Add Support for Local Volumes in OpenStack

Local volumes is functionality similar to regular nova volumes, but volume data always stored on local disk. It can helps when you need to resizable disk for VM, but do not want to attach volume by network.

This functionality was implemented as Nova API extension (gd-local-volumes). You can manage local volumes from command line with nova2ools-local-volumes command. Local volumes are stored in same format, as VM disks (see Using LVM as Disk Storage for OpenStack). You can mix nova-volumes and local volumes for the same instance.

To create local volume using nova2ools, just use “nova2ools-local-volumes create” command:

$ nova2ools-local-volumes create –vm <Id or name of VM> –size <Size> –device <Path to device inside Guest OS (example: /dev/vdb)>

This command will create local volume for given VM with specified size. There are some caveats too. According to libvirt behavior, device name in guest OS can be different from what you specified in –device option. For instance, device names can simply be chosen in lexicographical order (vda, vdb, vdc and so on). Another caveat is that device may not be seen in Guest OS unless you reboot VM. Each local volume is defined by it’s VM id and device name.

You can create new local volume from existing local volume snapshot using –snapshot option like this:

$ nova2ools-local-volumes create –vm <Id or name of VM> –snapshot <Id of local volume snapshot> –size <Size> –device <Path to device inside Guest OS (example: /dev/vdb)>

You can omit –size option, when creating local volume from snapshot, then local volume will have actual snapshot size. If you specify –size option, then local volume will be resized to this size.


To see list of all created local volumes simply write:

$ nova2ools-local-volumes list

After you create local volume for particular VM, you can perform these operations on it:

  • Take snapshot of local volume
  • Resize local volume
  • Delete local volume

To create snapshot use:

$ nova2ools-local-volumes snapshot –id <Id of local volume> –name <Name of snapshot>

You can see your snapshot in list provided by

$ nova2ools-images list


Resize of local volume (with no underlying filesystem resize) can be performed by command:

$ nova2ools-local-volumes resize –id <Volume Id> –size <New size>

Finally, you can delete local volume that are no longer needed:

$ nova2ools-local-volumes delete –id <Volume Id>

In conclusion, essence facts about using local volumes:

  • They are allocated on the same instance where VM runs
  • They are defined by id of VM and device name
  • They use same storage type as VM disks (raw, qcow2 or LVM)
  • Snapshot functionality depends on backend: snapshots are allowed for qcow2 and LVM (on suspended instance) but can’t be made on raw.
  • Quota is enabled for local volumes too, just like for ordinary volumes
  • They are linked with particular VM forever and can only be deleted, not detached and attached again.
  • They are attached to VM just like usual VM disks without any iSCSI
  • Resize of local volume doesn’t perform underlying filesystem resize
  • They will be deleted if you delete VM, that uses them

Finally, some notes if you are using local volumes with LVM storage type. As was mentioned in Using LVM as Disk Storage for OpenStack, LVM snapshots can either be taking on running instance with force_snapshot flag specified or on suspended instance. Same thing applies when you try to snapshot local volume with LVM backend. However, we spotted that suspend\resume Nova API calls have been disabled by some reason, so we turned them on and you can use suspend\resume to take snapshots from LVM local volumes.

Hopefully, you will find this feature useful, when you need to allocate just local disk for particular VM, not some volume anywhere in the cluster.

Sources are available on GitHub:

REST API Documentation:

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