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Storage Toolbox (v13.5 LTS)


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   ►  Overview



The Storage Toolbox ServerTemplate contains several useful recipes to set up and back up storage within a variety of contexts. It is used within other ServerTemplates to support runbook operations like backup and restore of databases.

Key Features:

  • Set up consistent storage blocks on instances or attachable volumes
  • Backup using volume snapshots or instance storage snapshots
  • Set up continuous backup schedules
  • Perform one-off backups with a click of a button
  • Save off-site backups in cloud object storage
  • Backup and restore across regions and clouds


  • 'actor', 'designer', and 'library' user role privileges in the RightScale account
  • For Amazon EC2, CloudStack, and other clouds that support security groups, you must have a security group defined with TCP port 22 open for SSH access, the default application port (8000) open to applicable load balancer servers, and any other port and protocol access required by your application. Also, remember that iptables is installed by default on all servers, as described in the Security section of this tutorial.
  • Basic understanding of how RightScale's "Database Manager for MySQL 5.x" or  "Database Manager for PostgreSQL 9.1 Beta" ServerTemplates function. 

Technical Overview

The Storage Toolbox ServerTemplate is not designed to launch a server that you can use as-is in a production environment. Instead its purpose is to demonstrate how you can use its scripts to satisfy your own use case. The Storage Toolbox ServerTemplate highlights scripts from RightScale's 'block_device' cookbook. You can use these scripts to build custom ServerTemplates that require the use of storing data in a remote block device (i.e. volume). If the cloud infrastructure does not support the use of block device volumes, the scripts in this ServerTemplate will not apply.

RightScale's own MySQL ServerTemplates leverage many of the same scripts in from the 'block_device' cookbook. However, they can be easily repurposed to satisfy a different use case. This tutorial will explain common examples of how to use the various 'block_device' recipes.


  • device - A device refers to the storage device that's mounted to an instance for storing data on a non-ephemeral drive. A device can be comprised of a single volume or set of (striped) volumes. The total size of storage that is available for a device is the summation of all the volumes that make up the device. 
  • volume - Off-instance storage (disk drive) that persists independently from the life of an instance. A volume can be created from scratch or from a volume snapshot and attached to an instance.
  • LVM - Logical Volume Manager is unique to Linux-based instances and allows you to use a group of physical volumes as a single logical volume.

Primary vs Secondary Backups

The "Storage Toolbox" ServerTemplate contains scripts that take either primary or secondary backups for the attached block device.

  • Primary Backup - Primary backups are stored in the cloud where the server is currently running. For clouds that support volumes, such as AWS or some CloudStack-based clouds, backups are stored as volume snapshots. For clouds that do not support volume storage—such as Rackspace—the remote object storage (ROS) solution for the cloud provider is used for primary backups (e.g., Rackspace Cloud Files US or Rackspace Cloud Files UK*).
  • Secondary Backup - Secondary backups are stored in a remote object storage (ROS) location such as an Amazon S3 bucket, Rackspace Cloud Files container (US or UK), or Swift-based storage.

Getting Started

  1. Go to the MultiCloud Marketplace (Design > MultiCloud Marketplace > ServerTemplates) and import the most recently published revision of the following ServerTemplate into the RightScale account.
  2. Use the ServerTemplate to add a server to a deployment and launch the server.
  3. Once the server is operational, you can set up a device on the instance using the 'block_device::setup_block_device' operational script.
  4. Perform a couple of the other operational scripts to become familiar with the different scripts that are available. 
  5. Add the appropriate scripts to your own ServerTemplate for further custom development and testing.

Use Cases

If you plan to use the recipes highlighted in the "Storage Toolbox" ServerTemplate in a custom ServerTemplate of your own, you must remember to make sure that the template's RepoPath object references RightScale's repository with the 'block_device' cookbook.

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Last modified
14:14, 11 Sep 2013



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