Sunday Jul 12, 2015

Upgrading the Solaris engineering OpenStack Cloud

Internally we've set up an OpenStack cloud environment for the developers of Solaris as a self-service Infrastructure as a Service solution. We've been running a similar service for years called LRT, or Lab Reservation Tool, that allows developers to book time on systems in our lab. Dave Miner has blogged previously about this work to set up the OpenStack cloud, initially based on Havana:

While the OpenStack team were off building the tools to make an upgrade painless, Dave was patiently waiting (and filing bugs) before he could upgrade the cloud to Juno. With the tooling in place, he had the green light. Check out Dave's experiences with his latest post: Upgrading Solaris Engineering's OpenStack Cloud.

As a reminder, OpenStack Juno is now in Oracle Solaris 11.2 SRU 10.5 onwards and also in the Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta release we pushed out last week with some great new OpenStack features that we've added to our drivers.

Thursday Jul 31, 2014

OpenStack Cinder Volume encryption with ZFS

In an OpenStack deployment the VMs is provided by the Cinder service. In the case of a Solaris instance these VMs are either Kernel Zones or non global zones configured for ZOSS (Zones On Shared Storage).  When Solaris 11.1 came out I wrote about using ZFS to encrypt zones.

The Cinder volume service for OpenStack can be provided by ZFS using ZVOLs.  So it shouldn't be surprising that we get to benefit from ZFS features such as compression, encryption and deduplication.

When deploying a simple OpenStack configuration using the 'solaris.zfs.ZFSVolumeDriver'  we  create ZVOLs in the dataset specified by the 'zfs_volume_base' variable in /etc/cinder/cinder.conf.  If the dataset specified by 'zfs_volume_base' doesn't already exist then the SMF service 'svc:/application/openstack/cinder/cinder-volume:setup' will create it for you and sets the file system permissions and zfs allow delegations for the 'cinder' user appropriately.

If we pre-create the ZFS dataset that zfs_volume_base points to all the ZVOLs that are created by cinder below that are automatically encrypted.

For example if I'm using a ZFS pool called 'cloudstore' and I set 'cloudstore/cinder' as 'zfs_volume_base' I can do this:

# zfs create -o encryption=on -o keysource=passphrase, cloudstore/cinder

In the above example I'm assuming we have an ad-hoc key manager available already that is providing keys/passphrases over https, you could also use a raw file, PKCS#11 keystore or interactively prompt; see the ZFS Encryption documentation for more guidance.

Now restart the  cinder-volume:setup service and we are ready to use our transparent encryption of Cinder volumes:

# svcadm restart cinder-volume:setup

If we look at the ZFS datasets that are created after we have launched a VM instance and the cinder volume for it was created we see this:

$ zfs get -r encryption cloudstore/cinder                   zfs-bugs
NAME                                                      PROPERTY    VALUE  SOURCE
cloudstore/cinder                                              encryption  on     local
cloudstore/cinder/volume-8ae498b7-5866-60da-85f6-d22d6bc932e9  encryption  on     inherited from cloudstore/cinder

Using the above method neither Cinder or Nova are aware of the encryption of the volumes nor are they involved in the key management. 

We are investigating what will be required to extend the Solaris ZFS drivers for Cinder so that Cinder is involved in or at least aware of ZFS encryption and then eventuall the key management since Cinder has some support for this already and a future OpenStack release will be extending this via the Barbican project.

-- Darren J Moffat


Oracle OpenStack is cloud management software that provides customers an enterprise-grade solution to deploy and manage their entire IT environment. Customers can rapidly deploy Oracle and third-party applications across shared compute, network, and storage resources with ease, with end-to-end enterprise-class support. For more information, see here.


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