will be a bonus for being able to perform a live migration of a virtual machine. Specifics on the objective, and how it will be tested will be announced soon. Achieving this objective will result in a 15 minute deduction applied to your scored time.
  • Bonus 5 - As mentioned above, there will be a bonus for being able to perform a rolling upgrade. You will need to show the Rule The Stack staff your initial deployment and the timer will be paused while it is verified, with some launched VMs. Then the timer will be resumed, and the staff will observe you while you perform your upgrade. The objective of the rolling upgrade is no end user impact (VMs stay running and OpenStack services stay on). Achieving this objective will result in a 40 minute deduction applied to your scored time.


Additional Hints and Tips for achieving these bonuses will be added to this page, so please check back often!

Hints and Tips for Bonus 2:
This bonus is an example of Enhanced Platform Awareness and requires the use of scheduling filters and creating and modifying flavors and metadata.
Start here:
to learn about using filtered scheduling and then read more about Enhanced Platform Awareness in this whitepaper:
and learn what to filter on (remember, we'll be testing for avx and avx2).

Hints and Tips for Bonus 3:
Two of the supplied physical nodes with have TPM modules installed. These will need to be set up in the BIOS and then configured up through the OS. More details can be found here: Please note that there will be some differences in configuring the TPMs on the actual servers we will be using, but the servers will already have them installed and enabled.

Hints and Tips for Bonus 4:
To get some help and ideas for the Live Migration bonus, it might be helpful to attend the "Dive into VM Live Migration" -


Hints and Tips for Bonus 5:
To get some help and ideas for the Live Migration bonus, it might be helpful to attend one of the sessions on Upgrades including, "10 Minute OpenStack Upgrades" ( and/or listen to the key learnings from "The Road to Rolling Upgrade of Intel IT Private Cloud" ( where best practices of performing rolling upgrades will be shared.


Official Contest Rules and Regulations can also be found attached.

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