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Re: [libvirt] [Qemu-devel] [RFC] live snapshot, live merge, live block migration

On 5/27/2011 9:46 AM, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 2:02 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi<stefanha gmail com>  wrote:
On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM, Dor Laor<dlaor redhat com>  wrote:
On 05/20/2011 03:19 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
I'm interested in what the API for snapshots would look like.
Specifically how does user software do the following:
1. Create a snapshot
2. Delete a snapshot
3. List snapshots
4. Access data from a snapshot
There are plenty of options there:
  - Run a (unrelated) VM and hotplug the snapshot as additional disk
This is the backup appliance VM model and makes it possible to move
the backup application to where the data is (or not, if you have a SAN
and decide to spin up the appliance VM on another host).  This should
be perfectly doable if snapshots are "volumes" at the libvirt level.

A special-case of the backup appliance VM is using libguestfs to
access the snapshot from the host.  This includes both block-level and
file system-level access along with OS detection APIs that libguestfs

If snapshots are "volumes" at the libvirt level, then it is also
possible to use virStorageVolDownload() to stream the entire snapshot
through libvirt:

Summarizing, here are three access methods that integrate with libvirt
and cover many use cases:

1. Backup appliance VM.  Add a readonly snapshot volume to a backup
appliance VM.  If shared storage (e.g. SAN) is available then the
appliance can be run on any host.  Otherwise the appliance must run on
the same host that the snapshot resides on.

2. Libguestfs client on host.  Launch libguestfs with the readonly
snapshot volume.  The backup application runs directly on the host, it
has both block and file system access to the snapshot.

3. Download the snapshot to a remote host for backup processing.  Use
the virStorageVolDownload() API to download the snapshot onto a
libvirt client machine.  Dirty block tracking is still useful here
since the virStorageVolDownload() API supports<offset, length>
What do you think about these access methods?  What does your custom
protocol integrate with today - do you have a custom non-libvirt KVM
management stack?

Hello Stefan,

The current livebackup_client simply creates a backup of the VM on the
backup server. It can save the backup image as a complete image for
quick start of the VM on the backup server, or as 'full + n number of
incremental backup redo files'. The 'full + n incremental redo' is useful
if you want to store the backup on tape.

I don't have a full backup management stack yet. If livebackup_client
were available as part of kvm, then that would turn into the
command line utility that the backup management stack would use.
My own intertest is in using livebackup_client to integrate all
management functions into openstack. All management built
into openstack will be built with the intent of self service.
However, other Enterprise backup management stacks such as that
from Symantec, etc. can be enhanced to use livebackup_client to
extract the backup from the VM Host.

How does it apply to the above access mechanisms. Hmm. Let me see.

1. Backup appliance VM. : A backup appliance VM can be started
up and the livebackup images can be connected to it. The
limitation is that the backup appliance VM must be started up
on the backup server, where the livebackup image resides on
a local disk.

2. Libguestfs client on host. This too is possible. The
restriction is that libguestfs must be on the backup
server, and not on the VM Host.

3. Download the snapshot to a remote host for backup processing.
This is the native method for livebackup.


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