Disks

Created:2014-Apr-09
Status:Implemented
Ganeti-Version:2.14.0

This is a design document detailing the implementation of disks as a new top-level citizen in the config file (just like instances, nodes etc).

Current state and shortcomings

Currently, Disks are stored in Ganeti’s config file as a list (container) of Disk objects under the Instance in which they belong. This implementation imposes a number of limitations:

  • A Disk object cannot live outside an Instance. This means that one cannot detach a disk from an instance (without destroying the disk) and then reattach it (to the same or even to a different instance).
  • Disks are not taggable objects, as only top-level citizens of the config file can be made taggable. Having taggable disks will allow for further customizations.
  • All disks of an instance have to be of the same template. Dropping this constraint would allow mixing different kinds of storage (e.g. an instance might have a local plain storage for the OS and a remotely replicated sharedstorage for the data).

Proposed changes

The implementation is going to be split in four parts:

  • Make disks a top-level citizen in config file. The Instance object will no longer contain a list of Disk objects, but a list of disk UUIDs.
  • Add locks for Disk objects and make them taggable.
  • Allow to attach/detach an existing disk to/from an instance.
  • Allow creation/modification/deletion of disks that are not attached to any instance (requires new LUs for disks).
  • Allow disks of a single instance to be of different templates.
  • Remove all unnecessary distinction between disk templates and disk types.

Design decisions

Disks as config top-level citizens

The first patch-series is going to add a new top-level citizen in the config object (namely disks) and separate the disk objects from the instances. In doing so there are a number of problems that we have to overcome:

  • How the Disk object will be represented in the config file and how it is going to be connected with the instance it belongs to.
  • How the existing code will get the disks belonging to an instance.
  • What it means for a disk to be attached/detached to/from an instance.
  • How disks are going to be created/deleted, attached/detached using the existing code.

Disk representation

The Disk object gets two extra slots, _TIMESTAMPS and serial_no.

The Instance object will no longer contain the list of disk objects that are attached to it or a disk template. Instead, an Instance object will refer to its disks using their UUIDs and the disks will contain their own template. Since the order in which the disks are attached to an instance is important we are going to have a list of disk UUIDs under the Instance object which will denote the disks attached to the instance and their order at the same time. So the Instance’s disks slot is going to be a list of disk UUIDs. The Disk object is not going to have a slot pointing to the Instance in which it belongs since this is redundant.

Get instance’s disks

A new function GetInstanceDisks will be added to the config that given an instance will return a list of Disk objects with the disks attached to this instance. This list will be exactly the same as ‘instance.disks’ was before. Everywhere in the code we are going to replace the ‘instance.disks’ (which from now one will contain a list of disk UUIDs) with the function GetInstanceDisks.

Since disks will not be part of the Instance object any more, ‘all_nodes’ and ‘secondary_nodes’ can not be Instance’s properties. Instead we will use the functions GetInstanceNodes and GetInstanceSecondaryNodes from the config to compute these values.

Configuration changes

The ConfigData object gets one extra slot: disks. Also there will be two new functions, AddDisk and RemoveDisk that will create/remove a disk objects from the config.

The VerifyConfig function will be changed so it can check that there are no dangling pointers from instances to disks (i.e. an instance points to a disk that doesn’t exist in the config).

The ‘upgrade’ operation for the config should check if disks are top level citizens and if not it has to extract the disk objects from the instances, replace them with their uuids, and copy the disk template. In case of the ‘downgrade’ operation (where disks will be made again part of the Instance object) all disks that are not attached to any instance at all will be ignored (removed from config). The disk template of the instance is set to the disk template of any disk attached to it. If there are multiple disk templates present, the downgrade fails and the user is requested to detach disks from the instances.

Apply Disk modifications

There are four operations that can be performed to a Disk object:

  • Create a new Disk object of a given template and save it to the config.
  • Remove an existing Disk object from the config.
  • Attach an existing Disk to an existing Instance.
  • Detach an existing Disk from an existing Instance.

