What is Cinder?

Cinder is the open-source OpenStack block storage software created to provide volumes to OpenStack Compute (Nova) virtual machines, or instances. Cinder virtualizes the management of block storage devices and provides users with an API to request and consume resources without requiring the location or deployment of the resources. Key characteristics of Cinder include its component-based architecture, scalability, fault-tolerance, and recoverability.  

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Cinder has snapshot management functionality, which allows users to use stored data from snapshots to restore an instance or create a new instance. The software provides unified storage for various storage platforms, including Ceph. It also can be used independent of OpenStack services and used as a stand-alone software-defined storage solution. 

Users utilizing cinder to create and manage volumes can use the OpenStack interface Horizon, command line tools, or the REST API. Advanced users can complete specific configurations and automation using the REST API if needed. The main components of Cinder are as follows:

  • Cinder-api: Routes accepted API requests to cinder-volume.
  • Cinder-volume: Block storage for instances on demand.
  • Cinder-scheduler: Chooses the most optimal block storage node to create the requested volume.
  • Cinder-backup: Backs up and restores volumes and snapshots.
  • Messaging queue: Sends information between block storage components.
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