Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes FAQ

NOTE: In this FAQ, "block volume" refers to both block volume and boot volume unless otherwise specified. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes service provides the following remote storage capabilities: boot volumes that serve as the operating system disks for the compute instances, and block volumes as data storage.

General Questions

What are Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes?

Oracle Block Volumes provide persistent, durable, and high-performance storage for your data. Oracle Block Volumes let you store your data on block volumes independently and beyond the lifespan of your compute instance. Oracle Block Volumes can help you manage your block volumes, control data, and achieve the storage configuration your application requires.

Oracle Block Volumes let you dynamically provision and manage block storage volumes. You can create, attach, connect, and move volumes as needed to meet your storage and application requirements. Once attached and connected to an instance, you can use a volume like a regular hard drive. Volumes can also be disconnected and attached to another instance without the loss of data.

What is a block volume?

A block volume is a type of data storage that is more expansive than file storage. Block volumes use iSCSI Ethernet protocol to deliver the features and performance similar to on-premises Storage Area Networks (SANs), and are designed for the security and durability of the data life cycle. Using Oracle Block Volumes, you can create block volumes and attach them to your compute instance.

When do I use block volumes?

We recommend using block volumes when your workload application requires highly available storage and the performance of a SAN, or your data governance needs to include integrated backups. Your application benefits from service elasticity, data persistence, and performance. Block volumes provide you with simple management options, operational flexibility, and pay-as-you-go pricing with isolation and maximum control. 

What happens to data when an instance terminates?

Data stored on local compute drives persists only as long as that compute instance, and should only be used for temporary files. When you store data on higher durability block volumes, your data persists for the lifetime of the block volume. If the compute instance terminates, you can attach the volume to another compute instance and regain access to the persistent data in that volume. By using block volumes, you can extend your data protection plan to include integrated block volume backups, providing a copy of your data at the date the backup is created.

How do I start using block volumes?

You can access Oracle Block Volumes using the consoleREST API, or SDKs. See the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Getting Started Guide and Overview of Block Volumes for details.

Are Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes using NVMe SSDs in the storage infrastructure?

Yes. Industry-leading highest performance NVMe solid state drives are used. This high performance, backed by a performance SLA, is enabled without using storage caching.

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Capacity, Performance, and Security

What size block volumes can I provision with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes?

You can provision block volumes from 50 GB to 32 TB, in 1-GB increments, using Oracle Block Volumes.

How does my operating system access a block volume?

Your operating system accesses block volumes using iSCSI protocol, a storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities.

What are the performance limits of a single Oracle Cloud Infrastructure block volume?

IOPS and bandwidth scale linearly per GB volume size up to the service maximums. The table below describes the performance characteristics.

Metric
Scale Factor
Service Limits per Volume
IOPS 60 IOPS/GB Up to 25,000 IOPS, at 4 KB block size
Throughput 480 KB/s/GB Up to 320 MB/s, at 256 KB block size

Examples:

  • 100 GB volume: 6,000 IOPS, 48 MB/s throughput
  • 200 GB volume: 12,000 IOPS, 96 MB/s throughput
  • 700 GB volume: 25,000 IOPS, 320 MB/s throughput
  • 1 TB volume: 25,000 IOPS, 320 MB/s throughput
  • 2 TB volume: 25,000 IOPS, 320 MB/s throughput
  • 32 TB volume: 25,000 IOPS, 320 MB/s throughput

The performance you observe for a block volume may also be limited by the network bandwidth of your compute instance.

  • The throughput performance results are for bare metal instances. Throughput performance on VM instances is dependent on the network bandwidth available to the instance, and further limited by the bandwidth for the volume.
  • IOPS performance is independent of the instance type or shape, and is applicable to all bare metal and VM shapes, for iSCSI attached volumes.
  • Paravirtualized attachment simplifies the process of configuring your block volumes by removing the extra commands needed before accessing a volume. However, this convenience comes with decreased IOPS performance relative to iSCSI attachments. If IOPS storage is paramount to your workloads, you can continue using iSCSI attachments to experience the industry-leading performance of Oracle Block Volumes.
  • For details, refer to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes performance documentation.

