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The Top 3 New Swift Features in OpenStack Folsom

There has been a ton of activity in and around Swift throughout the Folsom release cycle. Swift has moved from version 1.4.8 in the Essex release to version 1.7.4 in the Folsom release. Some of the new features added in the Folsom release include the integration of Keystone middleware, the separation of the Swift CLI and client library so Glance can more easily integrate with Swift to store Nova images.

Swift has also added many new features to its core storage engine. Below I’ve described what I think are the three most significant new features in Swift in the Folsom release.

Unique-as-possible Data Placement

This feature enables Swift to place data in cluster locations that are “as unique-as-possible”, which makes it easier to deploy small clusters and provides better flexibility for all clusters when handling hardware failure. Previously, Swift had a more rigid concept of zoning where replicas were only created in unique zones. With this new feature, Swift can intelligently place data on any storage device in the cluster, preferring locations that are in different zones, servers, and disks. This feature is also a precursor to building globally distributed Swift clusters.

StatsD Integration

Swift is now instrumented to provide deep insight into the cluster via statsd. Operators can now connect Swift to a statsd server and receive hundreds of real-time metrics about their cluster, which will help with troubleshooting, diagnostics, day-to-day operational issues, and long-term capacity management.

SSD Optimization for Metadata

Clusters with high write requirements or large containers can now take advantage of SSDs for storing metadata without incurring a high overhead in disk space. Previously, Swift would preallocate disk space for account and container databases to prevent data fragmentation and improve performance on spinning media. Deployers can now enable or disable this preallocation to take advantage of their particular hardware.


For a complete list of features, bug fixes, and updates in Swift, review the full changelog. Our team here at SwiftStack is proud to be a significant part of Swift’s development and we look forward to interacting with the rest of the OpenStack community at the design summit next month. If you have more questions about Swift, be sure to stop by our booth at the Summit, attend one of our Swift workshops, or contact me at john@swiftstack.com.

John Dickinson

John Dickinson

Director of Technology, SwiftStack
OpenStack Swift Project Technical Lead

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OpenStack, OpenStack Swift, PlanetOpenstack, SwiftStack

A Globally Distributed OpenStack Swift Cluster Gartner on OpenStack Swift

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