A deeper view into OpenStack Cinder using Pure Storage FlashArrays

OpenStack administrators have to deal with a lot, including, potentially, many different storage backends in Cinder. Pure Storage now make it easier for them to see what is going on with their Pure FlashArray backends.

With so many different storage backends available to OpenStack Cinder administrators who want to understand how their Cinder backends are being utilized have, historically, had to log on to every backend and therefore need to be conversant with all the vendor-specific storage frontends they have in their environment. The OpenStack Horizon GUI is complex enough, without having to learn other GUIs.

Additionally, OpenStack tenants who are interested in their storage utilization and performance have no way of getting this information without raising internal tickets for their storage support teams – and we all know how long those can take to get answered…

Well, Pure Storage has tried to alleviate these problems by providing an OpenStack plugin for Horizon.

From an OpenStack administrators perspective give a high level view of the utilization levels of Pure Storage FlashArrays configured as Cinder backends, and the tenants it will provide real-time volume utilization and performance information.

So what do you get with the plugin?

For the Administrator, there is a new Horizon panel in the Admin / System section called Pure Storage.

In this new panel you get a simple view of your FlashArray backends in the well-known Horizon format. Interesting information such as overall data reduction rates (with and without thin-provisioning included) is given as well as utilization levels against array limits – useful to see for both OpenStack dedicated arrays and those that have multiple workloads.

If you select the actual array name in the table a new browser tab will open at the actual FlashArray GUI if you want to log in directly, however if you select the Cinder Name in the table you get a detailed view of the array in Horizon providing more capacity and performance information.

The Overview pie charts in this detailed view show the array specific limits for this array, so will be different depending on the Purity version of the FlashArray.

If you aren’t an Administrator and just a regular Tenant in OpenStack, you won’t see these options available to you, but you will be able to get more detail on any volumes are using that are backed by Pure Storage FlashArrays.

By selecting a Pure backed volume in your Volumes page you will get enhanced detail information around the utilization, data reduction and performance of your volume. This data is current, so a refresh of the page will update these statistics.

Hopefully, OpenStack Admins and Users will find this new Horizon plugin useful.

To get more details on installing and configuring check out this GitHub repo.