Nimble & Alletra 6k Storage volume driver

Nimble Storage fully integrates with the OpenStack platform through the Nimble Cinder driver, allowing a host to configure and manage Nimble and Alletra 6k Storage array features through Block Storage interfaces.

Support for iSCSI storage protocol is available with NimbleISCSIDriver Volume Driver class and Fibre Channel with NimbleFCDriver.

Support for the Liberty release and above is available from Nimble OS 2.3.8 or later.

Support for the Ocata release and above is available from Nimble OS 3.6 or later.

For Xena release, Nimble OS 5.3 or later is used and Alletra OS 6.0 or later is used.

Nimble and Alletra 6k Storage Cinder driver does not support port binding with multiple interfaces on the same subnet due to existing limitation in os-brick. This is partially referenced in the bug but does not resolve for multiple software iscsi ifaces.

Supported operations

  • Create, delete, clone, attach, and detach volumes

  • Create and delete volume snapshots

  • Create a volume from a snapshot

  • Copy an image to a volume

  • Copy a volume to an image

  • Extend a volume

  • Get volume statistics

  • Manage and unmanage a volume

  • Enable encryption and default performance policy for a volume-type extra-specs

  • Force backup of an in-use volume

  • Retype a volume

  • Create a Thinly Provisioned Volume

  • Attach a volume to multiple servers simultaneously (multiattach)

  • Volume Revert to Snapshot

  • Create, list, update, and delete consistency groups

  • Create, list, and delete consistency group snapshots

Nimble and Alletra 6k Storage driver configuration

Update the file /etc/cinder/cinder.conf with the given configuration. Note: These parameters apply to Alletra 6k Storage as well.

In case of a basic (single back-end) configuration, add the parameters within the [default] section as follows.

san_login = NIMBLE_USER
san_password = NIMBLE_PASSWORD
use_multipath_for_image_xfer = True
volume_driver = NIMBLE_VOLUME_DRIVER
san_thin_provision = True

In case of multiple back-end configuration, for example, configuration which supports multiple Nimble Storage arrays or a single Nimble Storage array with arrays from other vendors, use the following parameters.

enabled_backends = Nimble-Cinder

san_login = NIMBLE_USER
san_password = NIMBLE_PASSWORD
use_multipath_for_image_xfer = True
volume_driver = NIMBLE_VOLUME_DRIVER
volume_backend_name = NIMBLE_BACKEND_NAME

In case of multiple back-end configuration, Nimble Storage volume type is created and associated with a back-end name as follows.


Single back-end configuration users do not need to create the volume type.

$ openstack volume type create NIMBLE_VOLUME_TYPE
$ openstack volume type set --property volume_backend_name=NIMBLE_BACKEND_NAME NIMBLE_VOLUME_TYPE

This section explains the variables used above:


Management IP address of Nimble/Alletra 6k Storage array/group.


Nimble/Alletra 6k Storage account login with minimum power user (admin) privilege if RBAC is used.


Password of the admin account for Nimble/Alletra 6k array.


Use either cinder.volume.drivers.hpe.nimble.NimbleISCSIDriver for iSCSI or cinder.volume.drivers.hpe.nimble.NimbleFCDriver for Fibre Channel.


A volume back-end name which is specified in the cinder.conf file. This is also used while assigning a back-end name to the Nimble volume type.


The Nimble volume-type which is created from the CLI and associated with NIMBLE_BACKEND_NAME.


Restart the cinder-api, cinder-scheduler, and cinder-volume services after updating the cinder.conf file.

Nimble driver extra spec options

The Nimble volume driver also supports the following extra spec options:


Used to enable encryption for a volume-type.


PERF_POL_NAME is the name of a performance policy which exists on the Nimble/Alletra 6k array and should be enabled for every volume in a volume type.


When upgrading to OpenStack deployment to Victoria or later, do unset nimble:multi-initiator extra-spec and set multiattach='<is> True'.


Used to enable dedupe support for a volume-type.


Used to set the IOPS_LIMIT between 256 and 4294967294 for all volumes created for this volume-type.


FOLDER_NAME is the name of the folder which exists on the Nimble/Alletra 6k array and should be enabled for every volume in a volume type

These extra-specs can be enabled by using the following command:

$ openstack volume type set --property KEY=VALUE VOLUME_TYPE

VOLUME_TYPE is the Nimble volume type and KEY and VALUE are the options mentioned above.

Configuration options

The Nimble/Alletra 6k storage driver supports these configuration options:

Description of Nimble configuration options

Configuration option = Default value


nimble_pool_name = default

(String) Nimble Controller pool name

nimble_subnet_label = *

(String) Nimble Subnet Label

nimble_verify_cert_path = None

(String) Path to Nimble Array SSL certificate

nimble_verify_certificate = False

(Boolean) Whether to verify Nimble SSL Certificate


In OpenStack environments where Cinder block device multipathing is desired there are a few things to consider.

Configuring mulitpathing varies by system depending on the environment. In a scenario where solely Nimble devices are being created by Cinder, the following /etc/multipath.conf file may be used:

defaults {
    user_friendly_names yes
    find_multipaths     no

blacklist {
    devnode "^(ram|raw|loop|fd|md|dm-|sr|scd|st)[0-9]*"
    devnode "^hd[a-z]"
    device {
        vendor  ".*"
        product ".*"

blacklist_exceptions {
    device {
        vendor  "Nimble"
        product "Server"

devices {
    device {
        vendor               "Nimble"
        product              "Server"
        path_grouping_policy group_by_prio
        prio                 "alua"
        hardware_handler     "1 alua"
        path_selector        "service-time 0"
        path_checker         tur
        features             "1 queue_if_no_path"
        no_path_retry        30
        failback             immediate
        fast_io_fail_tmo     5
        dev_loss_tmo         infinity
        rr_min_io_rq         1
        rr_weight            uniform

After making changes to /etc/multipath.conf, the multipath subsystem needs to be reconfigured:

# multipathd reconfigure


The latest best practices for Nimble devices can be found in the HPE Nimble Storage Linux Integration Guide found on


OpenStack Cinder is currently not compatible with the HPE Nimble Storage Linux Toolkit (NLT)

Nova needs to be configured to pickup the actual multipath device created on the host.

In /etc/nova/nova.conf, add the following to the [libvirt] section:

volume_use_multipath = True


In versions prior to Newton, the option was called iscsi_use_multipath

After editing the Nova configuration file, the nova-conductor service needs to be restarted.


Depending on which particular OpenStack distribution is being used, Nova may use a different configuration file than the default.

To validate that instances get properly connected to the multipath device, inspect the instance devices:

# virsh dumpxml <Instance ID | Instance Name | Instance UUID>