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(Future Release Plans: added websocket, zmq, sqlalchemy)
(Version 1.0: Removed some cruft, added some key design requirements)
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* REST API for queue/messages/claim management
* REST API for queue/messages/claim management
* FIFO guaranteed for single producer, best-effort otherwise
* Guaranteed once-and-only-once delivery
* (Relatively) simple to achieve HA and durability
* Multi-tenant
* Multi-tenant
* Integrated with Keystone for authentication
* Keystone-based authentication
* Command Line Interface
* Python bindings
* Python Bindings
* Error handling, edge cases
* Error handling, edge cases
* Oslo-based logging, configuration, etc.
* Ruggedization/packaging for production deployments
* Ruggedization/packaging for production deployments
* Operator Documentation
* Operator Documentation
* Performance Tuning
* Performance Tests & Tuning
* Bulk message deletion
* Unit & Functional Tests
*Unit & Functional Tests
===Future Release Plans===
===Future Release Plans===

Revision as of 20:10, 21 August 2013

Project Codename



Marconi is a messaging and notifications queue for the OpenStack product portfolio, supporting both producer-consumer and publish-subscribe modes. Marconi is designed to perform and scale in a multi-tenant environment.

Detailed Description

In order to support more complex web applications running on OpenStack, a messaging service is needed. To fill this need, the Marconi project was proposed at the Grizzly design summit. Requirements were discussed with the community and used to form the basis for the project's charter. Implementation began in earnest in January 2013, and we have been fortunate to receive regular, major contributions from RedHat and Rackspace since that time.

Marconi's overarching goal is to provide web-scale, highly-available message queues to user applications that run on OpenStack. Marconi is designed to run on Nova servers, behind OpenStack load balancers, and in coordination with Keystone auth. The implementation makes use of Oslo, and all our code follows the standard OpenStack hacking guidelines.

Marconi is a foundational service, designed to be used both directly by users, and in support of higher-level cloud services. Marconi provides an interface for creating queues, posting messages to those queues, and claiming those messages for processing. It also provides an interface to clients for listing messages without needing to claim them (ala RSS and Atom), in order to support pub-sub and passive auditing of producer-consumer workflows. The service guarantees first in, first out (FIFO) order for single producer models, best-effort ordering otherwise.

The Marconi architecture is pluggable in terms of both transport and storage. Reference drivers for HTTP (WSGI), SQLAlchemy, and MongoDB will be provided for the initial release, along with a SQLite driver to facilitate development and testing. Other transport and storage drivers have been proposed, and are currently under discussion. Marconi deployments will support HA, and will scale horizontally in order to support large public cloud deployments.

Operators will be able to scale Marconi deployments using any combination of:

  • Configuring the service to use a stateless transport such as HTTP
  • Deploying with a storage driver with scale-out (at least in terms of reads) capabilities
  • Partitioning deployments into independent clusters and deploying the Marconi routing proxy, which distributes queues (and load) across partitions

The Marconi API exposes the following calls:


Create Queue
List Queues
Set Queue Metadata
Get Queue Metadata
Get Queue Stats
Delete Queue


Post Message(s)
Get Messages
Get a Specific Message
Claim Messages


Query Claim
Update Claim
Release Claim

Basic roadmap for the project

Version 1.0

  • REST API for queue/messages/claim management
  • FIFO guaranteed for single producer, best-effort otherwise
  • Guaranteed once-and-only-once delivery
  • (Relatively) simple to achieve HA and durability
  • Multi-tenant
  • Keystone-based authentication
  • Python bindings
  • Error handling, edge cases
  • Oslo-based logging, configuration, etc.
  • Ruggedization/packaging for production deployments
  • Operator Documentation
  • Performance Tests & Tuning
  • Unit & Functional Tests

Future Release Plans

  • Non-Python language bindings
  • Add Functional, Load & Security tests to a CI pipeline
  • Message Compression
  • WebSocket and ZMQ transport drivers
  • SQLAlchemy storage driver
  • Kombu Integration
  • Message tags
  • Exploration of a domain-specific storage backend

Location of project source code

Marconi at StackForge


Programming language, required technology dependencies

Language: Python

Dependencies: Falcon, MongoDB, Oslo, Stevedore

Is project currently open sourced? What license?

