[Openstack-operators] Experience with Cinder volumes as root disks?

Kimball, Conrad conrad.kimball at boeing.com
Tue Aug 1 14:50:45 UTC 2017

In our process of standing up an OpenStack internal cloud we are facing the question of ephemeral storage vs. Cinder volumes for instance root disks.

As I look at public clouds such as AWS and Azure, the norm is to use persistent volumes for the root disk.  AWS started out with images booting onto ephemeral disk, but soon after they released Elastic Block Storage and ever since the clear trend has been to EBS-backed instances, and now when I look at their quick-start list of 33 AMIs, all of them are EBS-backed.  And I'm not even sure one can have anything except persistent root disks in Azure VMs.

Based on this and a number of other factors I think we want our user normal / default behavior to boot onto Cinder-backed volumes instead of onto ephemeral storage.  But then I look at OpenStack and its design point appears to be booting images onto ephemeral storage, and while it is possible to boot an image onto a new volume this is clumsy (haven't found a way to make this the default behavior) and we are experiencing performance problems (that admittedly we have not yet run to ground).

So ...

*         Are other operators routinely booting onto Cinder volumes instead of ephemeral storage?

*         What has been your experience with this; any advice?

Conrad Kimball
Associate Technical Fellow
Chief Architect, Enterprise Cloud Services
Application Infrastructure Services / Global IT Infrastructure / Information Technology & Data Analytics
conrad.kimball at boeing.com<mailto:conrad.kimball at boeing.com>
P.O. Box 3707, Mail Code 7M-TE
Seattle, WA  98124-2207
Bellevue 33-11 bldg, office 3A6-3.9
Mobile:  425-591-7802

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