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Re: [libvirt] External disk snapshot paths and the revert operation



On 02/11/2018 15:58, John Ferlan wrote:
> 
> 
> On 11/2/18 8:49 AM, Povilas Kanapickas wrote:
>> On 21/10/2018 21:31, Povilas Kanapickas wrote:
>>> Hey,
>>>
>>> It seems that there's an issue of how external disk snapshots currently
>>> work. The snapshot definition xml[1] that is supplied to the API has a
>>> list of disks each of which specify where the new overlay disks should
>>> be placed.
>>>
>>> This leads to ambiguities when we want to revert the domain to a
>>> snapshot with children. Consider the following situation:
>>>
>>> 0. Initial state:
>>> Domain definition: disk at disk-base.qcow2
>>>
>>> 1. We create a snapshot snap1 placing the overlay at disk-snap1.qcow2
>>>
>>> Domain definition: disk at disk-snap1.qcow2
>>> Disks:
>>>   - disk-base.qcow2 (read-only)
>>>   - disk-snap1.qcow2 (overlay, base: disk-base.qcow2)
>>>
>>> Snapshots:
>>>   - snap1 (snapshot domain disk list: disk-base.qcow2,
>>>            snapshot disk list: disk-snap1.qcow2)
>>>
>>> 2. We create another snapshot snap2 placing the overlay at disk-snap2.qcow2
>>>
>>> VM definition: disk at disk-snap2.qcow2
>>> Disks:
>>>   - disk-base.qcow2 (read-only)
>>>   - disk-snap1.qcow2 (overlay, base: disk-base.qcow2, read-only)
>>>   - disk-snap2.qcow2 (overlay, base: disk-snap1.qcow2)
>>>
>>> Snapshots:
>>>   - snap1 (snapshot domain disk list: disk-base.qcow2,
>>>            snapshot disk list: disk-snap1.qcow2)
>>>   - snap2 (snapshot domain disk list: disk-snap1.qcow2,
>>>            snapshot disk list: disk-snap2.qcow2)
>>>
>>> Now what happens if we want to revert to snap1? We can't use any of the
>>> paths that snap1 itself references: both disk-base.qcow2 and
>>> disk-snap1.qcow2 are read-only as part of the backing chain for disks
>>> used by snap2. Possible options are these:
>>>
>>>  - we can reuse disk-snap2.qcow2 which we no longer need as it contains
>>> overlay on top of snap2. This is non-optimal because now the path of the
>>> disk after revert depends on the disk path before it.
>>>
>>>  - we can think of some name with the expectation that the user will
>>> change it later anyway.
>>>
>>> I think that both of the above are non-optimal because we don't actually
>>> revert to the exact state we took the snapshot of. The user is
>>> effectively no longer in control of the disk path after the revert.
>>>
>>> One of possible solutions would be add additional flag during the
>>> snapshot creation that would change the current behavior. Instead of
>>> creating a new disk for the overlay we could move the base disk to the
>>> specified path and create the overlay in its place. The advantages of
>>> this behavior would be the following:
>>>
>>>  - the path to the current disk used in the domain would not change when
>>> taking snapshots. This way we could avoid the problem listed above and
>>> easily revert to any snapshot.
>>>
>>>  - the confusion in naming of the overlay disks would be reduced.
>>> Currently the path specified when creating snapshot refers to the
>>> overlay image. Most of the time user does not know what will be changed
>>> in the domain until the next snapshot. So any path he chooses will
>>> likely not reflect what will end up in the overlay at the time of the
>>> next snapshot. If it was possible to specify the path where the current
>>> disk should be put instead, then the user could just name it after the
>>> snapshot and it would correctly represent the contents of that disk.
>>>
>>> The major disadvantage of the approach is that it would introduce extra
>>> complexity in the presently simple interface and also the underlying
>>> code. I've completely disregarded the case of taking snapshots while the
>>> domain is running, so there might be hidden complications there as well.
>>>
>>> Personally, I don't mind the current situation too much, but if libvirt
>>> developers think it's a thing worth fixing I would be willing to work on it.
>>>
>>> Any opinions?
>>>
>>
>> Friendly ping :-)
>>
> 
> Please be aware that the typical Red Hat reviewers of the list were away
> at KVM Forum from Oct 22-26 and some took some extended vacation time
> after that. In particular, Peter Krempa who generally understand the
> snapshot code best is away. So, it may take longer than usual for the
> patches to be considered especially since beyond the Forum/Vacation time
> we had other rather major news to disrupt our normal work flow.

Thank you for explanation.

Regards,
Povilas



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