What are the performance limits of a single Oracle Cloud Infrastructure block volume attached to a virtual machine?

Block volumes attached to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute virtual machine instances are limited by the network bandwidth available. Refer to the Compute Service FAQ for instance limits.

How do I achieve the maximum performance for my application?

You can observe up to 400,000 or more IOPS and near-line-rate throughput for your bare metal compute instance.

Refer to Oracle Block Volumes Performance Analysis for more details.

How many Oracle Cloud Infrastructure block volumes can I attach to a compute instance?

You can attach up to 32 volumes per compute instance, resulting in up to 32 TB*32=1 PB attached capacity per compute instance. We recommend you measure and adjust the number of attached volumes according to your high-performance application needs.

Can I move my block volumes to other compute instances?

Yes. To provide the highest performance, block volumes are optimized to attach to any compute instance within the same Availability Domain. You can detach a volume from one compute instance, and then attach the block volume to another compute instance without rebooting your compute servers. More details can be found in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure documentation.

How is my data secure?

All block volumes and their backups are always encrypted at rest by using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm with 256-bit key for encryption. All data moving between the instance and the block volume is transferred over our internal and highly secure network. If you have specific compliance requirements related to the encryption of the data while it is moving between the instance and the block volume, you can enable in-transit encryption if you use paravirtualized volume attachments.

Block volumes and their backups are accessible only within your tenant/compartment boundary, and only authenticated users who have been granted permission by you to the tenant/compartment can access them.

Boot volumes are also provided and managed by the Block Volumes service, so they are secured the same way as block volumes.

How durable is data stored in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes?

Multiple copies of data are stored redundantly across multiple storage servers with built-in repair mechanisms. The Block Volumes service is designed to provide 99.99% (Four 9’s) annual durability for block and boot volumes. However, we recommend that you make regular backups to protect against the failure of an availability domain.

How can I resize my volume to a larger volume?

You have 3 options:

  • Expand the size of existing boot and block volumes offline up to 32 TB.
  • Restore from a backup of boot or block volume to a larger size volume up to 32 TB.
  • Clone an existing block or boot volume to a larger size volume up to 32 TB.

Note: While there are backups or clones in progress for a volume, you cannot resize the volume.

What is "read-only" attach and why do I need it?

Read-only attachment is to mark a volume for read-only purpose, so the data in the volume is not mutable. This allows safeguarding data against accidental or malicious modifications by an untested or untrusted application.

You can also use read-only attachments where you have multiple compute instances (each running a client app, such as web front-end) accessing the same volume for read-only purpose. For example, web front-end that serve static product catalog information to clients.

Is read-only attachment supported for boot volumes?

Boot volumes are by definition mutable, and therefore by default are not "read-only". After you detach a boot volume you may choose to attach it read-only for debug purposes.

Can I make an already attached volume "read-only"?

No. In order to to do that, first you need to detach the volume and re-attach it by specifying the "read-only" attribute.

Can I attach a volume for "read/write" if it is already attached as "read-only"?

No. In order to to do that, first you need to detach the volume and re-attach it by specifying the default attachment mode ("read/write").

What options do I have for block volume attachment protocol or type?

You have two options: iSCSI or Paravirtualized. Paravirtualized volume attachment is supported for VM instances only.

What is paravirtualized volume attachment?

Block volumes that have native operating system support without a need for iSCSI initiator and attachment. All Oracle operating systems, Linux and Windows support paravirtualized attachment as an option for VM deployments.

How do I know when to use a paravirtualized attachment?

Using paravirtualized attachments simplifies volume attachment configuration. If you do not want to run iSCSI configuration commands during the volume attachments, you may consider using paravirtualized attachments instead. Note that iSCSI provides better performance at the expense of initial configuration steps. The convenience of paravirtualized attachments comes with a performance trade-off over the published performance characteristics for iSCSI attachments.

