Assign Dynamic Hostnames Using Hooks

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You can use a hook to create more advanced dynamic hostnames than the simple incremented pattern — $\{id\} — from the hostname property on a policy. This type of hook calculates the correct hostname and returns that hostname as metadata on the node. To do so, it uses a basic counter system that stores how many nodes have bound to a given policy.

This hook is intended to be extended for cases where an external system needs to be contacted to determine the correct hostname. In such a scenario, the new value will still be returned as metadata for the node.


Ruby must be installed in $PATH for the hook script to succeed. If it is not included, add it via the hook_execution_path property in the config.yaml file.

Install the Hook

This hook comes with Razor. To use it, create an instance of the hook with the following command:

    razor create-hook --name some_policy_hook --hook-type hostname \
        --configuration policy=some_policy \
        --configuration hostname-pattern='${policy}${count}'

How It Works

Running the above create-hook command kicks off the following sequence of events:

  1. The counter for the policy starts at 1.
  2. When a node boots, the node-bound-to-policy event is triggered.
  3. The policy’s name from the event is then passed to the hook as input.
  4. The hook matches the node’s policy name to the hook’s policy name.
  5. If the policy matches, the hook calculates a rendered hostname-pattern:
    • It replaces ${count} with the current value of the counter hook configuration.
    • It left-pads the ${count} with padding zeroes. For example, if the hook configuration’s padding equals 3, a count of 7 will be rendered as 007.
    • It replaces ${policy} with the name of its policy.
  6. The hook then returns the rendered hostname-pattern as the node metadata of hostname.
  7. The hook also returns the incremented value for the counter that was used so that the next execution of the hook uses the next value.

If multiple policies require their own counter, create multiple instances of this hook with different policy and/or hostname-pattern hook configurations.

Viewing the Hook’s Activity Log

To view the status of the hook’s executions, see razor hooks $name log:

    timestamp: 2015-04-01T00:00:00-07:00
       policy: policy_name
        cause: node-bound-to-policy
  exit_status: 0
     severity: info
      actions: updating hook configuration: {"update"=>{"counter"=>2}} and updating node metadata: {"update"=>{"hostname"=>""}}

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