Cyclades Volumes

This document describes the extension of Cyclades to handle block storage devices, referred to as Volumes.

Current state and shortcomings

Currently one block storage device is created and destroyed together with the virtual servers. One disk is created per server with the size and the disk template that are described by the server’s flavor. The disk is destroyed when the server is destroyed. Also, There is no way to attach/detach disks to existing servers and there is no API to expose information about the server’s disks.

Proposed changes

Cyclades will be able to manage volumes so that users can create volumes and dynamically attach them to servers. Volumes can be created either empty or filled with data from a specified source (image, volume or snapshot). Also, users can dynamically remove volumes. Finally, a server can be created with multiple volumes at once.

Implementation details

Known Limitations

While addition and removal of disks is supported by Ganeti, it is not supported to handle disks that are not attached to an instance. There is no way to create a disk without attaching it to an instance, neither a way to detach a disk from an instance without deleting it. Future versions of Ganeti will make disks separate entities, thus overcoming the above mentioned issues. Until then, this issues will also force a limitation to the way Cyclades will be handling Volumes. Specifically, Cyclades volumes will not be attached/detached from servers; they will be only be added and removed from them.

Apart from Ganeti’s inability to manage disks as separate entities, attaching and detaching a disk is not meaningful for storage solutions that are not shared between Ganeti nodes and clusters, because this would require copying the data of the disks between nodes. Thus, the ability to attach/detach a disk will only be available for disks of externally mirrored template (EXT_MIRRORED disk templates).

Also, apart from the root volume of an instance, initializing a volume with data is currently only available for Archipelago volumes, since there is no mechanism in Ganeti for filling data in other type of volumes (e.g. file, lvm, drbd). Until then, creating a volume from a source, other than the root volume of the instance, will only be supported for Archipelago.

Finally, an instance can not have disks of different disk template.

Cyclades internal representation

Each volume will be represented by the new Volume database model, containing information about the Volume, like the following:

  • name: User defined name
  • description: User defined description
  • userid: The UUID of the owner
  • size: Volume size in GB
  • disk_template: The disk template of the volume
  • machine: The server the volume is currently attached, if any
  • source: The UUID of the source of the volume, prefixed by it’s type, e.g. “snapshot:41234-43214-432”
  • status: The status of the volume

Each Cyclades Volume corresponds to the disk of a Ganeti instance, uniquely named snf-vol-$VOLUME_ID.

API extensions

The Cyclades API will be extended with all the needed operations to support Volume management. The API will be compatible with OpenStack Cinder API.

Volume API

The new volume service will be implemented and will provide the basic operations for volume management. This service provides the /volumes and /types endpoints, almost as described in the OS Cinder API, with the only difference that we will extend POST /volumes/volumes with a required field to represent the server that the volume will be attached, and which is named server_id.

Compute API extensions

The API that is exposed by the volume service is enough for the addition and removal of volumes to existing servers. However, it does not cover creating a server from a volume or creating a server with more than one volumes. For this reason, the POST /servers API call will be extended with the block_device_mapping_v2 attribute, as defined in the OS Cinder API, which is a list of dictionaries with the following keys:

  • source_type: The source of the volume (volume | snapshot | image | blank)
  • uuid: The uuid of the source (if not blank)
  • size: The size of the volume
  • delete_on_termination: Whether to preserve the volume on instance deletion.

If the type is volume, then the volume that is specified by the uuid field will be used. Otherwise, a new volume will be created which will contain the data of the specified source (image or snapshot). If the source type is blank then the new volume will be empty.

Also, we will implement os_volume-attachments extension, containing the following operations:

  • List server attachments(volumes)
  • Show server attachment information
  • Attach volume to server (notImplemented until Ganeti supports detachable volumes)
  • Detach volume from server (notImplemented until Ganeti supports detachable volumes)


The total size of volumes will be quotable, and will be directly mapped to existing cyclades.disk resource. In the future, we may implement having different quotas for each volume type.

Command-line interface

The following management commands will be implemented:

  • volume-create: Create a new volume
  • volume-remove: Remove a volume
  • volume-list: List volumes
  • volume-info: Show volume details
  • volume-inspect: Inspect volume in DB and Ganeti

The following commands will be extended:

  • server-create: extended to specify server’s volumes
  • server-inspect: extended to display server’s volumes
  • reconcile-servers: extended to reconcile server’s volumes