Can I choose which attachment type to use when I attach a volume to an instance?

Yes. You can select the attachment type on the CLI/SDK and from the console when you attach a volume. To change the attachment type, you must detach the volume and then reattach, specifying the new attachment type.

Is there a performance difference between iSCSI and paravirtualized volume attachments?

Paravirtualized attachments provide less performance than ISCSI attachments. For more detail, refer to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes performance.

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Backup/Restore

Can I back up my block volumes?

Yes. Oracle Block Volumes provide an integrated backup capability to protect your data by storing a copy of the block volume in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage.

Can I back up my operating system disk, also known as boot volumes?

Yes. Boot volume backups have all the capabilities of block volume backups. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes manage the operating system disks as boot volumes. To backup the contents of a boot volume, create a backup just like any other block volume. Oracle boot volumes provide an integrated backup capability to protect your data by storing a copy of the boot volume in Oracle Object Storage. Making a boot volume backup while an instance is running creates a crash-consistent backup. In most cases, you can create an instance directly from the boot volume backup, or you can attach it to an instance to recover data. To ensure a bootable image, create a custom image from your instance.

What is a block volume backup?

A backup is a complete point-in-time snapshot copy of all data on your block volume when that backup was initiated. Immediately after a backup is completed, your backup is available to restore to a block volume. Backups are encrypted and copied to your account in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage.

When should I create backups?

The primary use of backups is to support business continuity, disaster recovery, and long-term archiving. When determining a backup schedule, your backup plan and goals should consider the following:

  • Frequency – how often you want to back up your data
  • Recovery time – how long you can wait for a backup to be restored and accessible to your applications that use it
  • Number of stored backups – how many backups you need to keep available and the deletion schedule for those you no longer need

How long does a backup require?

Backups are done using point-in-time snapshot, therefore while the backup is being performed in the background asynchronously, your applications can continue to access your data without any interruption or performance impact. For a 2 TB volume being backed up for the first time, expect about 30 minutes for the backup to complete. For a 50 GB boot volume being backed up for the first time, expect a few minutes for the backup to complete. Subsequent backups of the same volume depend on the amount of data that has changed since your last backup.

What backup options do I have?

You have 2 options:

  1. Automated policy-based scheduled backups. Each backup policy has a pre-defined backup frequency and retention period which allow you to adhere to your data compliance and regulatory requirements. You can rest assured knowing that your data will be backed up automatically on a schedule and retained based on the backup policy you selected. Later, as your needs change, you can easily adjust by selecting a different backup policy, or remove it all together.
  2. On-demand one-off backups. You can select whether to backup only the data that has changed since the last backup (incremental) or the entire data that has changed since the time you created the volume (full).

Can I perform an incremental backup versus full on-demand backup?

Yes. You can select whether to backup only the data that has changed since the last backup (incremental) or the entire data that has changed since the time you created the volume (full).

Does performing a backup have an impact on the performance and access on my live data?

Backup is done by a point-in-time snapshot. It continues asynchronously without impacting access to data. Access to the block volume that is being backed up continues without any interruption or additional latency or performance impact.

What are the supported backup policies for automated and policy-based scheduled backups?

There are 3 different pre-defined policies, and they are documented here

Can I customize, define and apply my own backup policy?

No. Current feature supports only selection from the list of pre-defined policies.

What happens to my existing backups when I remove a backup policy from a volume?

They will stay, however when they expire, they will be deleted automatically. All automatically created backups based on a policy have expiration time, and they are deleted automatically when they expire.

Manually created backups do not have expiration and will stay until you delete them.

What happens to my existing backups when I change a backup policy for a volume?

They will stay, however when they expire, they will be deleted automatically. All automatically created backups based on a policy have expiration time, and they are deleted automatically when they expire.

After you change the backup policy for a volume to another canned policy, the new policy takes affect and new backups will be automatically created according to the new policy.

What happens to my scheduled policy-based backups when I delete a volume?

