Pool Operations

A DAOS pool is a storage reservation that can span any storage nodes and is managed by the administrator. The amount of space allocated to a pool is decided at creation time and can eventually be expanded through the management interface.

Pool Creation/Destroy

A DAOS pool can be created and destroyed through the DAOS management API (see daos_mgmt.h). DAOS also provides a utility called dmg to manage storage pools from the command line.

To create a pool:

$ dmg pool create --scm-size=xxG --nvme-size=yyT

This command creates a pool distributed across the DAOS servers with a target size on each server with xxGB of SCM and yyTB of NVMe storage. The UUID allocated to the newly created pool is printed to stdout (referred as ${puuid}) as well as the rank where the pool service is located (referred as ${svcl}).

$ dmg pool create --help
[create command options]
      -g, --group=     DAOS pool to be owned by given group, format name@domain
      -u, --user=      DAOS pool to be owned by given user, format name@domain
      -a, --acl-file=  Access Control List file path for DAOS pool
      -s, --scm-size=  Size of SCM component of DAOS pool
      -n, --nvme-size= Size of NVMe component of DAOS pool
      -r, --ranks=     Storage server unique identifiers (ranks) for DAOS pool
      -v, --nsvc=      Number of pool service replicas (default: 1)
      -S, --sys=       DAOS system that pool is to be a part of (default: daos_server)

The typical output of this command is as follows:

$ dmg -i pool create -s 1G -n 10G -g root -u root -S daos
Active connections: [localhost:10001]
Creating DAOS pool with 1GB SCM and 10GB NvMe storage (0.100 ratio)
Pool-create command SUCCEEDED: UUID: 5d6fa7bf-637f-4dba-bcd2-480ad251cdc7,
Service replicas: 0,1

This created a pool with UUID 5d6fa7bf-637f-4dba-bcd2-480ad251cdc7, two pool service replica on rank 0 and 1.

To destroy a pool:

$ dmg pool destroy --pool=${puuid}

To see a list of the pools in your DAOS system:

$ dmg system list-pools

This will return a table of pool UUIDs and the ranks of their pool service replicas. For example:

$ dmg system list-pools
localhost:10001: connected
Pool UUID               Svc Replicas
---------               ------------
2a8ec3b2-729b-4617-bf51-77f37f764194    0,1
a106d667-5c5d-4d6f-ac3a-89099196c41a    0
85141a07-e3ba-42a6-81c2-3f18253c5e47    0

Pool Properties

At creation time, a list of pool properties can be specified through the API (not supported by the tool yet):

While those pool properties are currently stored persistently with pool metadata, many of them are still under development. Moreover, the ability to modify some of those properties on an existing pool will also be provided in a future release.

Pool Access Control Lists

User and group access for pools is controlled by Access Control Lists (ACLs). A DAOS ACL is a list of zero or more Access Control Entries (ACEs). ACEs are the individual rules applied to each access decision.

If no ACL is provided when creating the pool, the default ACL grants read and write access to the pool's owner-user and owner-group.

Access Control Entries

ACEs are designated by a colon-separated string format: TYPE:FLAGS:IDENTITY:PERMISSIONS

Available values for these fields:


The identity (also called the principal) is specified in the name@domain format. The domain should be left off if the name is a user/group on the local domain. Currently, this is the only case supported by DAOS.

There are three special identities, OWNER@, GROUP@ and EVERYONE@, which align with User, Group, and Other from traditional POSIX permission bits. When providing them in the ACE string format, they must be spelled exactly as written here, in uppercase with no domain appended.



Access Control Entries (ACEs) will be enforced in the following order:

In general, enforcement will be based on the first match, ignoring lower-priority entries. For example, if the user has an ACE for their user identity, they will not receive the permissions for any of their groups, even if those group entries have broader permissions than the user entry does. The user is expected to match at most one user entry.

If no matching user entry is found, but entries match one or more of the user's groups, enforcement will be based on the union of the permissions of all matching groups.

By default, if a user matches no ACEs in the list, access will be denied.


