Gluster Volume utilization - Multiple approaches

Sep 24, 2019
3 minutes read.
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This blog was first published on Gluster Devblog

Gluster Volume utilization is one of the critical metrics which everybody interested to know. This blog discusses the multiple approaches available to get the Volume utilization and comparisons between them.

Approach 1 - Fuse mount

Use fuse mount to mount the Gluster Volume and get the df output(Or use os.statvfs in case of Python script).

For example,

$ mount -t glusterfs localhost:gvol_rep3 /mnt/gvol_rep3
$ df -B1 /mnt/gvol_rep3
$ umount /mnt/gvol_rep3

Approach 2 - libgfapi mount

Use libgfapi mount and run os.statvfs to get the Volume utilization.

The following Python example uses libgfapi-python project.

from gluster import gfapi

volume = gfapi.Volume('localhost', 'gvol_rep3')
st = volume.statvfs("/")
print("Total Size: %s" % (st.f_blocks * st.f_bsize))

Approach 3 - Gluster CLI

Volume status detail command already provides brick-level utilization. Combine status detail with Volume info to group the bricks into subvolumes. Get the storage reserve by running gluster volume get <volname> storage.reserve and subtract the same from size_free or add to size_used.

Refer Posix storage reserve feature here

Once we get the sub volume grouping, get the sub volume utilization from the bricks utilization as follows.

volume_capacity_total = 0
volume_capacity_used = 0
volume_inodes_total = 0
volume_inodes_used = 0
for subvol in subvols {
    volume_capacity_total += subvol.capacity_total
    volume_capacity_used += subvol.capacity_used
    volume_inodes_total += subvol.inodes_total
    volume_inodes_used += subvol.inodes_used

Subvolume utilization is dependent on its type. If subvolume type is Replicate then take the maximum of capacity_used of all bricks in that subvolume and take a minimum of capacity_total of all bricks. This method is because all replica bricks will have the same data and total capacity of a subvolume is dependent on the brick having least capacity (In most cases capacity of all bricks in subvolume will be identical).

In case of subvolume type is Disperse Volume then,

subvol_capacity_total = any_one_brick_capacity_total * number_of_data_bricks
subvol_capacity_used = any_one_brick_capacity_used * number_of_data_bricks
subvol_inodes_total = any_one_brick_inode_total
subvol_inodes_used = any_one_brick_inode_used


  • Results of all approaches look similar, feel free to use the method comfortable to the use case.

  • Mount cleanup required in case of first and second approaches. If the application crashes before unmounting the volume, then we may end up in stale mounts.

  • If the application is collecting the utilization details in regular interval, either mount needs to be persisted or unmount is required after collecting each time. Mounting and unmounting steps will become too cumbersome to manage. Since mounting all volumes will consume extra memory and mount can’t persist if every time utilization collected from different nodes.

  • Approach 3 is straightforward to implement since it is just running the CLI command and parsing its output to get the required results. The only downside of this approach is, the aggregation logic implemented in the application side. So the application can go out of sync if Gluster changes the way to calculate the utilization then application.

  • Directory utilization is not possible with approach 3. If Gluster Quota feature used and utilization of a subdirectory required, then it is not possible using Gluster CLI commands.

  • Gluster status detail command itself can subtract the storage reserve instead of returning the raw value(Bug: To be opened)

About Aravinda Vishwanathapura

Co-Founder & CTO at Kadalu Technologies, Creator of Sanka, Creator of Chitra, GlusterFS core team member, Maintainer of Kadalu Storage
Contact: Linkedin | Twitter | Facebook | Github |