NFS Snapshots

Add support for snapshots (create, delete, clone from) to the NFS volume driver, so that it is as functional as other Cinder drivers.

Problem description

The NFS driver does not support many features expected in a modern Cinder driver.

  • create snapshot

  • delete snapshot

  • clone from snapshot

Use Cases

Proposed change

The basic model for how snapshots can be implemented here has been proven in the GlusterFS driver. The general idea here is to re-use that same model and much of the code for the NFS driver, which works the same as the GlusterFS driver in general.

In Juno, most of the snapshot-related code was refactored into a RemoteFSSnapshot class.

The NFS driver should inherit code from this base class (and probably make minor changes) to gain snapshot support.


No real alternative, baseline NFS servers do not have the ability to snapshot files. This method is already used in other Cinder drivers and works, so the only alternative is to decide we don’t want snapshots for this driver.

Data model impact


REST API impact

Nothing significant.

initialize_connection will return additional fields specifying the format of the volume file so that Nova knows how to attach it properly.

Security impact

None, see notes here.

This change needs to be tested with the NFS security infrastructure added in Kilo to ensure nothing breaks and that all files before, after, and during snapshot operations have the expected permissions. There is no reason to expect problems here.

In Juno a security concern related to qcow2 file handling was addressed. ( )

This is now considered fixed from a security perspective as there are no known ways to exploit it, but is still being fixed in a more robust manner in the “Support storing volume format info” spec. This work is possible in parallel as there is no strict interdependency here. ( )

Notifications impact


Other end user impact

We do not yet support backups of qcow2-based volumes. (Unsure if targeted in Kilo elsewhere.)

Performance Impact

The NFS driver needs to have a per-volume-id lock for operations that manipulate volume/snapshot data. This does not cause any performance regression in existing functionality and should not be a large concern in most scenarios when using snapshots.

See (GlusterFS example)

Other deployer impact

New config option, nfs_qcow2_volumes, to specify if you would like to always create volume files as qcow2 images rather than raw.

Developer impact



Primary assignee:

eharney and akerr (?)

Other contributors:

NetApp has indicated they will CI this driver. (bswartz)

Work Items

  • Try to inherit RemoteFSSnapshot code into NFS driver.

  • Iterate on issues there.

  • Test security concerns.


Storing volume format info:
  • Not a strict dependency, and which lands first is not vital, but this effort also needs to land in Kilo along with this work and is strongly related.

I will submit another spec addressing the snapshot API between Cinder and Nova which will be used here, but nothing there blocks this work.


Standard third-party CI of the NFS driver

Consider testing this in-gate as a later effort

Documentation Impact

New config option, nfs_qcow2_volumes.


Original snapshot effort which this is based on:

RemoteFS snapshot code refactoring, done to support this effort:

SMBFS volume driver, an example of another driver re-using this code: