Support import/export snapshots in cinder

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Provide a mean to import/export snapshots. Import/export snapshots function could be an complement for the function of import/export volume.

Problem description

Import/export snapshots function:

  • It could provide the ability to import volumes’ snapshot from one cinder to another cinder, and and import “non” OpenStack snapshots already on a back-end device into OpenStack/cinder.

  • Export snapshots works the same way as export volumes.


  • We could use the import snapshots as volume templates to create volumes from snapshots.

  • Import snapshots function could provide an effective means to manage the import volumes.


    For those volume drivers which could not delete volume with snapshots, we could not delete the import volume that has snapshots. By using import snapshots function to import snapshots, we could first delete the import snapshots, and then delete the import volumes.

Use Cases

Proposed change

By supporting import/export snapshots, we need to do the following changes.

  • Add import/export snapshots API.

  • Add import/export snapshots work flow.


    Import snapshots would check whether the snapshot’s parent volume exists in cinder. If not, it would raise an exception.NotFound. If the snapshot doesn’t exist in volume back end or the volume doesn’t have related snapshot, it would raise exception.ManageExistingInvalidReference. Currently import snapshots function doesn’t support import those snapshots(generally created by storage’s snap clone operation) without parent volumes. We should use import volumes function to import snapshots without parent volume.

    Export snapshots work almost the same as delete snapshot, but it doesn’t delete the snapshot data. For those volume drivers which could directly force delete volumes with snapshots, export snapshots function has no side effect. For those volume drivers which could not delete volumes with snapshots, export snapshots function has a side effect that would cause delete volumes failed. For lvm driver and rbd driver, if unmange volume’s snapshots and delete the volume, the delete operation fail and the volume’s status is available because these two drivers would not continue to delete volume if the volume has snapshots. Drivers raise an VolumeIsBusy exception to volume manager, and volume manager reset the volume’s status to available.

  • Add manage_existing_snapshot, manage_existing_snapshot_get_size and unmanage_snapshot interface in volume driver and implement these two interface in LVM driver.



Data model impact


REST API impact

  1. Add one API “manage_snapshot”

The rest API look like this in v2:

      'host': 'cinder-volume',
      'volume_id': 'volume-058660ab-6771-4f82-9627-687b179175d6'
      'ref': '_snapshot-058660ab-6771-4f82-9627-687b179175d6'

* The <string> 'host' means cinder volume host name.
  No default value.

* The <string> 'volume_id' means the import snapshot's volume id.
  No default value.

* The <string> 'ref' means the import snapshot name
  exist in storage back-end.
  No default value.

The response body of it is like:

      "snapshot": {
          "status": "creating",
          "description": null,
          "created_at": "2014-08-25T11:14:31.469591",
          "metadata": {},
          "volume_id": "fbd83a45-cce7-4333-b991-dafd2251edd4",
          "size": 1,
          "id": "71543ced-a8af-45b6-a5c4-a46282108a90",
          "name": null

* The <string> 'status' will be creating.
* The <string> 'description' means the import snapshot display name.
* The <date> 'created_at' means the import time.
* The <map> 'metadata' means the snapshot's metadata.
* The <string> 'volume_id' means the snapshot's volume id.
* The <string> 'id' means the snapshot's id.
* The <string> 'name' means the alias of snapshot id.
  1. Add one API “unmanage_snapshot”.

The rest API look like this in v2:

POST /v2/{project_id}/os-snapshot-manage/{id}/action

The status code will be HTTP 202 when the request has succeeded.

Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact

  1. Users can import snapshots that are already exist in volume back-end.

  2. Export snapshots function has an side effect for those volume drivers which could not delete volumes with snapshots. If using export snapshots function, it would cause the subsequent delete volume operation fail.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact


Developer impact




Primary assignee:


Work Items

  • Implement code that mentioned in “Proposed change”.

  • Implement code in python-cinderclient.

  • Add change API doc.




Both unit and Tempest tests need to be created to cover the code change that mentioned in “Proposed change” and ensure that Cinder snapshot feature works well while introducing import/export snapshots.

Documentation Impact

  1. The cinder API documentation will need to be updated to reflect the REST API changes.

  2. Add the side effect of export snapshots function.