[openstack-dev] [Cinder][Glance] Fixing up Cinder store in Glance

Patrick East patrick.east at purestorage.com
Tue Jul 28 02:46:13 UTC 2015

Thanks Mike!

Let me try and clarify the difference between the two features and why I
think they both have a place in Cinder. I don't necessarily mean these two
implementations as they exist today need to be there, but the features they
provide do have their own uses and I think we will want them. That being
said I'm definitely open to suggestions for alternative approaches that can
achieve our goals.

As-is with the implementations the Cinder store will be able to create
volumes that have image data on them. Upon subsequent volume create calls
that are using the image as the source we can look for a cinder:// url for
the image data. Then if the image is a raw type and the volume was created
on the same Cinder backend the new volume is targeted for we can clone it.

Now from the other side of things, the image cache will (upon request for
creating a volume from image) check the cache for the image on the Cinder
backend. If it is there we clone it. If it isn't then we create the volume
at its minimal size using the image virtual_size, download it, and then
take a clone of this minimal volume and stick it in the cache. The original
requested volume gets extended to its requested size and we are ready for
subsequent calls. Note that if both are available we check for cinder://
urls first, and only start doing cache things if it cannot be used (ie raw
image or wrong host).

Lets compare some of this. The Cinder store approach can only do fast
clones if the image is raw and if the volume is on the same host. If you
get a 'miss' like with the cache you do not get fast clones on subsequent
requests. You are effectively stuck with only getting fast clones on that
single Cinder backend. This may not matter if you are using a single
backend for the whole cloud, but does matter if you have several storage
arrays or different tiers of storage being offered.

A way around this would be to duplicate the image-volume on every backend
and store their urls in glance, perhaps as needed like the cache. The issue
then is that to get fast image clones you would be required to give up
space on every backend for images you may or may not use ever again. Maybe
this is a problem, maybe not. In the case of someone with a backend which
is tier 1 flash and maybe another that is tier 2 disk they might not want
to have *all* of the raw glance images on the tier 1 system, but could
maybe spare a few GB or LUN's here or there for the most used images
(sounding familiar?). This is where the cache starts to shine (in all its
middle of the road glory). A deployer could then still have Cinder storing
all of their images, but not on each backend, and get improved
create-from-volume operations on all backends that scales in how effective
it is by how big they allow the caches to be. That model has both features
happily co-existing. Maybe this isn't a real user scenario... I don't
really know enough to say definitively whether it is or isn't. What I do
know though is that for some Cinder backends they have limitations on how
many volumes can be created. This is a very real problem, and puts the cost
of additional volumes to hold images at a premium. In this kind of setup
having the ability to cache only a few images instead of potentially all of
them is the difference between using the feature or not.

One cool thing that the Cinder store has which the cache doesn't (right
now) is to do essentially no-op image uploads. So when you say to create an
image from volume we only need to clone the volume and set a new url in
glance for it with the cinder:// url scheme. Easy-peasy. Again though this
only works for raw images. We could keep a clone of the volume in its raw
form in addition to uploading the format specified, but the question then
is where do we track that and use it later?

Well, there are a couple options that I've looked into and I'm sure many
more that I haven't though of (so if you see a better way please speak
up!). We can register a new url in glance like cinder-raw:// or something
like that, or register it as just cinder:// but add some sort of meta-data
to say that it is a raw version not really suitable for others to use. I'm
not a huge fan of this approach because it means that the glance image
location isn't actually pointing to what the image metadata is describing.
We have at that point effectively pushed Cinder implementation details into
Glance and made it their problem.

Another option is to keep our details specific to Cinder. This means we
have some sort of DB entry that tracks the image volumes and we can do
lookups on this table to do efficient image clones upon being asked to
create a volume from an image (sound familiar again?).

This leads me to think that the framework provided by the cache is the
suitable place for that info and workflow, I would guess that even if we
ditch the cache right now for L we would very soon be adding in most of
that machinery anyway for this type of further optimization inside Cinder
(and probably end up with caches again). IMO it works much nicer. No need
to overload the details into existing Glance fields, add some new apis, or
expose implementation details to users through metadata. We keep it all
inside Cinder and as far as a user is concerned you just get nice fast
response times when you create a volume from an image (in the right

So, this is not an exhaustive list of what could possibly be done to solve
the problems or all of the stuff I've looked into. It is hopefully useful
for some to understand more about how the two features are working, and how
they can work together. To reiterate my stance on this, I don't see the
functionality entirely duplicated in either solution, and not a very good
way to get there. If we can achieve that I'm 100% on board with a unified

Maybe if we need more discussion we can talk about this at the mid-cycle
meeting next week.


On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 6:09 PM, Mike Perez <thingee at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 23:04 Jul 02, Tomoki Sekiyama wrote:
> > Hi Cinder experts,
> >
> > Currently Glance has cinder backend but it is broken for a long time.
> > I am proposing a glance-spec/patch to fix it by implementing the
> > uploading/downloading images to/from cinder volumes.
> >
> > Glance-spec: https://review.openstack.org/#/c/183363/
> > Glance_store patch: https://review.openstack.org/#/c/166414/
> >
> > This will be also useful for sharing volume data among tenants (similar
> > use-case with public snapshots proposal discussed at the design summit).
> >
> >
> > I need a review for them from cinder developers to make it progress.
> So I tested out this glance_store patch, along with the Cinder patch [1]
> and
> Glance patch [2] necessary to get things working.
> This made us notice that Glance v2 + Cinder does not work [3].
> Regardless, I had Patrick East who is working on the Image Caching [4]
> effort
> in Cinder to help copying images faster explain what the difference
> between the
> glance_store and his efforts were [5].
> It's not exactly clear from the operator's perspective what the use cases
> are
> for using one or the other. This worries me on duplicated effort, two
> supported
> efforts we have to support once people deploy these different options,
> confusion on which to use, etc.
> I think we should decide on one approach and just use that one. Thoughts?
> [1] - https://review.openstack.org/#/c/201754/10
> [2] - https://review.openstack.org/#/c/186201/11
> [3] - https://bugs.launchpad.net/cinder/+bug/1478737
> [4] -
> http://specs.openstack.org/openstack/cinder-specs/specs/liberty/image-volume-cache.html
> [5] -
> http://eavesdrop.openstack.org/irclogs/%23openstack-cinder/%23openstack-cinder.2015-07-28.log.html#t2015-07-28T00:45:14
> --
> Mike Perez
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