Open vStorage is hot!

Open vStorage is hot! You can find the most important video’s, podcasts and articles of the last few weeks here:

  • OpenStack Online Meetup: How does OpenStack Swift play with Open vStorage? Podcast with Swift PTL John Dickinson and our own Wim Provoost as they discuss OpenStack storage and how Swift and Open vStorage, 2 open-source projects, work together to shake the OpenStack eco-system.
  • The Register: Belgian upstart to ‘bridge gap’ between object, block storage. Or that’s the plan at least . Learn more about the latest developments in the Open vStorage project: support for Seagate Kinetic drives. Open vStorage turns a pools of these disks into a storage solutions which has the  features of a high-end SAN (performance, zero-copy snapshots, thin cloning) but is also scale-out and low-cost, like an object storage solution.
  • Open vStorage and OpenStack – the Storage Switzerland take. Podcast with George Crump, founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland and Wim Provoost, Product Manager of Open vStorage. They discuss the different storage  projects in OpenStack and how the Open vStorage Cinder plugin bridges the gap between Swift and Cinder.
  • OpenStack® Summit: CloudFounders Open vStorage: CLoudFounders’ CTO Stefaan Aelbrecht explains to HP what Open vStorage is about and where it comes from.

Open vStorage 1.5

During the summer the Open vStorage Team has worked very hard. With this new release we can proudly present:

  • Feature complete OpenStack Cinder Plugin: our Cinder Plugin has been improved and meets the minimum features required to be certified by the OpenStack community.
  • Flexible cache layout: in 1.5.0 you have the capability to easily configure multiple SSD devices for the different caching purposes. During the setup you can choose which SSD’s to partition and then later when creating a vPool you can select which caching device should be used for read, write and writecache protection. Meaning these can from now on be spread over different or consolidated into the same SSD device depending on the available hardware and needs.
  • User management: an admin can now create more user which have access to the GUI.
  • Framework performance: a lot of work has been put into improving the performance when a lot of vDisks and vMachines are created. Improvements upto 50% has been reached in some cases.
  • Improved API security by means of implementing OAuth2 authentication. A rate-limit has also been imposed on API calls to prevent brute force attacks.

Fixed bugs and small items:

  • GUI now prevents creation of vPools with a capital letter.
  • Implemented recommendation for a security exploit on elasticsearch 1.1.1.
  • Fix for validation of vPools being stuck on validating.
  • Protection against reusing vPool names towards the same backend.
  • Fix for the Storage Router online/offline detection which failed when openstack was also installed.

Next, we also took the first step towards supporting other OS than Ubuntu (RedHat/Centos). We have created an rpm version of our volumedriver and arakoon packages. These are tested on “Linux Centos7 3.10.0-123.el7.x86_64” and can be downloaded from our packages server. This completes a first important step towards getting Open vStorage RedHat/CentOS compatible.

OpenStack Online Meetup on Swift, VM Storage and OpenvStorage

Wim Provoost, Product Manager of Open vStorage, was asked to host a live webinar for OpenStack Online Meetup. OpenStack Online Meetup is the #1 online community for OpenStack contributors and users. During their weekly Google Hangout sessions they feature various OpenStack speakers. The sessions are intended for technical OpenStackers and tend to deep-dive into technology.

The Open vStorage talk discusses how you can use OpenStack Swift, the Object Storage project within OpenStack, as primary storage for a Virtual Machine environment. In case you missed the live session, you can watch the recorded version below.

Like maintaining a single storage platform isn’t hard enough ….

In our last blog post we discussed the Open vStorage Cinder Plugin. We had some people ask whether this means that you can now use Swift directly as primary storage for Virtual Machines. The short answer is: YES!

A traditional OpenStack setup looks like the below reference architecture.
Slide4

You have Nova which provisions the VM. Cinder is providing block storage and Glance provides the image to deploy the VM. Swift is also used but only as repository for images and backups. You can use Cinder natively but this isn’t high available and isn’t an enterprise grade solution so you need ‘something distributed’ to actually store the blocks. This can be a SAN (Dell, HP, EMC, …) or a Ceph distributed storage platform. This means you are maintaining 2 storage platforms: 1 for object storage (Swift) and 1 for block storage (SAN, Ceph, …).

Slide5

Maintaining one storage platform is already hard enough so why would you maintain two? This is where Open vStorage comes to the rescue. It allows to turn OpenStack Swift into block storage. This means you can now use Swift both for object and for block storage. The only thing you need is to install Open vStorage and configure its Cinder Plugin. When you create a volume in OpenStack, the Cinder API will call the Open vStorage API to create a disk. The same happens when a snapshot is created. On top, Open vStorage also brings VM-centric storage management to OpenStack.

Interested in seeing how the Cinder Plugin works? Check the demo video below:

The source code for the plugin can be found here.
The steps to set up an environment can be found here.

Open vStorage & OpenStack (Cinder)

A recent survey conducted in partnership between Linux.com and the New Stack tried to find the hottest open-source projects in the cloud landscape. It should not come as a surprise that OpenStack, the open-source cloud platform initially developed by Rackspace and NASA but now backed by more than 200 companies, came out as most popular project.

Here at the Open vStorage headquarter we are also a big fan of the complete OpenStack eco system. For example, we love the scalability and performance that Swift, the OpenStack Object Store, brings to the table. With Open vStorage we wanted to be part of this future proof ecosystem. Now that even VMware is releasing its own OpenStack distribution (VMware Integrated OpenStack aka. VIOS) we can safely say that OpenStack is definitely on the rise but even more important, here to stay.

That is why we decided to write a plugin for Cinder (the block storage service in OpenStack). This way you can easily use Open vStorage in combination with OpenStack. Some of the benefits you get by installing this Cinder Plugin are:
* Use the native Swift Object Store as primary storage for your Virtual Machines.
* A huge performance increase for traditional storage solutions due to aggressive read and write caching at the host.
* Integrate storage backends which don’t have a Cinder plugin into OpenStack.

Don’t be shy and give the free, open-source Open vStorage Cinder Plugin a try. It will only take 5 minutes of your precious time but your OpenStack environment will be on steroids.

Need help with installing the Plugin or you want to share feedback? Visit the Open vStorage Help Forum.

Open vStorage 1.4

Open vStorage 1.4 is released. This release contains one major new feature: our Cinder Plugin for OpenStack. Additional this release contains a lot of bugfixes and code improvements.

Cinder Plugin:
OpenStack is the standard, open-source framework to build public clouds. Initially OpenStack was created by NASA and Rackspace but now it supported by more than 200 companies. It has a modular architecture with as most important components (for Open vStorage) Swift (a scalable redundant storage system) and Cinder (block storage). Swift is already supported since Open vStorage 1.3. With the 1.4 release, we release a plugin for Cinder which allows to use OpenvStorage as block storage in an OpenStack environment. This is the first version of the plugin and some functionality (clone from snapshot and create volume from snapshot) offered by Cinder is not yet implemented. Give it a try and let us know your feedback in the Open vStorage forum!

An overview of the most important fixes and code improvements:

  • OAuth 2.0 as authorization instead of basic tokens.
  • Redirected IO between Storage Routers is now multithreaded. This allows for greater bandwidth between Storage Routers.
  • Storage Router status gets correctly displayed in the GUI.
  • Storage Router hostnames are now added to all Storage Routers.
  • Fix for issue with deletion of vTemplates.
  • Fix for multiple /etc/exports entries created by the Volume Driver upstart script.
  • Fix for issue which deletes a vMachine without reason in some rare, exotic cases.