Policy based backups have expiration time. They will expire on their expiration time, and will be automatically deleted. If you want to preserve a backup, create a backup manually. The manually created backups do not expire.

Can I change the backup policy that was assigned to a volume? How?

Yes. First remove the assigned policy for the volume (on the console, use "Remove" link right next to Backup Policy setting shown for the volume), and then use "Assign" option to select and assign a new backup policy for the volume.

What time zone is used for automated policy-based scheduled backups of a volume?

They are created based on the time zone of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Availability Domain where the volume resides. All Availability Domains of an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure region are on the same time zone, so in effect the scheduled backups are based on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure region time zone.

Is it guaranteed that my scheduled backups will happen at exact times as scheduled?

They will be performed using the best effort to fit them to the scheduled times. However, based on system load, they might be queued and processed together with all other scheduled backup requests in the system. Check the backup status to ensure your backup is completed, or trigger a manual backup as needed.

How long does a restore take?

You can restore a volume in less than a minute regardless of the volume size. Although the restore of a volume is fast and the volume is immediately accessible for your workloads, you may see latency spikes when you first begin to use a restored volume.

What is the performance of the restored block volume?

Requests to the newly restored block volume may have higher latency for a short period of time right after it got restored.

Can I use my backup to move data between Availability Domains?

Yes. A backup can be restored to any Availability Domain within the same region it is stored, and is the recommended method for efficiently moving data.

Can I back up my operating system disk?

Yes, you can create a backup of a boot volume either manually, or using the policy-based automated and scheduled backups. Also check for an option to create an image from the running instance by following the Compute Service FAQ.

Can I copy block volume backups from one region to another region?

Yes, you can use the cross-region backup copy feature to copy your existing block volume backups to another region that you have access.

Can I restore a backup to a different size volume?

Yes. You can restore from your backup to a larger volume up to the currently supported maximum 32 TB volume size.

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Clone

What is volume clone? What does it do?

Clone is a feature of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volume service that allows copying an entire existing block volume to a new volume without needing to go through a backup and restore process. It creates a point-in-time deep copy of a source volume (also known as thick clone) directly without a backup.

Can I clone a boot volume? How does it work?

Yes, you can clone a boot volume just like you clone a block volume. Making a boot volume clone while an instance is running creates a crash-consistent clone. In most cases, you can create an instance directly from the boot volume clone or you can attach it to an instance to recover data. To ensure a bootable image, create a custom image from your instance.

How long does a clone take?

The clone operation is immediate, and the cloned volume becomes available to use right after initiating the clone operation. The actual copying of data happens in the background. Timing is proportional to the data in the source volume and can take up to 15 minutes for 1 TB volume.

When can I start accessing a cloned volume?

A clone can be attached and used as regular volume when its lifecycle state becomes "available," usually within seconds. Hydration will continue happening in the background. There may be latency spikes for blocks of data which are not yet copied over.

How is this different than point-in-time snapshot and backup that Oracle Block Volume and other cloud providers already have?

Oracle Block Volume clone is a point-in-time direct disk-to-disk deep copy an entire volume. It is different than snapshot as there is no copy-on-write or dependency to the source volume. There is no backup involved. A block volume clone is created without creating a snapshot, without a backup to Object Storage, and without restoring from backup.

Do I need to detach a volume before cloning from it?

No. The clone happens via a point-in-time direct disk-to-disk deep copy of the source volume, and there is no need to detach a volume before cloning it.

While a volume is being cloned from a source volume, what happens to the data that might change on the source volume?

The clone happens via a point-in-time direct disk-to-disk deep copy of the source volume. All the data in the source volume at the time the clone becomes "available" is copied to the clone volume. Subsequent changes that happen on the source volume are not copied to the clone.

Can I clone a volume from one Availability Domain (AD) to another?

No. Block volumes are AD-local. You can clone volumes only within the same AD.

Can I clone a volume from one compartment to another?

Yes. You need to have the necessary access permissions on the source and destination compartments.

