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QUADS (quick and dirty scheduler)

QUADS automates the future scheduling, end-to-end provisioning and delivery of bare-metal servers and networks.



What does it do?

  • Create and manage unlimited future scheduling for automated slicing & dicing of systems and network infrastructure
  • Drive automated systems provisioning and network switch changes to deliver isolated, multi-tenant bare-metal environments
  • Automated network and provisioning validation prior to delivering sets of machines/networks to tenants
  • Automated allocation of optional, publicly routable VLANs
  • Generates/maintains user-configurable instackenv.json to accomodate OpenStack deployment.
  • Generates/maintains user-configurable ocpinventory.json for OpenShift on Baremetal Deployments
  • Automatically generate/maintain documentation to illustrate current status, published to a Wordpress instance
    • Current system details, infrastructure fleet inventory
    • Current system group ownership (cloud), workloads and assignments
    • Total duration and time remaining in system assignments
    • Dynamic provisioning & system/network validation status per assignment
    • Currently allocated/free optional publicly routable VLAN status
  • Query scheduling data to determine future availability
  • Generates a per-month visualization map for per-machine allocations to assignments.
  • JIRA integration.
  • Webhook and IRC notifications (via supybot/notify plugin) for system releases.
  • Email notifications to users for new future assignments, releases and expirations.
  • Flask-based Web UI for searching for available bare-metal systems in the future based on model.


  • Main components: Python3, CherryPy, Mongoengine, MongoDB, Jinja2
  • Installation via RPM for Fedora Linux.
  • We use Badfish for managing bare-metal IPMI
  • We use Foreman for the systems provisioning backend.
  • We use Wordpress for auto-generating wiki and documentation.
  • A typical container-based QUADS deployment might look like this:



  • In QUADS 1.1+ we are using Python3, Cherrypy and Jinja2 with MongoDB as the database backend.
  • The scheduling functionality can be used standalone, but you'll want a provisioning backend like Foreman to take full advantage of QUADS scheduling, automation and provisioning capabilities.
  • To utilize the automatic wiki/docs generation we use Wordpress but anything that accepts markdown via an API should work.
  • Switch/VLAN automation is done on Juniper Switches in Q-in-Q VLANs, but command sets can easily be extended to support other network switch models.
  • We use badfish for Dell systems to manage boot order to accomodate OpenStack deployments via Ironic/Triple-O as well as to control power actions via the Redfish API.

Setup Overview

  • Documentation for setting up and using QUADS is available in detail within this repository.
  • Below is a high-level overview of a greenfield setup, some of this may exist already for you.
Step Documentation Details
General Architecture Overview docs Architecture overview
Install and Setup Foreman/Satellite docs Not covered here
Setup Foreman/Satellite Validation Templates examples Templates for internal interface configs
Prepare Host and Network Environment docs Covers Juniper Environments, IPMI, Foreman
Install QUADS docs Install via RPM
Install MongoDB docs Install MongoDB separately
Install Wiki docs Use Ansible to Deploy Wordpress
Configure Wiki docs Configure Wordpress Pages and Plugins
Configure your QUADS Move Command docs Configure your provisioning and move actions
Configure QUADS Crons docs Tell QUADS how to manage your infrastructure
Add Clouds and Hosts docs Configure your hosts and environments in QUADS
Host Metadata Model and Search docs Host metadata info and filtering
Using JIRA with QUADS docs Optional JIRA tools and library for QUADS

QUADS Workflow

You can read about QUADS architecture, provisioning, visuals and workflow in our documentation examples and screenshots

QUADS Switch and Host Setup

Installing QUADS

  • We support modern Fedora OS distributions using RPM packages.
  • While we will provide Docker/container files this is more for CI testing and isn't recommended or properly maintained for production deployments.

Installing QUADS from RPM

  • We build RPM packages for the Fedora distribution.
  • On Fedora 30 and above you'll need to manually install mongodb first, see installing mongodb for QUADS
  • On Fedora 30 and above it is necessary to install python3-wordpress-xmlrpc as it is not included anymore
rpm -ivh --nodeps

This package is also available via pip via pip install python-wordpress-xmlrpc

  • Once you have mongodb installed and running you can install/upgrade QUADS via RPM.
dnf copr enable quadsdev/python3-quads  -y
dnf install quads -y
  • Note: If you want the latest development RPM based on the master branch instead:
dnf install quads-dev -y
vi /opt/quads/conf/quads.yml
  • Enable and Start dependent services
  • haveged is a replacement entropy service for VM's, it's optional so turn it off if you want to use /dev/random - this solves certain performance issues known to occur with lack of entropy when running QUADS in a VM.
systemctl enable httpd
systemctl enable haveged
systemctl start haveged
systemctl start httpd
systemctl start mongod
  • Enable and start the QUADS systemd service (daemon)
  • Note: You can change QUADS quads_base_url listening port in conf/quads.yml and use the --port option
systemctl enable quads-server
systemctl start quads-server
  • Source quads binaries in your $PATH (or login with another shell)
source /etc/profile.d/
  • Now you're ready to go.
quads-cli --help
  • For full functionality with Foreman you'll also need to have hammer cli installed and setup on your QUADS host.

