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Introduction to datastore tiers

Abiquo 3.8 introduces datastore tiers for private cloud that enable platform owners to grade hypervisor datastore storage and price it according to service levels. Administrators or  cloud users can choose the service level for their VM hard disks. This can be done for a virtual machine template, virtual datacenter or virtual machine: when users create virtual machines or add hard disks on the hypervisor datastore. The datastore tiers functionality is similar to the storage tiers for volumes of integrated managed storage.

Configuring datastore tiers

The system administrator should configure and manage the datastore tiers.

If you do not enable datastore tiers feature, the datastore functionality will be the same as in previous versions. All datastore disks will be created in the "Default Tier"

If you enable the feature, remember that you should maintain the datastores and their tiers when working on the hypervisors directly. When you perform virtual machine or storage moves outside of Abiquo, you should only move virtual machines to other datastores in the same datastore tier.

Note that you can only add datastores to datastore tiers if they do not have any managed virtual machine disks on them.

Datastore tiers in the UI

There is a new page in Infrastructure view called Datastore tiers for managing datastore tiers and disks within tiers.

Click a tier name to view its datastores and disks on the right hand side of the screen.


Create datastore tiers

NameName of the datastore tier
DescriptionA brief description of the datastore tier
Storage Allocation PolicyAllocation method for assigning hard disks to datastores. See Storage Pool Allocation. Overrides the abiquo.storagemanager.storageMethod property set for the whole Abiquo platform in Abiquo Configuration Properties
Allow access to this tierThe tier will be allowed for any enterprise that is created while this box is checked. When editing enterprises, you can allow or prohibit tiers for the datacenter. You can change the configuration on the Enterprise access tab or by editing the Enterprise (under an Allowed datacenter on the Tiers tab).
EnableEnable or disable this tier. You can disable a tier to block access to tiers when creating and configuring tiers, and when performing maintenance. You cannot disable a tier if it contains hard disks. Users cannot work with disabled tiers. If all tiers are disabled, users cannot set tiers as defaults or for disks.

Make this tier the default for the datacenter. If no VM tier is set, and no default tiers of higher priority are set, select this tier.

The order of priority of default tiers is:

  1. template disk
  2. virtual datacenter
  3. datacenter
  4. any of the allowed tiers

If this tier is selected and it is not functional, deploy will fail with a scheduler error.

Set access to tier service levels

To allow access to different service levels you can:

  • Set access for all enterprises; or 
  • Set access for an enterprise in a datacenter

Restrict or allow all enterprise access to datastore service levels

When you create a datastore tier, by default, Abiquo will allow access to the current enterprise only.

To change enterprise-tier access, on the Enterprise access tab, you can modify enterprise access for ALL enterprises.


  • When editing, any changes here will override the settings defined for an individual enterprise
  • You cannot restrict the access of enterprises that have already created disks in the tier


The Edit datastore tier dialog displays a list of enterprises that currently have access to the tier.


Set access to datastore tiers for individual enterprises

To allow or prohibit access to a datastore tier for an individual enterprise:

  1. Edit the enterprise and open the Datacenters tab
  2. Select the datacenter from the Allowed datacenters list and click the pencil edit button
  3. Open the Datastore tiers tab, drag and drop datastore tiers to the Allowed or Prohibited lists for this enterprise


  • Changes in Infrastructure view to the Datastore tiers on the Enterprise access tab will override these settings
  • You cannot restrict the access of enterprises that have already created disks in the tier



Set service levels for datastores

To set service levels for datastores by assigning them to tiers, you can:

  • Select a tier and add datastores from the list of all datastores; or 
  • Edit a hypervisor and select a service level for each datastore

Add selected datastores from the list of all datastores

The easiest way to add many datastores to tiers at the same time is to add from the list of all datastores. This may be useful when you introduce this feature to your platform, for example.

  • You cannot add datastores to a tier if they already have managed virtual machines deployed on them

To add multiple datastores:

  1. Open a datacenter and select the Datastore tiers tab 
  2. Select a datastore tier
  3. Click the + add button in the Datastores pane on the right
  4. From the popup list, select the datastores to add

  5. Click Add 


Add hypervisor datastores to service levels

When you add a new cloud node or modify an existing one, you can add its datastores to datastore tiers. Do these steps:

  1. Edit the physical machine
  2. Open the Datastores tab
  3. For each datastore, select a datastore tier from the pulldown list

Set default storage service levels with datastore tiers

If a user does not configure a datstore tier at VM level, Abiquo will select a default tier, if any is set.

Abiquo selects a default tier in the following priority order from highest to lowest:

  1. template disk
  2. virtual datacenter
  3. datacenter
  4. any of the allowed tiers
  5. null

A null tier means that datastore tiers are not in use.

When the user deploys, if the selected tier cannot be used, the deploy will fail with a scheduler error.

Set default tier for the datacenter

To set the default tier for the datacenter

  1. Select and edit the tier that you would like to make the default tier
  2. Select the default checkbox to mark the default with a tick

Set default datastore service level of a template disk

When you upload an ISO disk or a regular disk from the local filesystem to a new or existing template, you cannot set the datastore tier. However, you can set the service level when you add or edit an existing template disk.

To set the default service level by setting the default tier for a template disk

  1. Edit the template
  2. On the Disks tab edit the disk 
  3. Set a default datastore tier

The default tier for each disk is shown on the Disks tab. If the default tier for the template disk is not set, Abiquo will use the default set in the virtual datacenter, and so on in the priority order.

Set default datastore service level for the virtual datacenter

To set a default datastore tier for the virtual datacenter: 

  1. When you edit or create the virtual datacenter, open the Defaults tab 
  2. Select the appropriate datastore tier


The virtual datacenter default has lower priority than a default datastore tier set in a virtual machine template or a datastore tier set in the virtual machine itself.  


Set the service level of a virtual machine disk

The storage service level for the hard disk is set with the datastore tier

When you create a virtual machine from a standard virtual machine template, the template disks may have a default datastore tier set by the administrator. If there is no default tier for the template disk, the platform will use a default that was set for the virtual datacenter or datacenter, or another available tier.

You can only set or change the datastore tier before the platform creates the disk in the hypervisor


  • To remove the current service level and use the default, click the x symbol beside the tier name 


  • To set a new service level, select a tier from the dropdown list