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Guest Agent Ideas


[re-posted to the correct list]

	I’m working on the blueprint for resetting the admin password on a XenServer instance (https://blueprints.launchpad.net/nova/+spec/xs-password-reset), but I wanted to run this by the community to get some feedback/input on the design, since it is potentially applicable to other use cases in OpenStack. I figured that email would be a better choice than IRC because of time zones, work schedules, etc.

	Please keep in mind that the entire concept of a guest agent and communication between it and the host will be completely *optional*. At Rackspace, since we actively manage guest instances for our customers, it makes a lot of sense. For other applications there would be no need at all for this, and lots of reasons not to. Another aspect is that this is intended for communicating with running instances, not for the initial creation. What I'm looking for are other potential use cases for when someone would need the host to communicate to the guest and vice-versa.

	The current design uses a guest agent installed on the instance that regularly checks XenStore for password reset requests. Obviously this is a XenServer-specific design, so I’m looking for suggestions on a hypervisor-agnostic solution for the request store: one that is as lightweight as possible, and which hosts and guests would be able to access.

	When the guest agent finds a password reset request in the store, it starts the password resetting routines, and updates the record with its status, which the host can check to report back to the requester. I think that this approach is simple enough to work for any agent requests, not just password resetting, but I’d like to hear other ideas if you have any.

-- Ed Leafe

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