Monday Aug 10, 2015

Swift Object Storage with ZFS Storage Appliance

Jim Kremer has written a new blog that shows you how to configure Swift to take advantage of an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. Jim walks step by step how to configure OpenStack Swift into a highly available cluster using an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance as the backend storage over NFSv4.

Jim summarizes the unique benefits that using a ZFS Storage Appliance brings to OpenStack environments over a typical Swift deployment:

  • Swift data will be stored on a ZFS filesystem as a backing store instead of XFS.
  • Storage will be accessed via NFS v4. Solaris NFS supports extended attributes and locking so it works great with Swift.
  • Each Solaris Swift instance will run the account server, container server and object server as well as the proxy server instead of having separate proxy servers and storage servers.
  • All of the Solaris Swift instances can access and share the same backend storage systems.
  • All the Solaris Swift servers will use the exact same Swift ring configuration.
  • Disaster recovery is supported with the built in remote replication available on the ZFS Storage Appliance.
  • Only one copy of data needs to be stored since ZFS supports different levels of mirroring as well as raidz.
  • ZFS automatically caches hot data in SSDs or in DRAM to increase reading hot blocks of data. A good example of such a workload is booting many VMs in a cloud computing environment.

For more information, see Solaris Swift using ZFS Storage Appliance

Tuesday May 19, 2015

Join us at the Oracle OpenStack booth!

We've reached the second day of the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver and our booth is now officially open. Come by and see us and talk about some of the work that we've been doing at Oracle - whether it's integrating a complete distribution of OpenStack into Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris, Cinder and Swift storage on the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, integration with Swift and our Oracle HSM tape storage product, and how to quickly provision Oracle Database 12c in an OpenStack environment. We've got a lot of demos and experts there to answer your questions.

The Oracle sponsor session is on today also. Markus Flierl will be talking about "Making OpenStack Secure and Compliant for the Enterprise" at 2:50-3:30pm Tuesday Room 116/117. Markus will talk about the challenges of deploying an OpenStack cloud while still meeting critical secure and compliance requirements, and how Oracle can help you do this.

And in case anyone asks, yes, we're hiring!

Thursday Apr 16, 2015

OpenStack Swift on Oracle Solaris

Jim Kremer has written a blog about the OpenStack object storage service Swift and how to set it up on Oracle Solaris. For Swift on Solaris we use the ZFS file system as the underlying storage, which means we can take advantage of things like snapshots and clones, data encryption and compression, and the underlying redundancy that the ZFS architecture provides with storage pools and mirroring.

Read Jim's blog on How to get Swift up and running on Solaris.

-- Glynn Foster

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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