Object Versioning

Object Versioning

Object versioning in swift is implemented by setting a flag on the container to tell swift to version all objects in the container. The value of the flag is the URL-encoded container name where the versions are stored (commonly referred to as the “archive container”). The flag itself is one of two headers, which determines how object DELETE requests are handled:

  • X-History-Location

    On DELETE, copy the current version of the object to the archive container, write a zero-byte “delete marker” object that notes when the delete took place, and delete the object from the versioned container. The object will no longer appear in container listings for the versioned container and future requests there will return 404 Not Found. However, the content will still be recoverable from the archive container.

  • X-Versions-Location

    On DELETE, only remove the current version of the object. If any previous versions exist in the archive container, the most recent one is copied over the current version, and the copy in the archive container is deleted. As a result, if you have 5 total versions of the object, you must delete the object 5 times for that object name to start responding with 404 Not Found.

Either header may be used for the various containers within an account, but only one may be set for any given container. Attempting to set both simulataneously will result in a 400 Bad Request response.

Note

It is recommended to use a different archive container for each container that is being versioned.

Note

Enabling versioning on an archive container is not recommended.

When data is PUT into a versioned container (a container with the versioning flag turned on), the existing data in the file is redirected to a new object in the archive container and the data in the PUT request is saved as the data for the versioned object. The new object name (for the previous version) is <archive_container>/<length><object_name>/<timestamp>, where length is the 3-character zero-padded hexadecimal length of the <object_name> and <timestamp> is the timestamp of when the previous version was created.

A GET to a versioned object will return the current version of the object without having to do any request redirects or metadata lookups.

A POST to a versioned object will update the object metadata as normal, but will not create a new version of the object. In other words, new versions are only created when the content of the object changes.

A DELETE to a versioned object will be handled in one of two ways, as described above.

To restore a previous version of an object, find the desired version in the archive container then issue a COPY with a Destination header indicating the original location. This will archive the current version similar to a PUT over the versioned object. If the client additionally wishes to permanently delete what was the current version, it must find the newly-created archive in the archive container and issue a separate DELETE to it.

How to Enable Object Versioning in a Swift Cluster

This middleware was written as an effort to refactor parts of the proxy server, so this functionality was already available in previous releases and every attempt was made to maintain backwards compatibility. To allow operators to perform a seamless upgrade, it is not required to add the middleware to the proxy pipeline and the flag allow_versions in the container server configuration files are still valid, but only when using X-Versions-Location. In future releases, allow_versions will be deprecated in favor of adding this middleware to the pipeline to enable or disable the feature.

In case the middleware is added to the proxy pipeline, you must also set allow_versioned_writes to True in the middleware options to enable the information about this middleware to be returned in a /info request.

Note

You need to add the middleware to the proxy pipeline and set allow_versioned_writes = True to use X-History-Location. Setting allow_versions = True in the container server is not sufficient to enable the use of X-History-Location.

Upgrade considerations:

If allow_versioned_writes is set in the filter configuration, you can leave the allow_versions flag in the container server configuration files untouched. If you decide to disable or remove the allow_versions flag, you must re-set any existing containers that had the X-Versions-Location flag configured so that it can now be tracked by the versioned_writes middleware.

Clients should not use the X-History-Location header until all proxies in the cluster have been upgraded to a version of Swift that supports it. Attempting to use X-History-Location during a rolling upgrade may result in some requests being served by proxies running old code, leading to data loss.

Examples Using curl with X-Versions-Location

First, create a container with the X-Versions-Location header or add the header to an existing container. Also make sure the container referenced by the X-Versions-Location exists. In this example, the name of that container is “versions”:

curl -i -XPUT -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" -H "X-Versions-Location: versions" http://<storage_url>/container
curl -i -XPUT -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions

Create an object (the first version):

curl -i -XPUT --data-binary 1 -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject

Now create a new version of that object:

curl -i -XPUT --data-binary 2 -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject

See a listing of the older versions of the object:

curl -i -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions?prefix=008myobject/

Now delete the current version of the object and see that the older version is gone from ‘versions’ container and back in ‘container’ container:

curl -i -XDELETE -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject
curl -i -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions?prefix=008myobject/
curl -i -XGET -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject

Examples Using curl with X-History-Location

As above, create a container with the X-History-Location header and ensure that the container referenced by the X-History-Location exists. In this example, the name of that container is “versions”:

curl -i -XPUT -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" -H "X-History-Location: versions" http://<storage_url>/container
curl -i -XPUT -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions

Create an object (the first version):

curl -i -XPUT --data-binary 1 -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject

Now create a new version of that object:

curl -i -XPUT --data-binary 2 -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject

Now delete the current version of the object. Subsequent requests will 404:

curl -i -XDELETE -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject
curl -i -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/container/myobject

A listing of the older versions of the object will include both the first and second versions of the object, as well as a “delete marker” object:

curl -i -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions?prefix=008myobject/

To restore a previous version, simply COPY it from the archive container:

curl -i -XCOPY -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions/008myobject/<timestamp> -H "Destination: container/myobject"

Note that the archive container still has all previous versions of the object, including the source for the restore:

curl -i -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions?prefix=008myobject/

To permanently delete a previous version, DELETE it from the archive container:

curl -i -XDELETE -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" http://<storage_url>/versions/008myobject/<timestamp>

How to Disable Object Versioning in a Swift Cluster

If you want to disable all functionality, set allow_versioned_writes to False in the middleware options.

Disable versioning from a container (x is any value except empty):

curl -i -XPOST -H "X-Auth-Token: <token>" -H "X-Remove-Versions-Location: x" http://<storage_url>/container
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