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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:16 am 
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Website: http://www.linode.com/
Location: Galloway, NJ
Linode Block Storage (Newark beta)

What is the Linode Block Storage service?

The Linode Block Storage service allows you to create and attach additional storage volumes to your Linode instances. These storage volumes persist independently of Linode instances, but can easily be attached from one Linode to another without the need to reboot. Volumes attached to Linodes appear as block devices and can be formatted and mounted just like any other block device.

Block Storage Volumes are highly available with 3x replication. They're fast - built on great engineering, NVMe/SSD hardware, and a fast network. They're affordable - $0.10 per GB (free during the beta) and no usage fees. They're cloud: elastic, scalable, expandable, resizable, etc. You can hot-plug them into and out of running Linodes. Oh, and you can boot off of them, too.

What can I do?
  • Create Volumes
  • Remove Volumes
  • Resize Volumes
  • Attach a Volume to a Linode
  • Detach a Volume from a Linode
  • Add Volumes to your Linode Configuration Profile block device assignments (changes take effect next boot)
Snapshotting, cloning, and Volume backups are not implemented - but may be in the future.

Can I attach a Volume to multiple Linodes?
Nope. A Volume can only be attached to one Linode at a time.

How big of a Volume can I create?
Between 1 GB and 1024 GB for now. This is a beta, after all. After the beta, the max volume size may be larger.

How many Volumes can I attach to a Linode at the same time?
Up to 8.

Can I mount Volumes across datacenters?
No. Volumes and instances must be in the same region.

Is there API support?
Yes. Documentation coming soon!

How does the beta work?
  • The beta is free - there will be no storage costs.
  • Volumes can only be created in our Newark, NJ datacenter. You will need to have at least one Linode there.
  • Let's be honest - this is a beta. You probably shouldn't store any data on it that you can't afford to lose.
How can I get in on this?
The Block Storage beta is public. You can click Manage Volumes off the Linode index page. We'd very much appreciate any testing and feedback. You're welcome to reply to this thread or create a new one in the beta category, or email us, or open a ticket - whatever works.

Thanks,
-Chris


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:06 pm 
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Congratulations on getting this to beta Caker. This is amazing, I can't wait to try it out.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:25 pm 
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So much yes!

I can't use it yet, since we're in Fremont and need way more than 100GB, plus the lack of backups is worrisome, but I'm excited about the potential to use it when it's out of beta. It was very badly needed at Linode, and it looks fantastic!

I'd love to see a feature that allows sharing the same block storage across multiple Linodes, that'd be sweet. Any chance it could be supported in the future?

Could you also address the lack of backup options? I wouldn't mind no snapshotting and cloning, but being able to back up at intervals or on demand like we can do with regular nodes is pretty critical.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:24 pm 
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Location: Galloway, NJ
Richardo: thanks man! ... been a fun and challenging project. The team deserves the credit.

archon810: It's doubtful that this will ever be integrated into the Linode Backup Service as you know it today. In part because they're just two different systems, and also because we can't, for instance, include backing up 100s of GBs of data on a $5 Linode's backup service which currently only costs a couple bucks.

If we did anything, it would probably be to automate creating a NEW volume and copying the data over. But the rates (cost) would be the same. You could automate this yourself, for now, by creating a new volume, attaching it to the Linode with the volume you want to back up, copying the data, and unmounting, unplugging.

I think a popular use of these Volumes will be people performing backups TO them.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:33 pm 
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I've been waiting for this feature for almost a year and I'm so excited to see how effective it is. This feature was badly needed and unfortunately, I had to refer a lot of clients to other hosts considering that their primary requirement was storage and they weren't wanting to spend big on a Linode just for storage. Congratulations on this and I really hope that it brings some good news (i.e bigger volumes and availability in more data centers) as soon as it comes out of its beta.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:37 pm 
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@caker Thanks, understood. I'd probably pay extra for automating these things and being able to restore snapshots though, even if it costs the same as the data itself because of the ease of use and speed.

How does rebooting such a volume work? Will it automatically reconnect to the mount point inside the Linode using some Linode customizations and tools, or will it rely on manually running the mount command? Right now we know if the Linode is up and operational, it will have the required storage, but with the system split into 2 parts, I'm going to need to prepare to handle each part going down individually and handling such new cases gracefully.

Will you be publishing best practices for using this new block storage?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:38 pm 
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Are there any plans for HDD block storage?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:20 pm 
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like archon810, I am focused in Fremont, CA so can't use it yet but great to see it arrive as an option :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:24 pm 
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Website: http://www.linode.com/
Location: Galloway, NJ
> How does rebooting such a volume work? Will it automatically reconnect to the mount point inside the Linode using some Linode customizations and tools, or will it rely on manually running the mount command?