Can I clone a volume from one tenant to another?

No. Volumes are accessible only within a tenant boundary.

Can I clone a volume from one region to another region?

No. Block volumes are AD-local and reside in the region they are created in. You can clone volumes only within the same AD of the region that they exist.

Can I create a larger size clone than the source volume?

Yes. You can specify a clone size up to 32 TB.

How many clones can I create from a single volume simultaneously?

It depends on the attachment state of the source volume.

  • If the source volume is attached: You can create one clone at a time. Cloning happens using a point-in-time direct disk-to-disk deep copy, and there is a single point-in-time reference for a source volume while it is being cloned. You need to wait for the first clone operation to complete from the source volume.
  • If the source volume is detached: You can create up to 10 clones from the same source volume simultaneously.

Can I clone a volume from a clone that is still being created?

It depends on the lifecycle state of the cloned volume that is being created.

  • If the cloned volume is in "available" state: Yes.
  • If the cloned volume is in "provisioning" state: No. You can create a clone from a cloned volume after it becomes "available".

Can I backup a source volume while it is being cloned?

Clone and backup operations are mutually exclusive. When a backup is in progress for a volume, it can't be cloned or backed up again irrespective of whether volume is attached or not. When a clone is in progress for a volume, it can't be backed up irrespective of whether volume is attached or not.

Can I delete a volume while there are clones still in progress to be created from it?

No. A source volume can't be deleted while any of its clones are still hydrating from it.

Is there any restriction on when I can delete a cloned volume?

A clone can be deleted once its lifecycle state is "available". Also note that a clone that is still hydrating can be deleted once its lifecycle state is "available".

Why did my clone volume become TERMINATED unexpectedly?

This might happen for this case: You started a clone from a source volume, and while the clone is in progress hydrating from the source volume, you attached the source volume to a compute instance, and then detached it. In this case, if you initiate another clone request for the same source volume, the new clone results in TERMINATED state. This does not affect the first clone that is being hydrated. When that first clone becomes fully hydrated, then subsequent clone operation on the source volume will proceed as expected.

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Boot Volumes

What is a boot volume? What does it provide?

Boot volumes provide remote boot disks that are encrypted by default, have faster performance and lower launch times, and higher durability for your bare metal and virtual machine (VM) instances. Additionally, boot volumes allow you to create significantly faster custom images of running VMs without having to reboot. All bare metal and VM compute instances launch using the boot volumes and offer:

  • The ability to preserve your boot disk content by keeping it when you terminate a compute instance: You can use the preserved boot volume for new instance creation.
  • Highly durable boot disks: Like all block volumes, the boot volumes have multiple replicas across an availability domain, giving you peace of mind for durability of your compute instances.
  • Compute instance scaling via boot volumes: When you terminate your instance, you have the option to keep its boot volume. You can then create a new bare metal or VM instance, with the same or different shape, using the original instance and the boot volume you kept.
  • Your instances launch faster: All VM Linux instances launch within a minute, and VM Windows instances launch within 5 minutes.
  • All boot volumes are encrypted by default: Just like all block volumes on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, boot volumes are encrypted at rest.
  • Ability to easily troubleshoot and repair your boot disks and OS images: You can stop the troubled instance, detach the suspect boot volume and attach it as a block storage to any other instance in order to troubleshoot and fix, and reattach it to your original compute instance, or create a new instance from it.

How do I use Oracle Block Volumes backed boot volumes for bare metal or VM Instances?

Any newly launched bare metal or VM compute instance will automatically create a new boot volume within your compartment. You can use the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console to see the boot volumes attached to your instance under the instance details page. All boot volumes within your compartment will be listed under Boot Volumes within the Storage console page. Boot volume details include the instance the boot volume is attached to as well as size of the volume and other volume metadata.

What is the pricing for boot volumes?

You will be charged for your boot volumes at standard Oracle Block Volumes pricing. Note, this is in addition to the price of the compute instance.

Are the boot volumes metered and included in my tenancy block storage limit?

