White Paper – Open vStorage + Swift, a killer VM storage combo

OpenStack Swift, probably the most used Object Storage for private cloud implementations, offers features which are very appealing for building a distributed storage solution. Alas, issues such as eventual consistency and the fact that hypervisors require block storage and can’t work with Object Storage, make it unsuitable for primary Virtual Machine storage. Open vStorage is the solution to turn Swift into a block device for Virtual Machines.

The combination of Open vStorage + Swift offers great performance due to aggressive caching inside the Host, a unified namespace and many VM-centric features. Open vStorage + Swift is the right choice to build a high performance, distributed storage platform which lowers the management overhead and offers features such as zero-copy snapshots, thin provisioning, bulk provisioning and quick restores.

Download the full white paper here!

Open vStorage 1.3

July arrived, a new Open vStorage release sees the light. We are happy to announce Open vStorage 1.3 which is a milestone release for Open vStorage: it is the first release where all content within a vPool is stored on the Storage Backend. On top, we now support the most used object store in the world, Swift.

  • The File Driver: In earlier version we requested the user to set up a distributed file system (which is very complex) to store the non-volume data or use a BitTorrent sync protocol to keep these non-volume files in sync between the different hosts. This release doesn’t require any of those workarounds anymore as we store these non-volume data ourselves in a highly available way on the storage backend.
  • Swift support: Swift is the most used object store for large public and private clouds worldwide and is implemented by PayPal , Wikipedia , MercadoLibre (Latin America’s largest online marketplace) and Disney. Now we fully support this Object Store as storage backend. This basically means we turn Swift into a block device. This is a new use case for Swift and is something nobody else can currently do.

These 2 milestones above are really important but the team also added some smaller features such as the new Arakoon release and better validation when configuring a vPool. Fixing bugs was of course also on the TODO-list. An overview of the most important fixes:

  • Fix so in use mountpoints are not listed when creating a new vPool
  • Prevent unnecessary volume stealing
  • Adding a second vPool on VMware should not stop the first vPool
  • Issue where Logstash is consuming too much CPU
  • Fixed Logrotation for OVS components
  • Fix for Arakoon not starting after a power failure in some cases
  • Fix for removing a vPool through the GUI
  • Support for /dev/vdx disks
  • Fix for sudo -s not working during package installation
  • Improved errorhandling in case of an S3 backend
  • GUI issue fixed for Firefox 30
  • Fix for issue with failing password update
  • Fix so you can remove an empty vPool while other vPools have vMachines
  • Fix for failing snapshots
  • Improved input validation when entering a vPool name