Deploy an Open vStorage cluster with Ansible

At Open vStorage we build large Open vStorage clusters for customers. To prevent errors and cut-down the deployment time we don’t set up these clusters manually but we automate the deployment through Ansible, a free software platform for configuring and managing IT environments. Before we dive into the Ansible code, let’s first have a look at the architecture of these large clusters. For large setups we take the converged (HyperScale as we call it) approach and split up storage and compute in order to scale compute and storage independently. From experience we have…Read more …

QEMU, Shared Memory and Open vStorage

QEMU, Shared Memory and Open vStorage, it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but actually it is a very cool story. Open vStorage secretly released in their latest version a Shared Memory Client/Server integration with the VolumeDriver (the component that offers the fast, distributed block layer). With this implementation the client (QEMU, Blktap, ...) can write to a dedicated memory segment on the compute host which is shared with the Shared Memory Server in the Volume Driver. For the moment the Shared Memory client understands only block semantics but in the…Read more …

The Distributed Transaction Log explained

During my 1-on-1 sessions I quite often get the question how Open vStorage makes sure there is no data loss when a host crashes. As you probably already know Open vStorage uses SSDs and PCIe flash cards inside the host where the VM is running to store incoming writes. All incoming writes for a volume get appended to a log file (SCO, Storage Container Object) and once enough write are accumulated the SCO gets stored on the backend. Once the SCO is on the backend Open vStorage relies on the functionality (erasure coding,…Read more …

2016: Cheers to the New Year!

The past year has been a remarkable one for Open vStorage. We did 2 US roadshows, attended a successful OpenStack summit in Vancouver, moved and open-sourced all of Open vStorage on GitHub and released a lot of new functionality (our own hyperconverged backend, detailed tuning & caching parameters for vDisks, a certified OpenStack Cinder plugin, remote support, CentOS7, …). The year also ended with a bang as customers were trying to beat each other's top 4k IOPS results. While it might look hard to beat the success of 2015, the Open vStorage Team…Read more …

Masters and extra’s

While working on integrating Open vStorage with an OpenStack distribution, we received questions from their engineering team about how Open vStorage should be set up and which services should be running on the different nodes. Within an Open vStorage cluster not all nodes are equal. You have master nodes and extra nodes. You need at least 3 master nodes but in large environments you can promote nodes which are configured as extra to become master. Let’s see what the difference is between master and extra nodes and which services should be configured where.…Read more …

I like to move it, move it

The vibe at the Open vStorage office is these days best explained by a song of the early nineties: I like to move it, move it ~ Reel 2 Reel While the summer time is in most companies a more quiet time, the Open vStorage office is buzzing like a beehive. Allow me to give you a short overview of what is happening: We are moving into our new, larger and stylish offices. The address remains the same but we are moving into a completely remodeled floor of the Idola business center. Next…Read more …

vDisks, vMachines, vPools and Backends: how does it all fit together

With the latest version of Open vStorage, we released the option to use physical SATA disks as storage backend for Open vStorage. These disks can be inside the hypervisor host, hyper-converged, or in a storage server, an x86 server with SATA disks*. Together with this functionality we introduced some new terminology so we thought it would be a good idea to give an overview of how it all fits together. Let’s start from the bottom, the physical layer, and work up to the virtual layer. For the sake of simplicity we assume a…Read more …

Open vStorage Support Page

In the upcoming version of Open vStorage we added tons of new features. We already discussed the new metadata server architecture in a previous blog post. We have also added features which should improve the support we can give. You can now set up a secure VPN tunnel so our operations team has access to the environment for troubleshooting. In the below video you can see the new 'support'-screens and how to enable or disable the heartbeats. As always, feedback is more than welcome!Read more …