Yes, boot volumes are metered and included in the tenancy block storage limit just like block volumes. They should also be included in your tenancy block storage limit calculation and planning, in addition to your block volumes consumption.

Can I launch another instance using a given boot volume?

Yes, you can launch another instance with your boot volume by first creating a custom image of your boot volume and then using the custom image to launch the instance.

Alternately, you can launch a new instance directly from an unattached boot volume if you don't wish to create a custom image.

What is the persistence and durability model for boot volumes?

All boot volumes are created on highly durable Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes. Your boot volumes persist independent of the lifecycle of your compute instance.

Boot volumes are only terminated when you manually delete them.

How can I get the benefits of the boot volumes for my existing instances?

All new instances use the boot volumes by default. You can re-provision your existing instances by creating a custom image and launching a new instance.

Can I create a backup of boot volumes?

Yes, you can create a backup of your boot volumes by going to the Compute page in your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console or through the API/CLI. The backup will be associated with the boot volume it was created from.

Can I delete a boot volume?

Yes, you can delete an unattached boot volume by using the console or API/CLI. Additionally, you can optionally chose to automatically delete the boot volume when 'Terminating' an instance by selecting the checkbox in the delete confirmation dialog.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure does not allow you to delete the boot volume currently attached to an instance.

You can stop an instance, detach its boot volume, and delete the detached boot volume. The stopped instance cannot be started after its boot volume is deleted. You can only terminate that instance.

Can I detach a boot volume from a running instance?

No, you can only detach a boot volume from a stopped instance. Terminating your instance will automatically detach and persist your boot volume unless you opt into permanently deleting your boot volume.

Can I attach a boot volume to an instance as block storage in order to debug issues?

Yes, you can attach any boot volume to an instance as block storage in order to debug issues. You will first need to detach a boot volume from its associated compute instance in order to attach it to a different instance.

You can follow the steps below to debug your boot volume:

  • 'Stop' the instance you want to debug and click on 'Boot Volume' filter, and then select the 'Detach Boot Volume' button. Alternately, you can terminate your instance which persists your boot volume by default.
  • Navigate to a new running instance you want to use to debug your boot volume, and click the 'Attach Block Volume' button.

How do I scale my compute instance to a larger shape by using boot volumes?

  1. Terminate the old instance, and keep the original boot volume when you terminate the instance (select “yes” on the confirmation dialog asking if you want to keep the boot volume).
  2. Launch a new instance of different shape, by selecting the boot volume you kept from the old instance.

This applies to both bare metal and VM instances.

Note: A new instance will have different IP address and network configuration than your original instance. You need to adjust for these differences for a seamless experience for your workloads that use these instances.

What are the performance characteristics of boot volumes?

Boot volumes offer faster compute instance launch times compared to local boot disks: Linux instances launch within a minute, and Windows instances launch within 5 minutes.

Boot volumes are standard Oracle OS image size by default, and offer 3,000 IOPS and 24 MB/Sec throughput with sub-millisecond latency for 50 GB boot volumes. Larger boot volumes have predictable performance that scales linearly with size, just like block volumes. This performance is independent of workload type (for all read/write distributions). For details, refer to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes performance documentation.

Can I have a boot volume for my custom image?

If you have an existing custom image already in use on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform, you can select to use it to launch your instances. The boot volumes created during instance launch using a custom image will have the same size as your custom image.

Can I create a compute instance with a system boot volume that is larger than the default OS image?

Yes. You can specify any size starting from the default size of the selected OS image up to 32 TB, in 1 GB increments when launching a compute instance. The minimum boot volume size is constrained by the size of the OS image you select. You cannot specify less than 50GB, or less than the size of your selected OS image. For example, if you select an OS image that is 256 GB in size, the minimum boot volume you can specify to use is 256 GB.

Can I resize my boot volume after I created my compute instance?

Yes, you can increase the size of your boot volume using 3 options:

  • Expand the size of existing volume offline up to 32 TB.
  • Restore from a backup of volume to a larger size volume up to 32 TB.
  • Clone an existing volume to a larger size volume up to 32 TB.

