Database migrations


This document details how to generate database migrations as part of a new feature or bugfix. For info on how to apply existing database migrations, refer to the documentation for the cinder-manage db sync command in cinder-manage. For info on the general upgrade process for a cinder deployment, refer to Upgrades.

Occasionally the databases used in cinder will require schema or data migrations.

Schema migrations

Changed in version 19.0.0: (Xena)

The database migration engine was changed from sqlalchemy-migrate to alembic.

Changed in version 22.0.0: (Antelope)

The legacy sqlalchemy-migrate-based database migrations were removed.

The alembic database migration tool is used to manage schema migrations in cinder. The migration files and related metadata can be found in cinder/db/migrations. As discussed in Upgrades, these can be run by end users using the cinder-manage db sync command.


There were also legacy migrations provided in the cinder/db/legacy_migrations directory . These were provided to facilitate upgrades from pre-Xena (19.0.0) deployments. They were removed in the 22.0.0 (Antelope) release.

The best reference for alembic is the alembic documentation, but a small example is provided here. You can create the migration either manually or automatically. Manual generation might be necessary for some corner cases such as renamed tables but auto-generation will typically handle your issues. Examples of both are provided below. In both examples, we’re going to demonstrate how you could add a new model, Foo, to the main database.

diff --git cinder/db/sqlalchemy/ cinder/db/sqlalchemy/
index 7eab643e14..8f70bcdaca 100644
--- cinder/db/sqlalchemy/
+++ cinder/db/sqlalchemy/
@@ -73,6 +73,16 @@ def MediumText():
         sqlalchemy.dialects.mysql.MEDIUMTEXT(), 'mysql')

+class Foo(BASE, models.SoftDeleteMixin):
+    """A test-only model."""
+    __tablename__ = 'foo'
+    id = sa.Column(sa.Integer, primary_key=True)
+    uuid = sa.Column(sa.String(36), nullable=True)
+    bar = sa.Column(sa.String(255))
 class Service(BASE, models.SoftDeleteMixin):
     """Represents a running service on a host."""

(you might not be able to apply the diff above cleanly - this is just a demo).

Auto-generating migration scripts

In order for alembic to compare the migrations with the underlying models, it require a database that it can inspect and compare the models against. As such, we first need to create a working database. We’ll bypass cinder-manage for this and go straight to the alembic CLI. The alembic.ini file provided in the cinder/db directory is helpfully configured to use an SQLite database by default (cinder.db). Create this database and apply the current schema, as dictated by the current migration scripts:

$ tox -e venv -- alembic -c cinder/db/alembic.ini \
    upgrade head

Once done, you should notice the new cinder.db file in the root of the repo. Now, let’s generate the new revision:

$ tox -e venv -- alembic -c cinder/db/alembic.ini \
    revision -m "Add foo model" --autogenerate

This will create a new file in cinder/db/migrations/versions with add_foo_model in the name including (hopefully!) the necessary changes to add the new Foo model. You must inspect this file once created, since there’s a chance you’ll be missing imports or something else which will need to be manually corrected. Once you’ve inspected this file and made any required changes, you can apply the migration and make sure it works:

$ tox -e venv -- alembic -c cinder/db/alembic.ini \
    upgrade head

Manually generating migration scripts

For trickier migrations or things that alembic doesn’t understand, you may need to manually create a migration script. This is very similar to the auto-generation step, with the exception being that you don’t need to have a database in place beforehand. As such, you can simply run:

$ tox -e venv -- alembic -c cinder/db/alembic.ini \
    revision -m "Add foo model"

As before, this will create a new file in cinder/db/migrations/versions with add_foo_model in the name. You can simply modify this to make whatever changes are necessary. Once done, you can apply the migration and make sure it works:

$ tox -e venv -- alembic -c cinder/db/alembic.ini \
    upgrade head

Data migrations