Welcome to the Synnefo documentation


Synnefo is a complete open source IaaS cloud stack written in Python that provides Compute, Network, Image, Volume and Object Storage services, similar to the ones offered by AWS. Synnefo manages multiple Ganeti clusters at the backend for handling of low-level VM operations and uses Archipelago to unify cloud storage. To boost 3rd-party compatibility, Synnefo exposes the OpenStack APIs to users.

Synnefo came out of GRNET’s ~okeanos public cloud service and you can try it out live at demo.synnefo.org.

Synnefo has three main components which provide the corresponding services:

It unifies storage resources (Objects/Volumes/Images/Snapshots) using Archipelago as the common storage substrate for all services.

This is an overview of the Synnefo services:


Synnefo is designed with simplicity, scalability and stability in mind. Although it can be deployed in small configurations, it was initially designed to address large-scale installation problems.

All Synnefo components use an intuitive settings mechanism, that adds and removes settings dynamically as components are getting added or removed from a physical node. All settings are stored in a single location.

Synnefo General Architecture

The following figure shows the whole Synnefo stack and how it interacts with multiple Ganeti clusters and the storage backends. Synnefo decouples the cloud from the cluster layer, enhancing robustness and easing administration and upgrades without impacting VM stability. As shown in the figure below, Synnefo sits on the cloud layer:


Synnefo manages multiple Ganeti clusters and different storage backends (e.g., Ceph/RADOS or NFS-based backends as shown in the figure).

For an extensive view of all components, the interconnection and APIs between them, please take a look at the Admin Guide’s corresponding figure.

Synnefo Guides

There are 4 guides for Synnefo.

The Quick Installation guide describes how to install Synnefo on a single node in less than 10 minutes using the snf-deploy tool. This kind of installation is targeted for testing and demo environments rather than production usage deployments. It is the perfect way, even for an inexperienced user to have the whole Synnefo stack up and running and allows for a quick preview of the basic Synnefo features. This installation method is only available for Debian Wheezy.

The Admin’s Installation guide describes how to install the whole Synnefo stack in just two physical nodes. This guide is useful to those interested in deploying Synnefo in large scale, as a starting point that will help them get familiar with the Synnefo components and overall architecture, as well as the interconnection between different services. This guide explains the whole procedure step by step, without the use of the snf-deploy tool. Anyone familiar with this guide, will be able to easily install Synnefo in a larger number of nodes too, or even expand the two node installation dynamically.

The Administrator’s Guide targets system administrators, who want to dive into more details and common tasks regarding Synnefo. For the experienced Synnefo administrator, there is also a section that describes how to do scale-out Synnefo deployments with corresponding examples. This targets large scale installations of Synnefo.

The Developer’s Guide targets developers, who want to build on top of Synnefo and so describes all the different types of interfaces Synnefo provides to the external world. Also documents all Synnefo external REST APIs.


You can contact the Synnefo team at the following mailing lists:

The official site is:

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