How do I specify custom boot volume size on API/CLI?

Use the Launch instance API and specify a larger boot volume size by using bootVolumeSizeInGBs parameter. Note: If the size specified is smaller than the image size, the API call will fail.

If I do not specify a custom boot volume size, what size is used for my compute instance?

The instance will be launched with a default boot volume size that is equal to the size of the selected OS image.

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Volume Groups

What is a volume group?

A volume group represents a set of block storage volumes that can be treated as a single entity for backup and clone purposes. A volume group is associated with a single Availability Domain (AD), and volumes within the group are also within the same AD.

How is a volume group used?

The volume group exposes the same backup/restore and clone capabilities as individual volumes. This means you can perform a point-in-time crash consistent coordinated backup of a volume group – either incremental or full – and create a point-in-time crash consistent clone of a volume group.

How many volumes can I have in a volume group?

Up to 32 volumes can be placed in a volume group, up to a total volume group size of 128 TB. This is a soft limit, and can be increased per tenancy as requested via the limit increase. Each volume may only be in one volume group.

How can I manage volume groups?

You can use the Console, CLI/SDK, APIs and Terraform to manage group volumes. This includes creating and deleting volume groups, adding and removing volumes from a group, and renaming volume groups.

Can I attach and detach a volume that is in a volume group?

Yes. Volumes in a volume group can be accessed and operated on individually, in addition to being managed as a group.

What is a volume group backup? How does it work?

A coordinated point-in-time crash consistent backup of the entire set of volumes that are in a volume group. This operation creates a volume group backup. There is no impact to the source volume group and volumes during the backup process.

Volume group backups are replicated across all Availability Domains within the region where the source volume group resides. A volume group backup can then be used to create a new volume group to any Availability Domain within the region the backup resides, by restoring all the volumes data that are in the volume group.

Can I use policy-based automated scheduled backup for a volume group?

Currently no. Be on the look out for future updates for this capability.

What is a volume group clone? How does it work?

A coordinated point-in-time crash consistent deep disk-to-disk copy of the entire set of volumes that are in a volume group. This operation creates a new volume group and new volumes that are in it, which are exact copy from the source volume group and volumes in it.

The clone operation is immediate, and the cloned volume group and cloned volumes in it become available to use right after initiating the clone operation. The actual copying of data happens in the background. Timing is proportional to the data in the source volumes and can take up to 15 minutes for 1 TB volume.

The source volume group and volumes in it are not impacted by the clone process. The source and destination volume groups, and the set of volumes in them, are completely isolated from each other with nothing shared. This ensures no impact to the source while the clone is in progress, and when the clone is completed.

Can I clone and backup a volume group simultaneously?

It depends on the attachment state of the source volumes in the volume group.

  • If any of the source volumes in the volume group is attached: You can create one clone of the volume group at a time. Cloning happens using a point-in-time direct disk-to-disk deep copy, and there is a single point-in-time reference for a source volume while it is being cloned. You need to wait for the first clone operation for the volume group to complete.
  • If all the source volumes in the volume group are detached: You can create up to 10 clones from the same source volume group simultaneously.

Is there an additional price for the volume groups, volume group backup/restore and clone capabilities?

These features come at no additional charge. You are only charged for the block and boot volumes storage at Block Volume pricing, and for volume group backups at Object Storage pricing, based on actual usage.

Where can I find more information on volume groups?

Refer to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure product documentation for more information on how to get started with and manage volume groups.

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Billing

How am I billed for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes?

Block volumes are metered based on provisioned GB volume size. Block volume usage is billed according to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes pricing.

How am I billed for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volume backups?

Block Volume backups are kept in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage, metered and billed based on the Object Storage that they consume. For details, refer to Object Storage pricing.

How am I billed for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volume cross-region backup copy?

Refer to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage pricing. Cross-region backups are metered and billed based on the Object Storage and outbound data transfer network usage.

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