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OpenStack Storage

Object and Block storage for use with servers and applications

In addition to traditional enterprise-class storage technology, many organizations now have a variety of storage needs with varying performance and price requirements. OpenStack has support for both Object Storage and Block Storage, with many deployment options for each depending on the use case.

Object Storage is ideal for cost effective, scale-out storage. It provides a fully distributed, API-accessible storage platform that can be integrated directly into applications or used for backup, archiving and data retention. Block Storage allows block devices to be exposed and connected to compute instances for expanded storage, better performance and integration with enterprise storage platforms, such as NetApp, Nexenta and SolidFire.

Object Storage Capabilities

  • OpenStack provides redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of standardized servers capable of storing petabytes of data
  • Object Storage is not a traditional file system, but rather a distributed storage system for static data such as virtual machine images, photo storage, email storage, backups and archives. Having no central "brain" or master point of control provides greater scalability, redundancy and durability.
  • Objects and files are written to multiple disk drives spread throughout servers in the data center, with the OpenStack software responsible for ensuring data replication and integrity across the cluster.
  • Storage clusters scale horizontally simply by adding new servers. Should a server or hard drive fail, OpenStack replicates its content from other active nodes to new locations in the cluster. Because OpenStack uses software logic to ensure data replication and distribution across different devices, inexpensive commodity hard drives and servers can be used in lieu of more expensive equipment.

Block Storage Capabilities

  • OpenStack provides persistent block level storage devices for use with OpenStack compute instances.
  • The block storage system manages the creation, attaching and detaching of the block devices to servers. Block storage volumes are fully integrated into OpenStack Compute and the Dashboard allowing for cloud users to manage their own storage needs.
  • In addition to using simple Linux server storage, it has unified storage support for numerous storage platforms including Ceph, NetApp, Nexenta, SolidFire, and Zadara.
  • Block storage is appropriate for performance sensitive scenarios such as database storage, expandable file systems, or providing a server with access to raw block level storage.
  • Snapshot management provides powerful functionality for backing up data stored on block storage volumes. Snapshots can be restored or used to create a new block storage volume.

Features & Benefits

The features below are available in the current release.

Feature Benefit

Leverages commodity hardware

No lock-in, lower price/GB

HDD/node failure agnostic

Self healing
Reliability, data redundancy protecting from failures

Unlimited storage

Huge & flat namespace, highly scalable read/write access
Ability to serve content directly from storage system

Multi-dimensional scalability (scale out architecture)

Scale vertically and horizontally-distributed storage

Backup and archive large amounts of data with linear performance

Account/Container/Object structure
No nesting, not a traditional file system

Optimized for scale
Scales to multiple petabytes, billions of objects

Built-in replication
3x+ data redundancy compared to 2x on RAID

Configurable number of accounts, container and object copies for high availability

Easily add capacity unlike RAID resize

Elastic data scaling with ease

No central database

Higher performance, no bottlenecks

RAID not required

Handle lots of small, random reads and writes efficiently

Built-in management utilities

Account Management: Create, add, verify, delete users

Container Management: Upload, download, verify

Monitoring: Capacity, host, network, log trawling, cluster health

Drive auditing

Detect drive failures preempting data corruption

Expiring objects

Users can set an expiration time or a TTL on an object to control access

Direct object access

Enable direct browser access to content, such as for a control panel

Realtime visibility into client requests

Know what users are requesting

Supports S3 API

Utilize tools that were designed for the popular S3 API

Restrict containers per account

Limit access to control usage by user

Support for NetApp, Nexenta, SolidFire

Unified support for block volumes using a variety of storage systems

Snapshot and backup API for block volumes

Data protection and recovery for VM data

Standalone volume API available

Separate endpoint and API for integration with other compute systems

Integration with Compute

Fully integrated to Compute for attaching block volumes and reporting on usage