  • Note: RPM installations will have quads-cli and tools in your system $PATH but you will need to login to a new shell to pick it up. We typically place this as an alias in /root/.bashrc.

echo 'alias quads="quads-cli"' >> /root/.bashrc

Installing other QUADS Components


  • The Wiki component for QUADS is currently Wordpress, though in 2.x we'll be moving everything to Flask.
  • Please use Red Hat, CentOS Stream or Rocky 8 for the below Wordpress component.
  • Wordpress needs to be on it's own VM/server as a standalone component.
  • Wordpress provides a place to automate documentation and inventory/server status via the Wordpress Python RPC API.
Installing Wordpress via Ansible
  • You can use our Ansible playbook for installing Wordpress / PHP / PHP-FPM / nginx on a Rocky8, RHEL8 or CentOS8 Stream standalone virtual machine.
  • First, clone the repository
git clone
cd ansible/wiki-wordpress-nginx-mariadb
  • Second, add the hostname or IP address of your intended Wiki/Wordpress host replacing with your host in the hosts file.
# cat hosts
  • Third, run Ansible to deploy. You might take a look at group_vars/all for any configuration settings you want to change first.
ansible-playbook -i hosts site.yml
Setup of Wordpress
  • You'll then simply need to create an infrastructure page and assignments page and denote their page id for use in automation. This is set in conf/quads.yml
  • We also provide the krusze theme which does a great job of rendering Markdown-based tables, and the JP Markdown plugin which is required to upload Markdown to the Wordpress XMLRPC Python API. The Classic Editor plugin is also useful. All themes and plugins can be activated from settings.
Limit Page Revisions in Wordpress
  • It's advised to set the following parameter in your wp-config.php file to limit the amount of page revisions that are kept in the database.
    • Before the first reference to ABSPATH in wp-config.php add:
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 100);
  • You can always clear out your old page revisions via the wp-cli utility as well, QUADS regenerates all content as it changes so there is no need to keep around old revisions of pages unless you want to.
yum install wp-cli -y
su - wordpress -s /bin/bash
wp post delete --force $(wp post list --post_type='revision' --format=ids)

QUADS Move Command

  • QUADS relies on calling an external script, trigger or workflow to enact the actual provisioning of machines. You can look at and modify our move-and-rebuild-hosts tool to suit your environment for this purpose. Read more about this in the move-host-command section below.

  • Note: RPM installations will have quads-cli and tools in your system $PATH but you will need to login to a new shell to pick it up.

Making QUADS Run

  • QUADS is a passive service and does not do anything you do not tell it to do. We control QUADS with cron, please copy and modify our example cron commands to your liking, adjust as needed.

  • Below are the major components run out of cron that makes everything work.

Service Command Category Purpose
quads-cli --move-hosts provisioning checks for hosts to move/reclaim as scheduled validation checks clouds pending to be released for all enabled validation checks documentation keeps your infra wiki updated based on current state of environment visualization keeps your systems availability and usage visualization up to date openstack keeps optional openstack triple-o installation files up-to-date

QUADS Usage Documentation

Adding New Hosts to QUADS

Define Initial Cloud Environments

  • Define the various cloud environments
  • These are the isolated environments QUADS will use and provision into for you.
quads-cli --define-cloud --cloud cloud01 --description "Primary Cloud Environment"
quads-cli --define-cloud --cloud cloud02 --description "02 Cloud Environment"
quads-cli --define-cloud --cloud cloud03 --description "03 Cloud Environment"

Define Host in QUADS and Foreman

  • Define the hosts in the environment (Foreman Example)
    • Note the --host-type parameter, this is a mandatory, free-form label that can be anything. It will be used later for post-config automation and categorization.
    • If you don't want systems to be reprovisioned when they move into a cloud environment append --no-wipe to the define command.
    • We are excluding anything starting with mgmt- and including servers with the name r630.
for h in $(hammer host list --per-page 1000 | egrep -v "mgmt|c08-h30"| grep r630 | awk '{ print $3 }') ; do quads-cli --define-host $h --default-cloud cloud01 --host-type general; done
  • The command without Foreman would be simply:
quads-cli --define-host --host <hostname> --default-cloud cloud01 --host-type general

Define Host Interfaces in QUADS

  • Define the host interfaces, these are the internal interfaces you want QUADS to manage for VLAN automation
  • Do this for every interface you want QUADS to manage per host (we are working on auto-discovery of this step).
  • The variable default_pxe_interface on the quads.yml will set the default value of pxe_boot=True for that interface while any other interface will have a default value of False unless specified via --pxe-boot or --no-pxe-boot. This can be later modified via --mod-interface.
quads-cli --add-interface --interface-name em1 --interface-mac 52:54:00:d9:5d:df --interface-switch-ip --interface-port xe-0/0/1:0 --interface-vendor "Intel" --interface-speed 1000 --host <hostname>
quads-cli --add-interface --interface-name em2 --interface-mac 52:54:00:d9:5d:dg --interface-switch-ip --interface-port xe-0/0/1:1 --interface-vendor "Intel" --interface-speed 1000 --pxe-boot --host <hostname>
quads-cli --add-interface --interface-name em3 --interface-mac 52:54:00:d9:5d:dh --interface-switch-ip --interface-port xe-0/0/1:2 --interface-vendor "Intel" --interface-speed 1000 --host <hostname>
quads-cli --add-interface --interface-name em4 --interface-mac 52:54:00:d9:5d:d1 --interface-switch-ip --interface-port xe-0/0/1:3 --interface-vendor "Intel" --interface-speed 1000 --host <hostname>
  • To list the hosts:
quads-cli --ls-hosts

