[openstack-dev] Announcing Ekko -- Scalable block-based backup for OpenStack

Sam Yaple samuel at yaple.net
Mon Jan 25 14:58:57 UTC 2016

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org>

> Sam Yaple wrote:
>> We would like to introduce you to a new community-driven OpenStack
>> project called Ekko.
>> The aim of Ekko is to provide incremental block-level backup and restore
>> of Nova instances. We see backups as a key area that is missing in
>> OpenStack. One issue that has previously prevented backups in OpenStack
>> is the scalability of the storage backend. Object-storage is the answer
>> to this scalability problem, but with block-based backups you often see
>> large files that require POSIX operations to perform retention and
>> deletions. These operations are not able to be performed in the
>> traditional way in object storage, which has prevented leveraging
>> object-storage to its full potential. With Ekko we can solve this issue
>> allowing us to use storage that can scale with OpenStack.
> Hi!
> How does Ekko compare to / differ from Freezer, which is an official
> OpenStack project targeted to the same problem space ? I suspect this is
> more low-level ? Is there some potential for convergence between the two
> projects ?
Hello Thierry,

These are good questions. The biggest difference you already caught onto,
Ekko is more low-level. Freezer is targeted at the filesystem and specific
applications (like databases) directly.

There are only two places with overlapping goals that I know of*. The first
is backup of a Cinder volume which is a future goal of Ekko and something
Freezer can currently do for LVM backed Cinder. The second is backup of a
nova instance. This isn't something freezer does directly, instead it
leverages nova-snapshot which is very disruptive to the instance and will
cause downtime for said instance. The current pursuit of Ekko is _live_
incremental block-level backup of an nova instance and in that regard there
is no overlap with Freezer or any other project for that matter.

To answer the question of convergence between Ekko and Freezer, I would say
it's possible. That being said both projects are addressing different
problems in different ways. As discussed above, there is little overlap
between the two projects and the areas where there is overlap of goals have
drastically different implementations. I could put together a list of Ekko
vs Freezer, but I think that would be comparing apples to oranges. To state
this in terms of compatibility, Ekko and Freezer can run side-by-side
without interfering with each other in anyway.

*Disclaimer: I am no expert on Freezer, I may be wrong in some statements
and am open to correction.

Sam Yaple

> Thierry Carrez (ttx)
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