Yes, under the Apache 2.0 license.

Level of maturity of software and team

The Marconi project has been under active development at both Rackspace and Red Hat since January of 2013 and recently reached a level of maturity that will support production work loads. The current code base contains numerous unit and functional tests. A comprehensive load and security test suite is currently under development. The Marconi team is ramping up on client library development, and will be incubating the common OpenStack API library as part of the project.

Proposed project technical lead and qualifications

Kurt Griffiths is a Principal Architect at Rackspace Hosting, currently working with other technical leaders inside and outside the company on cloud architecture, strategy and evangelism. Kurt focuses on web service APIs, agents, cryptography, and performance. He works with other senior technologists to provide day-to-day and long-term technical guidance for products developed at Rackspace.

Other project developers and qualifications

Current Code Contributors

  • Flavio Percoco is a Software Engineer at Red Hat. Active in the OpenStack community, Flavio has contributed and reviewed code on OpenStack’s Block Storage, Image, Oslo, and Stable Maintainers teams.
  • Malini Kamalambalis a Quality Engineer at Rackspace, with over 11 years of industry experience. In addition to test planning and functional execution, Malini has history in software development.
  • Oz Akan is a Cloud Engineering Manager at Rackspace and has been working in technology since 1997. Oz is an expert in database management, having spent time working with MySQL, Oracle, and Mongo DB.
  • Allan Metts is the Director of Engineering for the Rackspace Atlanta office, which is the site responsible for the company's Cloud Backup, Jungle Disk, and Cloud Queuing products. Prior to Rackspace, Allan led the development of several large-scale systems in the telecommunications, transportation, and financial sectors. He specializes in distributed systems that crunch large amounts of data at high rates of speed.
  • Victoria Martínez de la Cruz is a Licenciate in Computer Science student and one of the interns of GNOME OPW for OpenStack.
  • Zhihao Yuan is a Software Developer at Rackspace, and a member of the Technical Leadership Team. Zihihao has experience with FreeBSD, C++, Python, and more.
  • Alejandro Cabrera is a software developer at Rackspace. His expertise include: Python, Linux, open-source, community building, distributed systems, and automation.

Previous Code Contributors

  • Jamie Painter is a Software Manager at Rackspace, as well as a member of Rackspace's Technical Leadership Team. He specializes in architecture/design, C/C++, Python, Linux, shell scripting, encryption and security.
  • Bryan Davidson is a Software Developer at Rackspace. He has over 5 years of industry experience building web-scale applications.

API Design Contributors (no code submitted)

  • John Hopper is a Software Develop at Rackspace and has over 11 years of industry experience. John specializes in tackling large, complex models and prototyping solutions.
  • Hong Yuan is a Senior Software Engineer at HP, working on projects such as Messaging as a Service and Database as a Service. Hong specializes in software architecture and development with high scalability, high availability, and low latency.
  • Travis Reeder is the a Co-Founder and CTO at Iron.io. Travis specializes in building highly scalable applications, Go (golang), Ruby on Rails, and Java.

Infrastructure requirements (testing, etc)

Currently on StackForge using Gerrit and Jenkins to run the unit test suite and flake8. A QA cluster is nearing completion which will facilitate automated load and security testing, with infrastructure donated by Rackspace. The QA cluster will serve as a reference configuration for operators wishing to deploy a Marconi cluster. No additional infrastructure requirements are expected.

Have all current contributors agreed to the OpenStack CLA?


Related Links

Marconi Documentation

Project Home


Pending Incubation