You will now see the list of full hosts.
  • To list a hosts interface and switch information:
quads --ls-interface --host

{"name": "em1", "mac_address": "52:54:00:d9:5d:df", "switch_ip": "", "switch_port": "xe-0/0/1:0"}
{"name": "em2", "mac_address": "52:54:00:d9:5d:dg", "switch_ip": "", "switch_port": "xe-0/0/1:1"}
{"name": "em3", "mac_address": "52:54:00:d9:5d:dh", "switch_ip": "", "switch_port": "xe-0/0/1:2"}
{"name": "em4", "mac_address": "52:54:00:d9:5d:d1", "switch_ip": "", "switch_port": "xe-0/0/1:3"}
  • To see the current system allocations:
quads-cli --summary
cloud01 : 45 (Primary Cloud Environment)
cloud02 : 22 (02 Cloud Environment)
  • For a more detailed summary of current system allocations use --detail
quads-cli --summary --detail
cloud01 (quads): 45 (Primary Cloud Environment) - 451
cloud02 (jdoe): 22 (02 Cloud Environment) - 462
  • For including clouds with no active assignments use --all
quads-cli --summary --detail --all
cloud01 (quads): 45 (Primary Cloud Environment) - 451
cloud02 (jdoe): 22 (02 Cloud Environment) - 462
cloud03 (jhoffa): 0 (03 Cloud Environment) - 367


The format here is based on the following: {cloud_name} ({owner}): {count} ({description}) - {ticket_number}

  • Define a custom schedule for a host
    • Example: assign host c08-h21 to the workload/cloud cloud02
quads-cli --add-schedule --host --schedule-start "2016-07-11 08:00" --schedule-end "2016-07-12 08:00" --schedule-cloud cloud02
  • List the schedule for a specific host:
quads-cli --ls-schedule --host

You'll see the schedule output below

Default cloud: cloud01
Current cloud: cloud02
Defined schedules:
    start: 2016-07-11 08:00
    end: 2016-07-12 08:00
    cloud: cloud02
  • Move any hosts that need to be re-allocated based on the current schedule
quads-cli --move-hosts

You should see the following verbosity from a move operation

INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud02 cloud01 cloud02

How Provisioning Works

QUADS move host command

In QUADS, a move-command is the actionable call that provisions and moves a set of systems from one cloud environment to the other. Via cron, QUADS routinely queries the existing schedules and when it comes time for a set of systems to move to a new environment or be reclaimed and moved back to the spare pool it will run the appropriate varation of your move-command.

In the above example the default move command called /bin/echo for illustration purposes. In order for this to do something more meaningful you should invoke a script with the --move-command option, which should be the path to a valid command or provisioning script/workflow.

  • Define your move command by pointing QUADS to an external command, trigger or script.
  • This expects three arguments hostname current-cloud new-cloud.
  • Runs against all hosts according to the QUADS schedule.
quads-cli --move-hosts --move-command quads/tools/
  • You can modify the default settings via the default_move_command setting in quads-cli.

  • You can look at the move-and-rebuild-hosts script as an example. It's useful to note that with quads/tools/ passing a fourth argument will result in only the network automation running and the actual host provisioning will be skipped. You should review this script and adapt it to your needs, we try to make variables for everything but some assumptions are made to fit our running environments.

QUADS Reporting

Future Assignment Reporting

As of QUADS 1.1.6 we now have the --report-detailed command which will list all upcoming future assignments that are scheduled. You can also specify custom start and end dates via --schedule-start "YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM" and --schedule-stop "YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM"

quads-cli --report-detailed

Example Output

Owner    |    Ticket|    Cloud| Description| Systems|  Scheduled| Duration|
tcruise  |      1034|  cloud20|   Openshift|       6| 2022-02-06|       14|
cwalken  |      1031|  cloud19|   Openstack|       6| 2022-02-06|       14|
bhicks   |      1029|  cloud18| Openstack-B|       4| 2022-02-06|       14|
nreeves  |      1028|  cloud11| Openshift-P|       2| 2022-02-06|       14|
gcarlin  |      1026|  cloud08|        Ceph|       4| 2022-02-06|       14|

Server Availability Overview Report

Generate a report with a list of server types with total count of systems and their current and future availability plus an average build time delta overall

quads-cli --report-available

Example output

Quads report for 2019-12-01 to 2019-12-31:
Percentage Utilized: 60%
Average build delta: 0:00:26.703556
Server Type | Total|  Free| Scheduled| 2 weeks| 4 weeks
r620        |     5|     0|      100%|       0|       0
1029p       |     3|     3|        0%|       3|       3

Additionally, you can pass --schedule-start and --schedule-end dates for reports in the past. 2 weeks and 4 weeks free calculate starting days from the first Sunday following when the command was run, or return current day at 22:01 if run on Sunday.

Assignment Scheduling Statistics

Generate a report detailing systems and scheduling utilization over the course of months or years.

quads-cli --report-scheduled --months 6

Example Output

Month   | Scheduled|  Systems|  % Utilized|
2022-02 |         1|     1268|         42%|
2022-01 |         9|     1268|         66%|
2022-02 |         1|     1268|         42%|
2021-09 |        10|     1226|         83%|
2021-08 |        14|     1215|         77%|
2021-07 |         3|     1215|         87%|

Upcoming Scheduled Assignments Report

Generate statistics on the number of assigned clouds in quads over a period of months in the past starting today or on a specific year.

quads-cli --report-scheduled --months 6

Example output

Month   | Scheduled|  Systems|  % Utilized|
2019-12 |         0|        8|         58%|
2019-11 |         2|        8|         62%|
2019-10 |        15|        8|         20%|
2019-09 |         0|        0|          0%|
2019-08 |         0|        0|          0%|

Additionally, you can pass --year instead for a report for every month in that year.

