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From Jeremiah Orem <>
Subject Re: [libcloud] SoftLayer driver
Date Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:11:22 GMT

On Mar 18, 2010, at 1:18 PM, Henri Kivelä wrote:
> SoftLayer has SOAP and XML-RPC interfaces. I went trough the pain to try ZSI, soappy
and SUDS. None of them works for creating virtual guests (ordering part of the API). ZSI and
soappy - don't remember the exact problems. SUDS has problems with performance (SL returns
WSDL/XSD which can be close to 1MB, processing takes seconds), and then with multi-refs when
parsing/building order templates.
> XML-RPC API works, but there was no support for the complex data types required for ordering.
SL fixed this quickly when requested, however.
I think xmlrpclib is the way to go, since it won't add any third party dependencies.

> The API not only covers virtual guests, but pretty much everything. It's quite powerful.
Creating "instances" has to be done by constructing a complex datatype including varying product
items. There are no ready "instance types" to use. Existing examples were getting a template
out from a running node, modifying it and then using it for ordering. That template call returns
a lot of data, but I was able to get just the required parts out of there and that's now in
the code as an example template. Building new templates takes time, should make a tool for
it. Available packages and items can be digged out using the API.
> With CloudLayer, which is interesting when it comes to libcloud, there are two different
parts of API (at least): for hardware and virtual guests. Hardware here is the Bare Metal
servers which are bare metal, not virtualized at all like the name says. Those can be ordered
on hourly basis, so I decided to include it in the implementation, there is need for it. Does
someone disagree with libcloud having this support...
> Because of the data structures for hardware and virtual guests have differences, destroy_node
and other functions have to take this into account. The implementation is there, could be
done neater in proper OO way but works now.
We should probably subclass SoftLayerDriver as SoftLayerBareMetalDriver?

> What is missing:
> - Support for ordering bare metal instances. I've been working on this with SL support,
hope to get it done soon. It's a bit more complicated since there is no function to get a
ready template out of the API.
> - create_node function parameters may need to be changed after this bare metal thing
works ... need to think how to do it so that it's easy to understand and use. Order quantity
is missing from there.
> - Testing cases. The MockHttp way cannot be used, since xmlrpclib is used. Maybe something
that uses dicts as fixtures.
Last night I checked some test cases in, take a look when you have a chance.

> After all, it's quite close. Please have a look and tell if this could be merged to apache/libcloud,
what needs to be done and changed. At least you can take some code/ideas from there if nothing
else ;)

I'll poke at your code and merge some of it in tonight or tomorrow. 



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