OCFS2 File system and Snapshot with REFLINK

Digging into an efficient backup solution for my VM end me up to read OCFS2 File system used by Oracle VM and I discover one of it powerful capability : snapshot-ting with REFLINK.
http://www.oracle.com/us/technologies/linux/025995.htm

This feature allows a regular user to create multiple, write-able snapshots of regular files. The snapshot created is a point-in-time image of the file that includes both the file data and all its attributes (including extended attributes). The file system creates a new inode with the same extent pointers as the original inode. Multiple inodes are thus able to share data extents. Because of this, creating a REFLINK snapshot requires very little space initially. It grows only when a snapshot is modified, using a copy-on-write mechanism. REFLINK works across the cluster.

How can I missed this wonderfull option since years ?
Probably because I was *just* using the OVM Web Interface only and from there I was unable to select the Virtual Disk, created by reflink (or another other cp or rsync command). From GUI, Snapshot is permitted only for OVM Templates. As I get more hands-on experienced with Oracle VM, i start hacking it for my testing purpose only 🙂
Here is the solution I found, and provided as is. I’m not responsible if you crash your Oracle VM:

  • Seach the configuration ID for your VM, for example 0004fb00000600008ead2941a7d5a2ff
  • SSH into OVM Server and search for the ID: find /OVS -name 0004fb00000600008ead2941a7d5a2ff
  • Then edit the OVM config file: /OVS/Repositories/0004fb00000300009f2f33fcef2d77ca/VirtualMachines/0004fb00000600008ead2941a7d5a2ff/vm.cfg
  • Replace the line disk with your reflink image

TO reflink a disk just issue

reflink 0004fb000012000093f8db8216ffd797.img fusion1117_idmhost_v0.img

For example, my vm.cfg contains:

[root@ovmserver326 VirtualDisks]# cat /OVS/Repositories/0004fb00000300009f2f33fcef2d77ca/VirtualMachines/0004fb00000600008ead2941a7d5a2ff/vm.cfg 
vif = ['mac=00:21:f6:00:00:0a,bridge=c0a80200']
OVM_simple_name = 'idmhost-chenda-test'
vnclisten = '127.0.0.1'
serial = 'pty'
disk = ['file:/OVS/Repositories/0004fb00000300009f2f33fcef2d77ca/VirtualDisks/fusion1117_idmhost_v0.img,xvda,w']
vncunused = 1
uuid = '0004fb00-0006-0000-8ead-2941a7d5a2ff'
on_reboot = 'restart'
boot = 'c'
cpu_weight = 27500
memory = 65536
cpu_cap = 0
maxvcpus = 8
OVM_high_availability = False
vnc = 1
OVM_description = ''
on_poweroff = 'destroy'
on_crash = 'restart'
guest_os_type = 'linux'
name = '0004fb00000600008ead2941a7d5a2ff'
builder = 'hvm'
vcpus = 8
keymap = 'fr'
OVM_os_type = 'Oracle Linux 5'
OVM_cpu_compat_group = ''
OVM_domain_type = 'xen_hvm'  
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About Chenda Mok

19 years of hands on experience in software design and development with emphasis on Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Identity Management (IDM) solutions. I’m a software engineer, member of the professional service delivery team working for Salesforce. Prior to this, I worked for Oracle as Solution Architect, through SeeBeyond(06/2005), then SUN’s acquisition (04/2009). After my master’s degree in computer science in 1997; I always delivered consulting on architecture, design, implementation on integration’s field. I’m interested in architecture using EAI/SOA/IDM/BPM/Cloud technologies, software development and Java’s related technologies. I may blog about my work/activities at Salesforce, but I do not speak for my employer, past, present or future.
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