Google has announced a driver that allows OpenStack installations to back up data onto the Google Cloud, in a bid to gain a more important place in hybrid open source cloud deployments. 

For Mitaka, the latest release of the OpenStack open source cloud platform, Google has released a backup driver, for the OpenStack storage, that allows private clouds based on OpenStack to put date onto the Google cloud, accor to a Google Cloud Platform blog post. The driver is produced in collaboration with Red Hat and Biarca. 

google openstack logo square
– Peter Judge

Use our cloud

“OpenStack Mitaka has just launched and we’re super excited about it, ” enthuse Ben Chong and Mark Lambert, product and program managers respectively for the Google cloud. Google has indeed been getting behind OpenStack, seeing it as a means to gain ground in hybrid cloud deployments and increase its credibility compared with Amazon’s complete dominance of public cloud. 

Google joined OpenStack in July 2015. becoming a corporate sponsor - which means financial support - and also integrating its Kubernetes container infrastructure with the OpenStack platform. 

In hybrid clouds, backing up data between the public and private parts is a complex and costly issue. OpenStack includes the Cinder  module for block storage; the Google driver allows this to park data (including virtual machines) conveniently in-house and on the Google cloud

”In an OpenStack deployment, Cinder volumes house irtual machine data at rest as well as, potentially, the operating system boot device. In production deployments,” explains the blog. ”it’s critical that this persistent data is protected as part of a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. To satisfy this requirement, Cinder provides a backup service that includes a backup driver specification allowing storage vendors to add support for additional backup targets.”

Cloud-scale object storage is now an option for OpenStack Mitaka, out of the box, thanks to Google, says the post. allowing organizations to shift between their own commodity storage systems and the cloud.

”The traditional barrier to adoption for object storage is the engineering effort required to adapt existing software and systems, designed for either file or block storage access, to object store native REST interfaces,” say Chong and Lambert. ”The Cinder backup driver model provides the potential to abstract this engineering complexity for OpenStack users. As long as an appropriate backup driver is installed, the backup target works with Cinder as intended.”

The driver has been tested with volume sizes of 1GB, 5GB and 10GB, and allows a range of user configurable parameters. It works with Google storage options including nearline archival, which has a slightly lower availability for a lower cost, which Google says is ideal for backing up volumes.