Common Administration Tasks

Creating a New Cloud Assignment and Schedule

Creating a new schedule and assigning machines is currently done through the QUADS CLI. There are a few options you'll want to utilize. Mandatory options are in bold and optional are in italics.

  • description (this will appear on the assignments dynamic wiki)
  • cloud-owner (for associating ownership and usage notifications)
  • force (needed for re-using an existing cloud)
  • cc-users (Add additional people to the notifications)
  • cloud-ticket (RT ticket used for the work, also appears in the assignments dynamic wiki)
  • wipe (whether to reprovision machines going into this cloud, default is 1 or wipe.


This pertains to the internal interfaces that QUADS will manage for you to move sets of hosts between environments based on a schedule. For setting up optional publicly routable VLANS please see the QUADS public vlan setup steps

  • VLAN design (optional, will default to qinq: 0 below)

  • qinq: 0 (default) qinq VLAN separation by interface: primary, secondary and beyond QUADS-managed interfaces all match the same VLAN membership across other hosts in the same cloud allocation. Each interface per host is in its own VLAN, and these match across the rest of your allocated hosts by interface (all nic1, all nic2, all nic3, all nic4 etc).

  • qinq: 1 all QUADS-managed interfaces in the same qinq VLAN. For this to take effect you need to pass the optional argument of --qinq 1 to the --define-cloud command.

  • You can use the command quads-cli --ls-qinq to view your current assignment VLAN configuration:

quads-cli --ls-qinq
cloud01: 0 (Isolated)
cloud02: 1 (Combined)
cloud03: 0 (Isolated)
cloud04: 1 (Combined)

Optional QUADS Public VLAN

If you need to associate a public vlan (routable) with your cloud, quads currently supports associating your last NIC per host with one of your defined public VLANs (see the QUADS public vlan setup steps).

To define your cloud with a public VLAN, use the following syntax:

quads-cli --define-cloud --cloud cloud03 [ other define-cloud options ] --vlan 601

If you need to clear the vlan association with your cloud, you can pass any string to the --vlan argument in --mod-cloud

quads-cli --mod-cloud --cloud cloud03 --vlan none

Defining a New Cloud

quads-cli --define-cloud --cloud cloud03 --description "Messaging AMQ" --force --cloud-owner epresley --cc-users "jdoe jhoffa" --cloud-ticket 423625 --qinq 1
  • Note: in QUADS 1.1.4 you can change any of these values selectively via the --mod-cloud command described below.
  • Now that you've defined your new cloud you'll want to allocate machines and a schedule.
    • We're going to find the first 20 Dell r620's and assign them as an example.

Adding New Hosts to your Cloud

quads-cli --cloud-only cloud01 | grep r620 | head -20 > /tmp/RT423624
  • Now we'll allocate all of these hosts with a schedule, by default our system times use UTC.
for h in $(cat /tmp/RT423624) ; do quads-cli --host $h --add-schedule --schedule-start "2016-10-17 00:00" --schedule-end "2016-11-14 17:00" --schedule-cloud cloud03 ; done

Adding New Hosts to your Cloud with JIRA Integration

  • NOTE If you are using JIRA integration features with QUADS 1.1.5 and higher you can utilize --host-list along with a list of hosts and it will take care of updating your --cloud-ticket in JIRA for you in one swoop.
quads-cli --add-schedule --host-list /tmp/hosts --schedule-start "2021-04-20 22:00" --schedule-end "2021-05-02 22:00" --schedule-cloud cloud20

That's it. At this point your hosts will be queued for provision and move operations, we check once a minute if there are any pending provisioning tasks. To check manually:

quads-cli --move-hosts --dry-run

After your hosts are provisioned and moved you should see them populate under the cloud list.

quads-cli --cloud-only cloud03

Managing Faulty Hosts

Starting with 1.1.4 QUADS can manage broken or faulty hosts for you and ensure they are ommitted from being added to a future schedule or listed as available. Prior to 1.1.4 this is managed via the Foreman host parameter broken_state (true/false).

  • Listing all broken systems.
# quads-cli --ls-broken
  • Marking a system as faulty
# quads-cli --mark-broken --host
Host is now marked as broken
  • Marking a system as repaired or no longer faulty.
# quads-cli --mark-repaired --host
Host is now marked as repaired.
  • Hosts marked as faulty will be ommitted from --ls-available
  • Hosts marked as faulty are not able to be scheduled until they are marked as repaired again.

