Integrating OpenStack Cloud Nova Volume storage with Isilon
October 15, 2012
What do you use to store your OpenStack volumes? If you’re building an OpenStack cloud, you’ll need that block level storage to give to your instances through an iSCSI session by default. If you want to have intelligent, flexible, scalable, and reliable physical storage for this purpose, one alternative you might consider is the Isilon IQ clustered storage system. We’ve created a driver you can use with it.
Now a part of EMC, Isilon was created to meet the needs of high-performance computing environments to provide both scalability and performance. The core of this uses an intelligent OneFS distributed file system. Key features:
So, it’s a great piece of gear. (In fact, if you already use Isilon but haven’t started with OpenStack, it’s a great foundation to use in building out your cloud). But to use any kind of volume Nova always needs a way to communicate with its driver. For example, there are the following backends for the
Let’s look at how this driver works.
Nova Volume driver
Nova uses the volume manager to control attachable block storage devices (volumes) and this control strategy is seen in the driver used:
This is a simplified scheme, but it does a good job of describing what happens. Volume creation, attaching, and detaching tasks go through the volume driver to physical storage—which is how the latter understands calls that come through Nova API. But there was no Isilon driver for OpenStack until we decided to change that.
Rationale for running OpenStack Nova on Isilon
Reliable and scalable storage solution is the base of any kind of cloud deployment and Isilon is an good example of such storage. Deploying a cloud system means not only running virtual machines but also storage for vital data such as databases and application data sets. All this data should be stored in a reliable/redundant way that allows it to be always available above minimum I/O requirements. That makes Isilon and OpenStack an effective combination.
By using this driver, OpenStack Compute virtual machine volumes support the following Isilon features:
How the OpenStack Nova Volume Isilon driver works
When you use our driver (download link at the end of the post) with Isilon for OpenStack, the workflow looks something like this:
You can download the driver here. We look forward to your comments.3 comments
Continuing the Discussion