This is a guest post by Michael Mattsson Principal Tech Marketing Engineer at HPE.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Red Hat have over two decades of innovation in our joint alliance partnership spanning a wide variety of infrastructure solutions built on open source software and high performance hardware backed by a customer-focused joint support engagement that ensures an unsurpassed product experience.
We are excited today to formally introduce a new solution as both teams have been heads down delivering the first Operator to achieve Red Hat OpenShift container storage interface (CSI) certification. The upstream HPE CSI Driver for Kubernetes has been repackaged, hardened and delivered by HPE and certified by Red Hat. The HPE CSI Operator for Kubernetes is published in the Red Hat Ecosystem Catalog and can be deployed from the OpenShift OperatorHub. The HPE CSI Driver is a unified CSI driver supporting multiple enterprise block storage (iSCSI and Fibre Channel) platforms through a pluggable architecture. HPE Nimble Storage, HPE Primera and HPE 3PAR are currently supported and certified.
The HPE CSI Driver is a comprehensive CSI driver currently conforming to version 1.2 of the CSI specification. Data management capabilities such as snapshots and cloning are available through CSI or StorageClass parameter overloading during provisioning to allow Red Hat OpenShift users to immediately take advantage of their HPE storage platforms. CSI native cloning and snapshots is currently available as a “Technology Preview” in Red Hat OpenShift 4.4. Other notable features currently under “Technology Preview” in Red Hat OpenShift is CSI inline ephemeral volumes and expanding CSI volumes. All features are marked GA by the HPE CSI Driver and customer may rest assured they’ve invested in a future proof storage platform for Red Hat OpenShift.
The HPE CSI Driver is designed to support multiple storage backends and a clean separation has been created between CSI and the storage backends. This allows the backend storage teams to focus on making sure they present their platform capabilities in the most efficient way possible. A separate team is dedicated to ensuring all the Kubernetes, OpenShift and CSI minutia conforms to recent standards, conventions and certifications. The interface against the backend storage platforms is called Container Storage Providers (CSP). The CSP follows an open source specification that allows any vendor with a block storage (iSCSI or Fibre Channel) protocol to implement a CSP. Both Nimble and Primera/3PAR CSPs run on the Kubernetes cluster as ephemeral API gateways but the CSP may run embedded on the storage platform itself (or elsewhere) as long as it allows communication from the cluster and follow the CSP specification.
The architecture also allows building extensions either to CSI itself using traditional sidecars or extend functionality by other means. Any such extension will become available for existing CSPs automatically. HPE recently announced a beta of the NFS Server Provisioner feature in version 1.2.0 of the HPE CSI Driver. It allows the CSI driver to create
PersistentVolumeClaims by transparently spinning up a NFS server on the Kubernetes cluster served by a
ReadWriteOnce (RWO) volume. This lends itself well for certain use cases where shared storage between
Pods within the same
Namespace is required which isn’t possible with strict block storage, which only supports RWO. Expect more innovations like these from HPE in the near future!
Installing the HPE CSI Operator may be performed either via the OpenShift Console or the OpenShift CLI. For the purpose of demonstrating the installation process, we’ll use
oc. How to use the OpenShift Console to install the CSI operator is available on the HPE Storage Container Orchestrator Documentation portal (SCOD).
A preview of what the certified HPE CSI Operator for Kubernetes looks like in the OpenShift Console.
The CSI driver requires privileged access. For the driver to work correctly a custom
SecurityContextConstraint needs to be applied. But, first let’s create a new
Project where we would deploy the CSI operator.
oc new-project hpe-csi-driver --display-name="HPE CSI Driver for Kubernetes"
The next set of YAML stanzas may be created by running
oc create -f- and paste the YAML into the terminal. Hit CTRL-D on a new line to apply it.
Create the custom
Subscription needs to be created.
Watch the CSI operator being rolled out.
oc rollout status deploy/hpe-csi-driver-operator -n hpe-csi-driver
The next step involves creating a
HPECSIDriver. This is where you need to make conscious choice if you want to use HPE Nimble Storage (nimble) or HPE Primera/HPE 3PAR (primera3par), which share the same
volumeDescription: Volume created by the HPE CSI Driver for Kubernetes
backend parameter refers to the IP address of the management interface on the storage system.
The next step would be to create a
StorageClass to allow dynamic
PersistentVolume provisioning from
PersistentVolumeClaims. Below is a basic
StorageClass that will be marked as “default” on the cluster.
description: "Volume created by the HPE CSI Driver for Kubernetes”
StorageClass parameters are unique for the different CSPs. These are documented on SCOD for HPE Nimble Storage and HPE Primera/HPE 3PAR.
Next steps could be to deploy any application from OperatorHub requiring persistent storage, such as MariaDB or MongoDB.
The Red Hat OpenShift certified HPE CSI Operator for Kubernetes is available now. Current supported platforms are HPE Nimble Storage, HPE Primera and HPE 3PAR. Sign up to the HPE DEV Slack community at slack.hpedev.io (or login at hpedev.slack.com if you already have signed up) to chat with the HPE staff, partners and customers. Also stay informed via our announcements and updates, we hang out in #kubernetes, #nimblestorage and #3par-primera.
- Check out the HPE CSI Operator in the Red Hat Container Catalog
- Learn how to install the HPE CSI Operator on HPE Storage - Container Orchestrator Documentation (SCOD) portal
- Source code for the HPE CSI Driver is available on GitHub
- Explore how Persistent Storage works in the Red Hat OpenShift documentation
- Learn more about HPE Nimble Storage, HPE Primera and HPE 3PAR at hpe.com/storage
- Join the HPE Developer Community to learn from other HPE developers who use HPE products