Migrating to QUADS-managed Host Health

  • If you previously used the broken_state Foreman host parameter to manage your broken or out-of-service systems within your fleet you'll want to migrate to using the new methodology of the QUADS database handling this for you for versions 1.1.4 and higher.
  • You can use the following command to query Foreman and convert broken_state host parameters and status into QUADS:
for h in $(hammer host list --per-page 1000 --search params.broken_state=true | grep $(egrep ^domain /opt/quads/conf/quads.yml | awk '{ print $NF }') | awk '{ print $3 }') ; do quads-cli --mark-broken --host $h ; done

Managing Retired Hosts

  • With QUADS 1.1.5 and higher we now have the --retire, --unretire and --ls-retire features to manage decomissioning or reviving hosts.
  • Hosts marked as retired will still retain their scheduling history and data, but will not show as available unless filtered.
    • To list retired hosts:
quads-cli --ls-retire
  • To retire a host:
quads-cli --retire --host
  • To unretire a host:
quads-cli --unretire --host

Retiring Hosts

  • Before retiring a host you should move it back to your resource pool first, in our case this is cloud01.
  • This requires shrinking any active schedules on the host.
  • The below command will shrink any active schedules on those hosts without prompting to terminate immediately.
for host in $(cat /tmp/retired_hosts); do yes | quads-cli --shrink --host $host --now; done
  • After this the defined --move-host command will want to move these back to your resource pool and power them off.
  • retired hosts will remain officially in your resource pool but not show up in any visualizations or usage reporting, however their past usage history will all be available for record keeping and data requirements.

Extending the Schedule of an Existing Cloud

Occasionally you'll want to extend the lifetime of a particular assignment. QUADS lets you do this with one command but you'll want to double-check things first. In this example we'll be extending the assignment end date for cloud02

In QUADS version 1.1.4 or higher or the current master branch you can extend a cloud environment with a simple command.

quads-cli --extend --cloud cloud02 --weeks 2 --check

This will check whether or not the environment can be extended without conflicts.

To go ahead and extend it remove the --check

quads-cli --extend --cloud cloud02 --weeks 2

Extending the Schedule of a Specific Host

You might also want to extend the lifetime of a specific host. In this example we'll be extending the assignment end date for host01.

quads-cli --extend --host host01 --weeks 2 --check

This will check whether or not the environment can be extended without conflicts.

To go ahead and extend it remove the --check

quads-cli --extend --host host01 --weeks 2

Shrinking the Schedule of an Existing Cloud

Occasionally you'll want to shrink the lifetime of a particular assignment. In this example we'll be shrinking the assignment end date for cloud02

quads-cli --shrink --cloud cloud02 --weeks 2 --check

This will check whether or not the environment can be shrunk without conflicts.

To go ahead and shrink it remove the --check

quads-cli --shrink --cloud cloud02 --weeks 2

Shrinking the Schedule of a Specific Host

You might also want to shrink the lifetime of a specific host. In this example we'll be shrinking the assignment end date for host01.

quads-cli --shrink --host host01 --weeks 2 --check

This will check whether or not the host schedule can be shrunk without conflicts.

To go ahead and shrink it remove the --check

quads-cli --shrink --host host01 --weeks 2

Terminating a Schedule

If you would like to terminate the lifetime of a schedule at either a host or cloud level, you can pass the --now argument instead of --weeks which will set the schedules end date to now. In this example we'll be terminating the assignment end date for cloud02.

quads-cli --shrink --cloud cloud02 --now --check

This will check whether or not the environment can be terminated without conflicts.

To go ahead and terminate it remove the --check

quads-cli --shrink --cloud cloud02 --now

Adding Hosts to an existing Cloud

QUADS also supports adding new machines into an existing workload (cloud).

  • Search Availability Pool for Free Servers
    • Let's look for any 5 x servers from 2019-03-11 22:00 until 2019-04-22 22:00
quads-cli --ls-available --schedule-start "2016-12-05 08:00" --schedule-end "2016-12-15 08:00"
  • Move New Hosts into Existing Cloud

Above we see all the free servers during our timeframe, let's move them into cloud10

quads-cli --host --add-schedule --schedule-start "2016-12-05 08:00" --schedule-end "2016-12-15 08:00" --schedule-cloud cloud10
quads-cli --host --add-schedule --schedule-start "2016-12-05 08:00" --schedule-end "2016-12-15 08:00" --schedule-cloud cloud10
quads-cli --host --add-schedule --schedule-start "2016-12-05 08:00" --schedule-end "2016-12-15 08:00" --schedule-cloud cloud10
quads-cli --host --add-schedule --schedule-start "2016-12-05 08:00" --schedule-end "2016-12-15 08:00" --schedule-cloud cloud10

Removing a Schedule

You can remove an existing schedule across a set of hosts using the --rm-schedule flag against the schedule ID for each particular machine of that assignment.

  • Example: removing the schedule for three machines in cloud
  • Obtain the schedule ID via quads-cli --ls-schedule --host
  • These machines would happen to have the same cloud assignment as schedule id 2.
quads-cli --rm-schedule --schedule-id 2 --host
quads-cli --rm-schedule --schedule-id 3 --host
quads-cli --rm-schedule --schedule-id 2 --host

Removing a Schedule across a large set of hosts

You should search for either the start or end dates to select the right schedule ID to remove when performing schedule removals across a large set of hosts.

