Chameleon Changelog for April 2019

Great news in Chameleon-land!


I was going to make a joke about how April showers bring May flowers, but that seems to imply that April was a bad month, even if we were making it rain (or snow, as the case may have been in Chicago.) Anyhow, here’s what we’ve been up to this past month.


CHI platform upgrades completed. As hinted at last month, we’ve been working behind the scenes to upgrade all of our core infrastructure (which, as you know, is built on OpenStack) to the latest system version (Rocky). This was important to do so that we can continue to integrate bug fixes and feature improvements contributed by the upstream community into Chameleon, for the benefit of experimenters like yourselves. One important change that happened as a result of this is that you must now allocate Floating IPs in the UI via the “Network” dashboard, available from the left-hand sidebar. We’ve updated our documentation to reflect this change. Thanks for your patience as we’ve fought our way through this; it’s required a fair few maintenance windows to get everything right, though hopefully we have not disrupted your workflow very much throughout the process.


Multiple network interfaces available for Haswell nodes. You may have noticed that most bare metal nodes you reserve on Chameleon have up to four network interfaces, but only one of them can effectively be used. This was due to both physical and software constraints: we simply didn’t have enough ports free on the switches for a while, and also didn’t have support in the system for expressing multiple NICs on one node. We’re happy to announce that we’ve made some good progress on that, and now all the Haswell nodes at TACC and UC have their second NIC cabled up and ready for action. This means you can use two 10G links on a single bare metal node. The way this works is you attach two networks to a node when you launch: the first NIC is mounted on the first network, the second NIC mounted on the second. Check out our documentation for more information about how to do this.

One lease to rule them all! We’ve made a lot or improvements to the reservation system lately, adding the ability to reserve both VLAN segments and Floating IPs. But, it was only possible to reserve all of these under one lease if you were an advanced user of the CLI, meaning you had to manage multiple leases and ensure they all overlapped in time if you were using the GUI. Well, there is now support in the GUI for reserving all of these resources with just one lease. As always, please have a look at our documentation for an overview.

Fixing the infinite login loop of death, amongst other things. Some of you reported that it was possible to get in to a weird state, especially for new accounts, whereupon if you  log in to the bare metal experimentation UI, you would be immediately be logged out again and taken back to where you started. While very valuable from an existential standpoint, we ultimately decided this experience should be avoided and have made some improvements in detecting various login edge cases so you (especially new users) encounter fewer existential adventures in the future.

Finally, we’d like to announce that we’re starting the webinars again. These webinars are good ways for you to learn about features you might not have otherwise known about, ask questions, and get more ideas about how to use Chameleon for your experimentation. We’ll be messaging when webinars are scheduled, so stay tuned!

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