Manila db purge utility

This spec adds the ability to sanely and safely purge soft-deleted rows from the manila database for all relevant tables. Presently, we keep all deleted rows. And this is unmaintainable as we move towards more upgradable releases. Today, most operators depend on manual DB queries to delete this data, but this opens up to human errors.

The goal is to have this be an extension to the manila-manage db command. Similar specs are being submitted to all the various projects that touch a database.

Problem description

Very long lived OpenStack installations will carry around database rows for years and years. This brings the following problems:

  • If deleted data is kept in the DB, the number of rows can grow very large taking up the disk space of nodes. Larger disk space means more worry for disaster recovery, long running non-differential backups, etc.

  • Large number of deleted rows also means that an admin or authorized owner querying for the corresponding rows will get 5xx responses timing out on the DB, eventually slowing down other queries and API performance.

  • DB upgrade ability is a big challenge if the older data style are less or inconsistent with the latest formats. An example would be the image locations string where older location string styles are different from the latest.

To date, there is no “mechanism” to programmatically purge the deleted data.

Use cases

Operators should have the ability to purge deleted rows, possibly on a schedule (cron job) or as needed (Before an upgrade, prior to maintenance). The intended use would be to specify a number of days prior to today for deletion, e.g. “manila-manage db purge 10” would purge deleted rows that have the “deleted_at” column greater than 10 days ago

Proposed change

The proposal is to add a “purge” command to manila-manage db command collection. This will take a non-negative number (0 will delete the rows “up to now”) of days argument and use that for a data match. Like:


WHERE deleted_at <= NOW() - INTERVAL <specified_days> DAY

Note: row with attribute(s) used as a foreign key will not be deleted even if it satisfies the deleted_at time requirement.

To accomplish this, we rearrange the table list in case of foreign key constraint, To make the logic simple and direct, we would hard code the whole table list with variable ‘PURGE_TABLE_LIST’, the existing tables in order are below (30 in total, ‘manila_nodes’ is excluded as it does not exist in db):

  • availability_zones

  • services

  • quotas

  • project_user_quotas

  • quota_classes

  • reservations

  • quota_usages

  • cgsnapshots

  • cgsnapshot_members

  • share_instance_access_map

  • share_access_map

  • share_snapshot_instances,

  • share_instance_export_locations_metadata,

  • share_instance_export_locations

  • share_snapshots

  • share_instances

  • share_type_projects

  • share_type_extra_specs

  • share_types

  • share_metadata

  • shares

  • consistency_groups

  • consistency_group_share_type_mappings

  • share_network_security_service_association

  • security_services

  • share_server_backend_details

  • network_allocations

  • share_servers

  • share_networks

  • drivers_private_data

This list should be synchronized when the database schema is changed.


Today, this can be accomplished manually with SQL commands, or via script.

Data model impact


REST API impact


CLI impact

A new manila-manage command will be added:

manila-manage db purge <age_in_days>

Driver impact


Security impact

Low, This only touches already soft deleted rows.

Notifications impact


Other end user impact


Performance impact

This has the potential to improve performance for very large databases. Very long-lived installations can suffer from inefficient operations on large tables. This would have negative DB performance impact while the purge is running.

Other deployer impact


Developer impact

Developer should update the table list whenever the tables’ relationship changed.



Primary assignee:

Work items

  • Implement ‘db purge’ command.

  • Add related unit tests.

  • Add documentation of this feature.




Unit testcases which focus on algorithm:

  • Single table with rows vary in ‘deleted_at’ time.

  • Multiple tables with inner relationship and their rows vary in ‘deleted_at’ time.

Unit testcases which focus on the hard code list (PURGE_TABLE_LIST)’s consistency:

  • All tables in manila should be added to list (exception to this also can be added here in purpose).

  • Each child table that uses foreign key(s) should come before its parent table(s).

Documentation impact

Documentation of this feature will be added to the admin guide and developer reference.


This is already discussed and accepted in other OpenStack components, such as Glance [1] and Cinder [2].

[1] [2]