  • If you are using QUADS in any serious capacity always pick this option.
  • Example: removing schedule by searching for start date.
  • Often machine schedule ID's are different for the same schedule across a set of machines, this ensures you remove the right one.
for host in $(cat /tmp/452851); do quads-cli --rm-schedule --schedule-id $(quads-cli --ls-schedule --host $host | grep cloud08 | grep "start=2017-08-06" | tail -1 | awk -F\| '{ print $1 }') --host $host ; echo Done. ; done

Removing a Host from QUADS

To remove a host entirely from QUADS management you can use the --rm-host command.

quads-cli --rm-host
Removed: {'host': ''}

Modifying a Host Schedule

  • Host schedules are managed by unique schedule ID's which can be viewed via the --ls-schedule command.
  • To modify a host schedule use the --mod-schedule --schedule-id command and either --schedule-start or --schedule-end or both as needed.
  • Before using this, make sure it's not easier to simply use --shrink or --extend and sub-commands across the entire cloud/environments or even per-host first.
quads-cli --mod-schedule --host --mod-schedule --schedule-id 31 --schedule-start "2023-05-22 22:00" --schedule-end "2023-06-22 22:00"

Modifying a Host Schedule across a large set of hosts

  • You may often need to modify the same schedule ID across a large set of hosts, in this scenario you can use the following one-liner:
  • You will want to filter for the specific cloudname and at least one schedule start or stop identifier (since environments are re-used).
    • In this example we use cloud06 and start=2023-03-13 to make sure our --mod-schedule command is unique.
  • It's also a good idea to do this first by prepending echo to quads-cli to ensure that the schedule-id are matched.
for host in $(cat /tmp/2491); do quads-cli --mod-schedule --schedule-id $(quads-cli --ls-schedule --host $host | grep cloud06 | grep "start=2023-03-13" | tail -1 | awk -F\| '{ print $1 }') --host $host --schedule-start "2023-03-12 22:00" ; done

Modify a Host Interface

To remove a host entirely from QUADS management you can use the --rm-host command.

quads-cli --mod-interface --interface-name em1 --host --no-pxe-boot
Interface successfully updated

Remove a Host Interface

To remove a host entirely from QUADS management you can use the --rm-host command.

quads-cli --rm-interface --interface-name em1 --host
Resource properly removed


  • All QUADS actions under the covers uses the JSON API v2
  • This is an optional local systemd service you can start and interact with and listens on localhost TCP/8080

Additional Tools and Commands

Verify or Correct Cloud and Host Network Switch Settings

  • The tool /opt/quads/quads/ can be used to both validate and correct network switch configs.
  • This can be run at a cloud level (and with 1.1.5+ also at the per-host level).
  • It's advised to run it first without --change to see if it would fix something.
  • This will also check/correct optional routable VLANs if those are in use.
  • To validate a clouds network config:
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --cloud cloud10
  • To validate and fix a clouds network config use --change
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --cloud cloud10 --change
  • To validate a singular hosts network switch configuration:
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --host
  • To validate and fix a single hosts network config use --change
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --host --change
  • To straddle clouds and place a single host into a cloud it does not belong in (rare use case):
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --host --cloud cloud10

Note, if is not in cloud10, but rather cloud20, you will see the following output:

WARNING - Both --cloud and --host have been specified.
WARNING - Cloud: cloud10
WARNING - However, is a member of cloud20
WARNING - !!!!! Be certain this is what you want to do. !!!!!

Modify or check a specific Host Network Switch Settings

  • With the tool you can set up each individual network interface to a specific vlan id.
  • Passing the --change argument will make the changes effective in the switch. Not passing this will only verify the configuration is set to the desired.
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --host --nic1 1400 --nic2 1401 --nic3 1400 --nic4 1402 --nic5 1400
  • All --nic* arguments are optional so this can be also done individually for all nics.

Mapping Interface to VLAN ID

  • An easy way to figure out what VLAN corresponds to what generic em interface in the QUADS --ls-interfaces information we now include the following tool:
./opt/quads/quads/tools/ --cloud cloud32
INFO - Cloud qinq: 1
INFO - Interface em1 appears to be a member of VLAN 1410
INFO - Interface em2 appears to be a member of VLAN 1410

This tool also accepts the --all argument which will list a detail for all hosts in the cloud.

Additional you can achieve the same with the following shell one-liner, setting cloud=XX for the cloud and adjusting $(seq 1 4) for your interface ranges available on the host.

cloud=32 ; origin=1100 ; offset=$(expr $(expr $cloud - 1) \* 10); vl=$(expr $origin + $offset) ;for i in $(seq 1 4) ; do vlan=$(expr $vl + $i - 1) ; echo "em$i is interface VLAN $vlan in cloud$cloud" ; done
em1 is interface VLAN 1400 in cloud32
em2 is interface VLAN 1401 in cloud32
em3 is interface VLAN 1402 in cloud32
em4 is interface VLAN 1403 in cloud32
  • You can then use this information to map specific interfaces into other VLAN/clouds as required for more one-off or ad-hoc requirements beyond the standard VLAN modes that QUADS currently supports.
  • Note that this would be an example for the default Q-in-Q 0 (isolated) VLAN configuration. The Q-in-Q 1 (combined) configuration would simple be VLAN1400 for all interfaces above respectively.

Modifying Cloud-level Attributes

  • You can redefine or change any aspects of an already-defined cloud starting in 1.1.4 with the --mod-cloud command.
  • This can be done a per-parameter or combined basis:
quads-cli --mod-cloud --cloud cloud02 --cloud-owner jhoffa
quads-cli --mod-cloud --cloud cloud04 --cc-users "tpetty fmercury"
quads-cli --mod-cloud --cloud cloud06 --vlan 604 --wipe
quads-cli --mod-cloud --cloud cloud50 --no-wipe
quads-cli --mod-cloud --cloud cloud50 --vlan none

Looking into the Future

  • Because QUADS knows about all future schedules you can display what your environment will look like at any point in time using the --date command.