The first two operations will be performed using the config functions AddDisk and RemoveDisk respectively where the last two operations will be performed using the functions AttachInstanceDisk and DetachInstanceDisk.

More specifically, the add operation will add and attach a disk at the same time, using a wrapper that calls the AddDisk and AttachInstanceDisk functions. On the same vein, the remove operation will detach and remove a disk using a wrapper that calls the DetachInstanceDisk and RemoveInstanceDisk. The attach and detach operations are simpler, in the sense that they only call the AttachInstanceDisk and DetachInstanceDisk functions respectively.

It is important to note that the detach operation introduces the notion of disks that are not attached to any instance. For this reason, the configuration checks for detached disks will be removed, as the detached disks can be handled by the code.

In addition since Ganeti doesn’t allow for a Disk object to be attached to more than one Instance at once, when attaching a disk to an instance we have to make sure that the disk is not attached anywhere else.

Backend changes

The backend needs access to the disks of an Instance but doesn’t have access to the GetInstanceDisks function from the config file. Thus we will create a new Instance slot (namely disks_info) that will get annotated (during RPC) with the instance’s disk objects. So in the backend we will only have to replace the disks slot with disks_info.

Supporting the old interface

The current interface is designed with a uniform disk type in mind and this interface should still be supported to not break tools and workflows downstream.

The behaviour is fully compatible for instances with constantly attached, uniform disks.

Whenever an operation operates on an instance, the operation will only consider the disks attached. If the operation is specific to a disk type, it will throw an error if any disks of a type not supported are attached.

When setting the disk template of an instance, we convert all currently attached disks to that template. This means that all disk types currently attached must be convertible to the new template.

Since the disk template as a configuration value is going away, it needs to be replaced for queries. If the instance has no disks, the disk_template will be ‘diskless’, if it has disks of a single type, its disk_template will be that type, and if it has disks of multiple types, the new disk template ‘mixed’ will be returned.

Eliminating the disk template from the instance

In order to remove the disk template from the instance model, all current uses of the disk template there need to be replaced. These uses fall into the following general categories:

  1. The configuration needs to reflect the new model. cfgupgrade and bootstrap need to be fixed, creating and modifying instances and disks for instances needs to be fixed.
  2. The query interface will no longer be able to return an instance disk template.
  3. Several checks for the DISKLESS template will be replaced by checking if any disks are attached.
  4. If an operation works disk by disk, the operation will dispatch for the functionality by disk instead of by instance. If an operation requires that all disks are of the same kind (e.g. a query if the instance is DRBD backed) then the assumption is checked beforehand. Since this is a user visible change, it will have to be announced in the NEWS file specifying the calls changed.
  5. Operations that operate on the instance and extract the disk template e.g. for creation of a new disk will require an additional parameter for the disk template. Several instances already provide an optional parameter to override the instance setting, those will become required. This is incompatible as well and will need to be listed in the NEWS file.

Attach/Detach disks from cli

The attach/detach options should be available through the command gnt-instance modify. Like the add/remove options, the attach/detach options can be invoked using the legacy syntax or the new syntax that supports indexes. For the attach option, we can refer to the disk using either its name or uuid. The detach option on the other hand has the same syntax as the remove option, and we can refer to a disk by its name, uuid or index in the instance.

The attach/detach syntax can be seen below:

  • Legacy syntax

    gnt-instance modify --disk attach,name=*NAME* *INSTANCE*
    gnt-instance modify --disk attach,uuid=*UUID* *INSTANCE*
    gnt-instance modify --disk detach *INSTANCE*
    
  • New syntax

    gnt-instance modify --disk *N*:attach,name=*NAME* *INSTANCE*
    gnt-instance modify --disk *N*:attach,uuid=*UUID* *INSTANCE*
    gnt-instance modify --disk *N*:detach *INSTANCE*
    gnt-instance modify --disk *NAME*:detach *INSTANCE*
    gnt-instance modify --disk *UUID*:detach *INSTANCE*