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Experimenting some more and I believe I have an answer to my own question.

I was able to get the nova resize/resize-confirm/resize-revert commands to work on a Folsom installation that used the Gluster file system for shared storage between compute nodes. The configuration used:

  • nova.conf on both controller and compute nodes needed allow_resize_to_same_host=true setting;
  • The default shell for the nova account on the compute nodes (not controller) was changed to/bin/bash;
  • An empty pass phrase ssh key was created and distributed to the compute nodes.

Although it might not be necessary, I added these directives to the user ssh config for each compute node:

PasswordAuthentication=no
StrictHostKeyChecking=no
UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null

(If somone knows why these are a problem, please post a comment!)

Hope this is a useful question and answer.