  • Looking into a specific environment by date

quads-cli --cloud-only cloud08 --date "2019-06-04 22:00"
  • Looking at all schedules by date
quads-cli --ls-schedule --date "2020-06-04 22:00"

Dry Run for Pending Actions

  • You can see what's in progress or set to provision via the --dry-run sub-flag of --move-hosts
quads-cli --move-hosts --dry-run
INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud03
INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud03
INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud03
INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud03
INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud03
INFO: Moving from cloud01 to cloud03

Find Free Cloud Environment

  • You can use quads-cli --find-free-cloud to suggest a cloud environment to use that does not have any future hosts scheduled to use it.
quads-cli --find-free-cloud

Find Available Hosts

  • The --ls-available functionality lets you search for available hosts in the future based on a date range or other criteria.

    • Find based on a date range:
quads-cli --ls-available --schedule-start "2019-12-05 08:00" --schedule-end "2019-12-15 08:00"
  • Find based on starting now with an end range:
quads --ls-available --schedule-end "2019-06-02 22:00"

Find Available Hosts based on Hardware or Model

  • In QUADS 1.1.4 and higher you can now filter your availability search based on hardware capabilities or model type.
  • Using this feature requires importing hardware metadata
  • Example below using --filter "model==1029U-TRTP"
quads-cli --ls-available --schedule-start "2020-08-02 22:00" --schedule-end "2020-08-16 22:00" --filter "model==1029U-TRTP"
  • Listing retired hosts can now use the --filter feature:
quads-cli --ls-hosts --filter "retired==True"
  • Listing specific hosts from a certain cloud:
quads-cli --cloud-only --cloud cloud13 --filter "model==FC640"

Find Available Web Interface

  • We now have a Flask-based --ls-available web interface available on quadshost:5001 if your firewall rules are open for TCP/5001.
  • Available in QUADS 1.1.4 or above as a tech preview (when we migrate fully to Flask this will be supplanted with a full UI).
  • This is provided via the quads-web systemd service or you can run it manually via cd /opt/quads/web ; python3
  • You will need to seed the models data for your systems using the new host metadata feature


  • Control + click can select more than one model
  • Not selecting a model assumes a search for anything available.

Find a System by MAC Address

  • You can utilize the new metadata model and --filter command in 1.1.4 and above along with --ls-hosts to search for a system by MAC Address.
quads-cli --ls-hosts --filter "interfaces.mac_address==ac:1f:6b:2d:19:48"

Find Systems by Switch IP Address

  • You can list what systems are connected to a switch by querying the ip_address (soon to be switch_ip in 1.1.7) information from the interfaces datasource.
quads-cli --ls-hosts --filter "interfaces.ip_address=="

Interacting with MongoDB

  • In some scenarios you may wish to interrogate or modify values within MongoDB. You should be careful doing this and have good backups in place. Generally, we will try to implement data, object and document modification needs through quads-cli so you don't need to do this but sometimes it's useful for troubleshooting or other reasons.

Using JIRA with QUADS

  • We utilize the JIRA ticketing system internally for R&D infrastructure requests managed by QUADS.

  • We do provide some best-effort tooling and a JIRA library to bridge automation gaps.

Backing up QUADS

  • We do not implement backups for QUADS for you, but it's really easy to do on your own via mongodump
  • Refer to our docs on installing mongodb tools
  • Implement mongodump to backup your database, we recommend using a git repository as it will take care of revisioning and updates for you.
  • Below is an example script we use for this purpose, this assumes you have a git repository already setup you can push to with ssh access.
# script to call mongodump and dump quads db, push to git.

backup_database() {
    mongodump --out /opt/quads/backups/

sync_git() {
    cd /opt/quads/backups
    git add quads/*
    git add admin/*
    git commit -m "$(date) content commit"
    git push


Restoring QUADS DB from Backup

  • If you have a valid mongodump directory structure you can restore the QUADS database via the following command.

  • This will drop the current database and replace it with your mongodump copy

    • First, cd to the parent directory of where your mongorestore is kept
[root@host-04 rdu2-quads-backup-mongo]# ls
admin  mongodump  quads
  • quads is the directory containing our database dump files
  • Use mongorestore to drop the current quads database and replace with your backup
mongorestore --drop -d quads quads
  • You will see some messages and all should be good.
2019-05-05T01:23:01.257+0100	building a list of collections to restore from quads dir
2019-05-05T01:23:01.270+0100	reading metadata for quads.vlan from quads/vlan.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.282+0100	reading metadata for from quads/host.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.288+0100	reading metadata for quads.counters from quads/counters.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.294+0100	reading metadata for quads.schedule from quads/schedule.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.329+0100	restoring quads.vlan from quads/vlan.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.361+0100	restoring from quads/host.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.396+0100	restoring quads.counters from quads/counters.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.426+0100	restoring quads.schedule from quads/schedule.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.434+0100	restoring indexes for collection quads.vlan from metadata
2019-05-05T01:23:01.434+0100	restoring indexes for collection from metadata
2019-05-05T01:23:01.524+0100	finished restoring (494 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.549+0100	finished restoring quads.vlan (148 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.549+0100	reading metadata for quads.notification from quads/notification.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.567+0100	reading metadata for quads.cloud_history from quads/cloud_history.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.568+0100	no indexes to restore
2019-05-05T01:23:01.568+0100	finished restoring quads.counters (334 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.602+0100	restoring quads.notification from quads/notification.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.643+0100	restoring quads.cloud_history from quads/cloud_history.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.659+0100	reading metadata for from quads/cloud.metadata.json
2019-05-05T01:23:01.661+0100	no indexes to restore
2019-05-05T01:23:01.661+0100	finished restoring quads.notification (41 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.699+0100	restoring from quads/cloud.bson
2019-05-05T01:23:01.717+0100	restoring indexes for collection quads.cloud_history from metadata
2019-05-05T01:23:01.718+0100	no indexes to restore
2019-05-05T01:23:01.718+0100	finished restoring quads.schedule (433 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.742+0100	restoring indexes for collection from metadata
2019-05-05T01:23:01.743+0100	finished restoring quads.cloud_history (94 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.792+0100	finished restoring (32 documents)
2019-05-05T01:23:01.792+0100	done

