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How Ixia Can Help Validate OpenStack Storage—Swift-Based Infrastructure

December 22, 2014 by Ixia Blog Team

Author: Kirit Bhamre

Just like cloud computing, cloud storage has also been increasing in popularity for many of the same reasons. Cloud storage delivers virtualized storage on-demand over a network, based on a request for a given quality of service (QoS). There is no need to purchase storage or, in some cases, even provision it before storing data. You only pay for the amount of storage your data is actually consuming.

Cloud storage is a model of networked enterprise storage where data is stored in virtualized pools of storage, which are generally hosted by third parties. Hosting companies operate large data centers, and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them. The data center operators, in the background, virtualize the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects. Sometimes, the cloud storage also refers to as object-based storage because data are stored as objects.

SNIA

Courtesy: SNIA

Cloud storage providers offer an API to their enterprise customer/clients to access the storage data. One of the most popular APIs is Representational State Transfer (REST) API. These APIs provides functions such as create, delete, modify, fetch, and update objects. Each cloud provider uses different implementation, mainly for authentication. Recently SNIA has standardized the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI).

Here is a list of popular cloud storage providers and their API implementation:

Another object storage platform that is gaining more popularity and increased adoption rate is OpenStack Swift. It is an open-source-based object storage system that is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license, and runs on standard server hardware. Swift is designed to store files, videos, analytics data, web content, backups, images, virtual machine snapshots, and other unstructured data at large scale with high availability.

Challenges

As with any new technology, there are challenges associated with it: during the implementation, deployment, and/or operation phase. Cloud users need to ensure that the cloud infrastructure will be able to meet their SLAs. After deployment, they want the flexible resources to meet the peak demand. The problem is that vendors are over provisioning the available resources and hence face problem under high stress condition.

How Ixia can help to validate Cloud Storage based infrastructure?

Over the years, Ixia has developed comprehensive test solutions for SAN/NAS. We support the latest versions of storage protocols such as SMB/NFS and iSCSI. And now with the IxLoad 6.60 release, we are adding an object storage solution. The first release supports the OpenStack Swift module. It allows user to create realistic work-loads by emulating large number of clients performing read/write/copy/download operations. It supports all low-level commands defined in Swift module such as GET/PUT/POST/HEAD with granular control. The workflow is extremely intuitive, and with a few clicks users can create large test scenarios and run the test in parallel mode. When running the test, it shows various statistics in graphical format and also produces detailed test report.

The solution is designed to validate following key use-cases:

  • Cloud Storage Capacity Test
    • How many users it can support
    • Authentication per second
    • IOPS
  • Application Performance Test
  • Data Integrity Test
  • Data de-duplication
  • Data replication (Primary/Secondary storage)
  • Storage Resiliency Test

The below GUI snapshot shows the OpenStack command “Put” and associated parameters.

IxLoad Storage

Additional Resources:

IxLoad Storage

OpenStack Swift