Snapshotting attached volumes w/o force

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Cinder requires passing the “force” flag to a snapshot create call to create a snapshot from a volume while it is attached to an instance. This is unnecessary, as snapshotting attached volumes results in crash-consistent snapshots, which are useful, sufficient, and one of the most common cases of how snapshots are used in the real world.

Problem description

Most users and other software that create Cinder snapshots actually want crash-consistent snapshots of attached volumes, so making this an exception case is not productive. Code is written to always use “force”, and users learn that it is needed to create snapshots.

In most virtualization platforms for many years, creating crash-consistent snapshots of online disks is not an exception case, it is a normal operation. It should be in Cinder too.

Use Cases

  • easier for end users

  • less surprising snapshot API for developers

Proposed change

Introduce a new microversion that no longer uses a “force” flag to control when snapshots can be created for a volume.

This means that snapshot creation succeeds for volumes that are in the “available” or “in-use” state. The “force” parameter is no longer needed, but “force=true” is accepted to reduce code changes required for users who are currently passing this flag from their code.

Snapshot creation with “force=false” will be rejected as invalid after this new microversion.



Data model impact


REST API impact

  • Introduce a new microversion for this change

  • Snapshot creation will succeed for in-use volumes w/o force flag added.

  • Passing force=True will succeed for in-use volumes as it does currently, but this parameter is no longer needed for this case.

  • Passing force=False for snapshot creation is not allowed after the new microversion. This is presumably rarely used and removing it reduces ambiguity about what “force=False” would mean when in-use volumes can be snapshotted by default.

Security impact


Active/Active HA impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact

Minimal cinderclient changes

Performance Impact

  • Fewer snapshot create calls that return HTTP 400 resulting in the user issuing a second snapshot create call w/ “force” added

Other deployer impact

Developer impact



Primary assignee:


Work Items

  • Fix snapshot-create

  • New API microversion

  • Tempest Tests

  • Look at backup-create (similar problems)



  • New tempest tests in cinder-tempest-plugin

Documentation Impact

  • Minimal