Volumes are managed via your Configuration Profile block device assignments. When you attach a volume through the "attach" workflow, it's automatically added to your running config profile and then hotplugged. On reboots, volumes referenced by the booting config profile are also attached on boot. Managing /etc/fstab entries is still up to you, however.

> Congratulations on this and I really hope that it brings some good news (i.e bigger volumes and availability in more data centers) as soon as it comes out of its beta.

Thanks! The 100G size max is only for during the beta. Once we launch, max volume size will be much larger... As for availability in other DCs after beta, we'll work on getting this deployed as fast as we can - once we're good to go.

> Are there any plans for HDD block storage?

Unlikely.

Thanks for the feedback and questions!
-Chris


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Yeay, finally a software backup option that's cheaper than running a second Linode :D

- Will the price stay at $0.10 per GB or decrease / increase on bigger volumes?
- Is it possible to hot-swap a volume from one Linode to a second one without losing it's contents? (without reformating or rebooting)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:27 am 
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Sounds very good - although I could certainly appreciate a (cheaper) HDD based tier. But I appreciate that Linode favors high quality vs lowest possible price point.

Any ETA for Frankfurt?

I currently use S3QL with some unnamed storage provider and i'd enjoy having a few GB somewhat more local.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:12 pm 
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I tested the block storage (local read and write speed + wget external bigger files) and all seems good. Your instructions for new users are extremely helpful on mounting the volume but what found missing is that I had to reboot my server after attaching the volume as without rebooting it, the mounting was failing by saying that the drive is not found. I'm now looking forward to the production version. Can you please let us know how long will it take for the storage feature to come out of beta? If it's very near, then I want to wait a little more before starting it using for my file storage, otherwise I'm going to start using it for my production (understanding that the storage is in beta but my files aren't that important even if the data is lost as I can restore them easily)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Website: http://www.vrnw.org
Hi,
I would like a cheeper block storage based on HDD, but I wouldn't necessarily agree that such a thing is low quality. Perhaps disk read/writes would be slower, but I'd find it more worth it if the service was, say, 0.05 per GB. With that said, I think it's price is good as it currently is, considering the redundancy, and the use of SSDs. I'm also hopeful that, if the disk space on Linode plans increase, the block storage price would decrease to match it.

I think it's pretty cool that you can boot from your block storage disks. Perhaps this could introduce an option in the future, to have a diskless Linode, with a disk or disks provided by block storage only. I could find that pretty useful, and that could open up other options such as quick upgrades of ram and CPU without migrating disks, and without using much, if any, storage on the hardware hosting the Linode. I'd imagine that if such a thing were available, the resources would be lower in price. At the current price point of block storage, for the $5.00 plan, this would amount to the resources without a disk costing $2.60, and the disk costing $2.40. This is all speculation and ideas, but it's fun to think of new and interesting things.

I look forward to being able to test and/or use the block storage service in Dallas, where I already have a Linode I wouldn't have to pay extra for. I already have some plans and uses for such a service, as my main concern, at this point, is disk space far more than other resources. Having a potential diskless Linode as an option would also be fun, and something I could easily use, too, using only block storage disks.

Linode just keeps getting better as time goes on, something I'm glad to see!

Blake


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:49 pm 
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Quote:
I would like a cheeper block storage based on HDD, but I wouldn't necessarily agree that such a thing is low quality. Perhaps disk read/writes would be slower, but I'd find it more worth it if the service was, say, 0.05 per GB.
I think at that point that's when you'd use FUSE and S3. Maybe it's just me, but I see block storage like this mainly used for things like large databases or an intermediate place for backups before pushing them out to S3 or Glacier. If, for example, you're moving infrequently accessed data to it then you're probably better off using S3 standard or infrequent access, both of which are cheap and generally fast enough.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:33 am 
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@carmp3fan, I would not necessarily think so. I am mostly providing services (email, nextcloud etc) for a relatively small group of users, and having block storage in the datacenter would work very smooth in that application - HDD would be perfectly ok for those kind of needs.

I am currently using S3 storage with one of the big providers. S3QL actually works very well in that kind of application, since it uses a (large) local cache that is very quick in delivering the items requested often (recent emails, files added and shared in nextcloud etc). You notice waiting times rarely, mostly when looking for a rarely touched file. I was secretly hoping Linode would provide an s3 backend, but whatever way they do their block storage, I'll buy. Nothing beats having it in the same datacenter. And I rather give my (little) money to Linode anyway :)


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