Puppet provider to provision SolidFire volumes.
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SolidFire Puppet Module

Puppet Forge

Table of Contents

  1. Disclaimer
  2. Overview
  3. Description
  4. Setup * Connecting to a SolidFire Cluster
  5. Usage * Puppet Device * Puppet Agent * Puppet Apply
  6. Limitations
  7. Development


This provider is written as best effort and provides no warranty expressed or implied. Please contact the author(s) via the SolidFire developer portal on the Puppet forum if you have questions about this module before running or modifying.


The SolidFire provider allows you to provision volumes on a SolidFire cluster from either a puppet client or a puppet device proxy host. The provider also provides facts and resource lists from SolidFire clusters. The provider has been developed against CentOS 7.1 using Puppet-3.8.4. At this stage testing is completely manual.


Using the solidfire_account, solidfire_volume and solidfire_vag types, one can quickly provision remote storage and attach it via iSCSI (and FC) from a SolidFire cluster to a client.

The provider utilizes the robust API (json-rpc) available on the SolidFire storage clusters to remotely provision the necessary resources.


Connecting to a SolidFire Cluster

A connection to a SolidFire cluster is via the Management Virtual IP (MVIP) address and through use of a Cluster Admin account. A connection string is needed to inform the providers how to connect. The providers can get the connection string from various locations (see Usage below) but the three pieces of information necessary are:

  1. Cluster Admin account user name.
  2. Cluster Admin account password.
  3. MVIP address or DNS name.

If multiple connection options are provider to the provider, it will use them in the following order:

  1. Any existing connection.
  2. A Facter-supplied URL.
  3. A user-supplied URL.
  4. A user-supplied user name, password and MVIP.


Puppet Device

The Puppet Network Device system is a way to configure devices' (switches, routers, storage) which do not have the ability to run puppet agent on the devices. The device application acts as a smart proxy between the Puppet Master and the managed network device. To do this, puppet device will sequentially connects to the master on behalf of the managed network device and will ask for a catalog (a catalog containing only network device resources). It will then apply this catalog to the said device by translating the resources to orders the network device understands. Puppet device will then report back to the master for any changes and failures as a standard node.

The SolidFire providers are designed to work with the puppet device concept and in this case will retrieve their connection information from the url given in Puppet's device.conf file. An example is shown below:

  type Solidfire
  url https://admin:password@cluster1.solidfire.com

In the case of Puppet Device connection to the SolidFire is from the machine running 'device' only.

Puppet Agent

Puppet agent is the client/slave side of the puppet master/slave relationship. In the case of puppet agent the connection information needs to be included in the manifest supplied to the agent from the master or it could be included in a custom fact passed to the client. The connection string may be supplied as a URL or as the 3 independent pieces of information (login, password and mvip). See the example manifests for details.

In the case of Puppet Agent, connections to the SolidFire array will be initiated from every machine which utilizes the SolidFire puppet module this way. This may be of security concern for some folks. This method however has the most usefulness, since one can allocate a volume and mount it in a single manifest with proper dependencies.

Puppet Apply

Puppet apply is the client only application of a local manifest. Puppet apply is supported similar to puppet agent by the SolidFire providers. With puppet apply it is easy to pass a connection string through facter using evironment variables and therefore this is the best method to use the providers to show resources. As an example the following command will run a manifest supplied on the command line:

export FACTER_url=https://admin:password@cluster1.solidfire.com
puppet resource solidfire_account test-account ensure=present

And this code will show the complete list of Volume configured on a SolidFire cluster:

export FACTER_url=https://admin:password@cluster1.solidfire.com
puppet resource solidfire_volume


Puppet as a whole expects to be able to define everything about an environment, and the concept of a smart appliance is foreign to it. Therefore some aspects of managing remote storage do not work well with Puppet. For example, the SolidFire array creates a new volume ID for every volume, and uses that as part of the IQN identifier for iSCSI. The SolidFire API and provider fetch both the Volume ID and IQN, but puppet has no mechanism for passing that dynamically created ID into the remainder of a manifest and puppet cannot dictate the Volume ID as it is a critical part of how SolidFire functions.

We have chosen in our example manifest to utilize Volume Access Groups as an example work around the above limitation. We have left it as an exercise to the users to find other creative workarounds. Please see the development section below to provide feedback and improved options.

The providers today use version 7.0 of the SolidFire API, which introduces some additional compatibility, but also is slightly less efficient in some of it's operations.


Please see the NetApp Developer Network or the NetApp's thePub for any issues, discussion, advice or contribution(s).

To get started with developing this module, you'll need a functioning Ruby installation with Bundler. Afterward, ensure you have the necessary dependencies and run some tests:

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec rake test

Happy hacking!