Searchlight dramatically improves search capabilities and performance for various OpenStack cloud services. Trinh Nguyen talks about why it’s time to turn it back on and how to get involved.


At the end of the Rocky development cycle of OpenStack, the Technical Committee intended to remove Searchlight [1] and some other projects (e.g. Freezer) from the Governance (OpenStack official projects).

The reasons were because Searchlight has missed several milestones and lacked communication from the PTLs (project team leads.) I couldn’t stand the fact that a pretty cool project would be abandoned, so I nominated myself to be the PTL of Searchlight for the Stein cycle. I hope that I can do something to revive it.

Why should Searchlight be revived? 

That is the question I tried to answer when decided to take the lead. It’s harder and harder for cloud operators to get the information about the resources of other services (e.g Nova Compute, Swift, Cinder etc.) because they evolve very fast and there are more and more resources and APIs are made. (For example, did you hear about Nova’s placement API?)

Searchlight is pretty cool because it centralizes all of that information with one set of APIs. So, you don’t have to update your software whenever there’s a new API update, Searchlight does it for you. Searchlight has a plugin-type architecture so it’s pretty easy to add support for a new service. Currently, you can search for information about these services with Searchlight: Ironic, Neutron, Nova, Swift, Cinder, Designate and Glance.

My job as the PTL

  • Analyze Searchlight’s current situation and propose the next action plan
  • Clean up the mess (bugs, unreviewed patches, blueprints)
  • Organize meetings with active contributors
  • Attract more contributors
  • Finally, the most important thing is to release Searchlight in Stein 🙂

What I have done so far

  • Cleaned up most of the patches, fix some bugs, merge some other patches [4], [5], [6], [7]
  • Moved Searchlight from Launchpad to Storyboard [8]
  • Been in contact with the other two active contributors  🙂
  • Have some features to release in Stein-1 (e.g. ElasticSearch 5.x)

Next milestones

Stein-1 (Oct 22-26)

My expectations

  • Maintain a solid number of core reviewers (currently we have three, including me)
  • Fix most of the existing and new-found bugs in Stein-1
  • Create some use cases of Searchlight so that it can attract more users and developers
  • Can release Searchlight’s stable/stein

How can you get involved?

It’s really easy to contribute to Searchlight.

Here’s how:

  • Join the IRC channel #openstack-searchlight and discuss with us how you want to use Searchlight
  • Review some patches [4] [5] [6] [7]. This will help other improve their code and learn from you.
  • Fix some bugs / docs!



About the author

Trinh Nguyen is the founder and chief architect of EdLab. He works in many domains such as system engineering, network virtualization and cloud computing. He’s currently a core reviewer and PTL of the Searchlight project and a core reviewer of the Freezer and Fenix projects. This post first appeared on his blog.

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Cover Photo // CC BY NC