The maximum length of the ACE list in a DAOS ACL structure is 64KiB.

To calculate the actual length of an ACL, use the following formula for each ACE:

Creating a pool with a custom ACL

To create a pool with a custom ACL:

$ dmg pool create --scm-size <size> --acl-file <path>

The ACL file is expected to be a text file with one ACE listed on each line. For example:

# Entries:
# Everyone should be allowed to read

You may add comments to the ACL file by starting the line with #.

Displaying a pool's ACL

To view a pool's ACL:

$ dmg pool get-acl --pool <UUID>

The output is in the same string format used in the ACL file during creation, with one ACE per line.

Modifying a pool's ACL

For all of these commands using an ACL file, the ACL file must be in the format noted above for pool creation.

Overwriting the ACL

To replace a pool's ACL with a new ACL:

$ dmg pool overwrite-acl --pool <UUID> --acl-file <path>

Updating entries in an existing ACL

To add or update multiple entries in an existing pool ACL:

$ dmg pool update-acl --pool <UUID> --acl-file <path>

To add or update a single entry in an existing pool ACL:

$ dmg pool update-acl --pool <UUID> --entry <ACE>

If there is no existing entry for the principal in the ACL, the new entry is added to the ACL. If there is already an entry for the principal, that entry is replaced with the new one.

Removing an entry from the ACL

To delete an entry for a given principal, or identity, in an existing pool ACL:

$ dmg pool delete-acl --pool <UUID> --principal <principal>

The principal corresponds to the principal/identity portion of an ACE that was set during pool creation or a previous pool ACL operation. For the delete operation, the principal argument must be formatted as follows:

The entry for that principal will be completely removed. This does not always mean that the principal will have no access. Rather, their access to the pool will be decided based on the remaining ACL rules.

Pool Query

The pool query operation retrieves information (i.e., the number of targets, space usage, rebuild status, property list, and more) about a created pool. It is integrated into the dmg_old utility.

To query a pool:

$ dmg pool query --pool <UUID>

Below is the output for a pool created with SCM space only.

Pool 47293abe-aa6f-4147-97f6-42a9f796d64a, ntarget=64, disabled=8
Pool space info:
- Target(VOS) count:56
- SCM:
    Total size: 30064771072
    Free: 30044570496, min:530139584, max:536869696, mean:536510187
- NVMe:
    Total size: 0
    Free: 0, min:0, max:0, mean:0
Rebuild done, 10 objs, 1026 recs

The total and free sizes are the sum across all the targets whereas min/max/mean gives information about individual targets. A min value close to 0 means that one target is running out of space.

The example below shows a rebuild in progress and NVMe space allocated.

Pool 95886b8b-7eb8-454d-845c-fc0ae0ba5671, ntarget=64, disabled=8
Pool space info:
- Target(VOS) count:56
- SCM:
    Total size: 30064771072
    Free: 29885237632, min:493096384, max:536869696, mean:533664957
- NVMe:
    Total size: 60129542144
    Free: 29885237632, min:493096384, max:536869696, mean:533664957
Rebuild busy, 75 objs, 9722 recs

Additional status and telemetry data are planned to be exported through the management API and tool and will be documented here once available.

Pool Modifications

Target Exclusion and Self-Healing

To exclude a target from a pool:

$ dmg_old exclude --svc=${svcl} --pool=${puuid} --target=${rank}

Pool Extension

Target Addition & Space Rebalancing

Support for online target addition and automatic space rebalancing is planned for DAOS v1.4 and will be documented here once available.

Pool Shard Resize

Support for quiescent pool shard resize is currently not supported and is under consideration.

Pool Catastrophic Recovery

A DAOS pool is instantiated on each target by a set of pmemobj files managed by PMDK and SPDK blobs on SSDs. Tools to verify and repair this persistent data is scheduled for DAOS v2.4 and will be documented here once available.

Meanwhile, PMDK provides a recovery tool (i.e., pmempool check) to verify and possibly repair a pmemobj file. As discussed in the previous section, the rebuild status can be consulted via the pool query and will be expanded with more information.