Use Tooz to replace local file locks

Right now cinder-volume service can run only in Active/Passive HA fashion. Some of the resons are:

  • Local file locks in manager that are protecting resources. For example when creating a volume A from volume B a lock on B is created to protect B from getting deleted during creation of A.
  • Local file locks in drivers like RemoteFS (and others). These locks are used to block operations that cannot run concurrently (like taking a snapshot in case of RemoteFS-based drivers).

This blueprint proposes a switch to use Tooz library for distributed locking.

Problem description

Currently there can be only one active cinder-volume service per volume backend. This means that to achieve high availability of it we need an external service (like Pacemaker) that’s monitoring state of the c-vol and makes a new instance active in case of a failure of a previous one. Also this makes c-vol completely unscalable, because operator cannot just spin up additional services if load is high and needs to rely on having just one instance.

Local file locks that are used in c-vol’s manager and some drivers are preventing that, because the lock won’t be shared between different c-vol services running on different hosts. This may cause multiple issues, resulting even in data loss.

Use Cases

Operator would want to deploy multiple cinder-volume services. The motivation may be to run multiple cinder-volume attached to a single storage backend to increase throughput of requests and therefore performance. Another advantage is increased resiliency to hardware failure when running multiple instances of the service.

Cloud user will get a better cloud.

Proposed change

At Mitaka Design Summit there was a session about allowing projects to have a hard requirement on DLM software. Main conclusions from the session are:

  • Projects can hard-depend on having a DLM.
  • Tooz will be the abstraction layer.

That’s why proposed solution is to convert current locks that are local to use Tooz abstraction layer.

This would require unification of current approaches (as some locks are done through cinder.utils.synchronized method and some are using oslo.concurrency.lockutils directly). By default Tooz would be configured to use file locks, so everything will work as today. If operator would want to run multiple cinder-volume services he would need to configure Tooz backend service and set it in cinder.conf. Currently most reliable Tooz backends are ZooKeeper and Redis.

Redis backend in Tooz requires sending periodical heartbeats, so cinder-volume manager will start a new thread that will take care of that. This will be a regular thread (non-eventlet) to be safe from situations when eventlet greenthreads are blocked. It is intended to spawn this thread only when Tooz needs it, so this won’t be done if FileDriver or ZooKeeper is used as backend.


To solve the problem with locks in RemoteFS-based volume drivers we may simply deprecate them and make operators switch to use lock-free drivers. This may be very hard to achieve because according to OpenStack Users Survey 19% of Cinder deployments use these drivers. Also some non-RemoteFS-based drivers are using local locks too.

We could also replace current locks with some DB-based locking. This was proposed by gegulieo in specs to remove local locks from the maanger_ and from drivers, but increased the complexity of the solution and potentially required more testing than relying on a broadly used DLM software.

In the future we will probably want to try to remove locks from volume manager using other means (for example state-based locking). This will make it possible to run c-vol in A/A manner without DLM (when running a volume driver that doesn’t do locking).

Data model impact


REST API impact


Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact


Performance Impact

Using an external service for locking will affect the performance. There are some performance tests done by geguileo. Also having a heartbeat thread may add a tiny performance overhead.

These will be non-existent if user would stick to file locks and decide to run c-vol exactly as it works today.

Other deployer impact

Deployer will have a new options in a section [coordination]:

  • backend_url=file://$state_path - Tooz backend connection string.
  • heartbeat=1.0 - number of seconds between heartbeats for distributed coordination.
  • initial_reconnect_backoff=0.1 - number of seconds to wait after failed reconnection to Tooz backend.
  • max_reconnect_backoff=60.0 - Maximum number of seconds between sequential reconnection retries to Tooz backend.

Deployment tools maintainers will need to decide if they want to use new possibility. If so - they will need to setup a Tooz backend (ZooKeeper, Redis, or less recommended memcached) in their environment.

Developer impact

Developer would need to use locks in cinder-volume service only through Tooz library abstraction layer and be aware that there can run multiple instances of the service.



Primary assignee:
Michal Dulko (dulek)
Other contributors:
Szymon Wroblewski (bluex-pl)

Work Items

  • Tooz locking implementation in Cinder (done).
  • Switch current locks to use Tooz implementation.
    • We have some work already done. We should split it for each driver and work with driver maintainers to get patches merged.
  • Add DevStack patches to set up a CI testing Cinder with Redis or ZooKeeper as Tooz backend.




Unit tests for Tooz code will be added and a CI configured to test Cinder with Redis or ZooKeeper as lock backend will be set up. Possibly we can do that with multinode Tempest.

Documentation Impact

Documentation and Openstack HA Guide will need to be updated to include instructions on how to configure Tooz and deploy cinder-volume in A/A.