Troubleshooting Validation Failures

A useful part of QUADS is the functionality for automated systems/network validation. Below you'll find some steps to help understand why systems/networks might not pass validation so you can address any issues.

Understanding Validation Structure

There are two main validation tests that occur before a cloud environment is automatically released:

  • Foreman Systems Validation ensures that no target systems in your environment are marked for build.
  • VLAN Network Validation ensures that all the backend interfaces in your isolated VLANs are reachable via fping

All of these validations are run from /opt/quads/quads/tools/ and we also ship a few useful tools to help you figure out validation failures.

/opt/quads/quads/tools/ is run from cron, see our example cron entry

Troubleshooting Steps

You should run through each of these steps manually to determine what systems/networks might need attention of automated validation does not pass in a reasonable timeframe. Typically, admin_cc: will receieve email notifications of trouble hosts as well.

  • General Availability can be checked via a simple fping command, this should be run first.
quads-cli --cloud-only cloud23 > /tmp/cloud23
fping -u -f /tmp/cloud23
  • Foreman Systems Validation can be run via the hammer cli command provided by gem install hammer_cli_foreman_admin hammer_cli
for host in $(quads-cli --cloud-only cloud15) ; do echo $host $(hammer host info --name $host | grep -i build); done

No systems should be left marked for build.

Validation using Debug Mode

  • NOTE Automated validation will not start until 2 hours after the assignment is scheduled to go out, until this point /opt/quads/quads/tools/ will not attempt to validate any systems if run and they have started less than 2 hours ago.

    • This can be set via the validation_grace_period: setting in /opt/quads/conf/quads.yml
  • /opt/quads/quads/tools/ now has a --debug option which tells you what's happening during validation.

  • This will test the backend network connectivity part and the entire set of checks.

  • Successful Validation looks like this:

/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --debug
Validating cloud23
Using selector: EpollSelector
:Initializing Foreman object:
GET: /status
GET: /hosts?search=build=true
Command executed successfully: fping -u
Command executed successfully: fping -u
Command executed successfully: fping -u
Command executed successfully: fping -u
Command executed successfully: fping -u
Subject: Validation check succeeded for cloud23
From: RDU2 Scale Lab <>
User-Agent: Rufus Postman 1.0.99
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
MIME-Version: 1.0

A post allocation check previously failed for:

   cloud: cloud23
   owner: ipinto
   ticket: 498569

has successfully passed the verification test(s)!  The owner
should receive a notification that the environment is ready
for use.

DevOps Team

 cloud23 / ipinto / 498569
  • Unsuccessful Validation looks like this:
/opt/quads/quads/tools/ --debug
Validating cloud23
Using selector: EpollSelector
:Initializing Foreman object:
GET: /status
GET: /hosts?search=build=true
There was something wrong with your request
ICMP Host Unreachable from for ICMP Echo sent to (

ICMP Host Unreachable from for ICMP Echo sent to (

ICMP Host Unreachable from for ICMP Echo sent to (

ICMP Host Unreachable from for ICMP Echo sent to (

Skipping Past Network Validation

  • In QUADS 1.1.6+ you can skip past network validation via:
/opt/quads/tools/ --skip-network
  • In older versions of QUADS you will want to consult the documentation for interacting with MongoDB for how to override this check.

Skipping Past Foreman Validation

  • If you know your systems are built you can force to move into the network portions of the validation by toggling the provisioned attribute in MongoDB for your cloud object.{"name": "cloud23"}, {$set:{'provisioned':true}}
  • More information on manual intervention and overrides via MongoDB can be found here

Validate Only a Specific Cloud

  • If you want to validate only a certain cloud you can do so by specifying the cloud's name with the --cloud flag.
/opt/quads/tools/ --cloud cloud01

Mapping Internal VLAN Interfaces to Problem Hosts

You might have noticed that we configure our Foreman templates to drop 172.{16,17,18,19}.x internal VLAN interfaces which correspond to the internal, QUADS-managed multi-tenant interfaces across a set of hosts in a cloud assignment.

The first two octets here can be substituted by the first two octets of your systems public network in order to determine from --debug which host internal interfaces have issues or are unreachable.


  • Above, we can run the host command to determine what these machines map to by substituting 10.1 for the first two octects:
# for host in; do host $host; done domain name pointer domain name pointer
  • Below you can see the code that maintains this mapping and assumptions:


This mapping feeds into our VLAN network validation code

Contact QUADS Developers

Besides Github we're also on IRC via You can click here to join in your browser.

QUADS Talks and Media

Skynet your Infrastructure with QUADS @ EuroPython 2017