vSphere CSI v2.2 – Online Volume Expansion

The vSphere CSI driver version 2.2 has just released. One of the features I was looking forward to in this release is the inclusion of Online Volume Expansion. While volume expansion was in earlier releases, it was always an offline operation. In other words, you have to detach the volume from the pod, grow it, and then attach it back when the expand operation completed. In this version, there is no need to remove the Pod. In this short post, I’ll show a quick demonstration of how it is done.


Note: This feature requires vSphere 7.0 Update 2 (U2). This means that both the vCenter Server and the ESXi hosts must be running version 7.0U2. This feature won’t work on earlier versions of vSphere. Check out the requirements here.

vSphere CSI v2.2

This feature also requires vSphere CSI version 2.2. Note that there is an additional RBAC manifest for the CSI node service account in this release. Thus, there are 4 manifests in total that must be deployed for this release. These can be deployed directly from GitHub (link here), or you can download them and deploy them as follows:

$ kubectl apply -f rbac/vsphere-csi-controller-rbac.yaml -f rbac/vsphere-csi-node-rbac.yaml \
-f deploy/vsphere-csi-controller-deployment.yaml -f deploy/vsphere-csi-node-ds.yaml
serviceaccount/vsphere-csi-controller created
clusterrole.rbac.authorization.k8s.io/vsphere-csi-controller-role created
clusterrolebinding.rbac.authorization.k8s.io/vsphere-csi-controller-binding created
serviceaccount/vsphere-csi-node created
role.rbac.authorization.k8s.io/vsphere-csi-node-role created
rolebinding.rbac.authorization.k8s.io/vsphere-csi-node-binding created
deployment.apps/vsphere-csi-controller created
configmap/internal-feature-states.csi.vsphere.vmware.com created
csidriver.storage.k8s.io/csi.vsphere.vmware.com created
service/vsphere-csi-controller created
daemonset.apps/vsphere-csi-node created

Simple Pod, PVC, StorageClass Manifests

I created some simple manifests to test the online volume expand operation. The first manifest is the Storage Class, which in my case points to a vSAN datastore. You can obviously change this if you need to use a different storage policy or datastore in your environment. The most important entry is the allowVolumeExpansion set to true.

kind: StorageClass
apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1
  name: vol-exp-sc
provisioner: csi.vsphere.vmware.com
allowVolumeExpansion: true
    storagePolicyName: "vsan-b"

The next manifest is the PVC, which is the Persistent Volume Claim. It needs to use the previously created Storage Class. The initial size will be 1GB.

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
  name: vol-exp-pvc
  storageClassName: vol-exp-sc
    - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 1Gi

To prove that it is an online volume expansion, I will also create a simple busybox Pod, to which the volume will be attached and mounted.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: vol-exp-busybox
  - image: "k8s.gcr.io/busybox"
      - sleep
      - "3600"
    imagePullPolicy: Always
    name: busybox
    - name: vol-exp
      mountPath: "/mnt/volume1"
  restartPolicy: Always
  - name: vol-exp
      claimName: vol-exp-pvc
      readOnly: false

Deploy the sample manifests

Let’s begin by deploying these manifests, so that we can see the Storage Class, the PVC, the Persistent Volume (PV) and of course the Pod.

$ kubectl apply -f storageclass.yaml -f pvc.yaml -f pod.yaml
storageclass.storage.k8s.io/vol-exp-sc created
persistentvolumeclaim/vol-exp-pvc created
pod/vol-exp-busybox created

$ kubectl get sc,pvc,pv,pod
storageclass.storage.k8s.io/vol-exp-sc    csi.vsphere.vmware.com         Delete          Immediate           true                   29s

NAME                                STATUS   VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS   AGE
persistentvolumeclaim/vol-exp-pvc   Bound    pvc-59eeb319-658a-4fb5-a09c-dc91bedfbc1a   1Gi        RWO            vol-exp-sc     29s

NAME                                                        CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   RECLAIM POLICY   STATUS   CLAIM                                  STORAGECLASS   REASON   AGE
persistentvolume/pvc-59eeb319-658a-4fb5-a09c-dc91bedfbc1a   1Gi        RWO            Delete           Bound    default/vol-exp-pvc                    vol-exp-sc              27s

NAME                  READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod/vol-exp-busybox   1/1     Running   0          29s

Looks like everything is up and running, and we can see the 1GB persistent volume. Let’s now exec onto the Pod and examine the volume from there. We can also add some files to ensure they are not impacted by the volume grow operation.

$ kubectl exec -it pod/vol-exp-busybox -- sh

/ # mount | grep volume1
/dev/sdd on /mnt/volume1 type ext4 (rw,relatime)

/ # df -h | grep volume1
/dev/sdd                975.9M      2.5M    906.2M   0% /mnt/volume1

/ # cd /mnt/volume1/

/mnt/volume1 # ls

/mnt/volume1 # mkdir demo-folder

/mnt/volume1 # cd demo-folder/

/mnt/volume1/demo-folder # cp /etc/* .
cp: omitting directory '/etc/init.d'
cp: omitting directory '/etc/iproute2'
cp: omitting directory '/etc/ld.so.conf.d'
cp: omitting directory '/etc/network'

/mnt/volume1/demo-folder # ls
fstab          hostname       inittab        issue          mtab           os-release     profile        random-seed    securetty      shadow
group          hosts          inputrc        ld.so.conf     nsswitch.conf  passwd         protocols      resolv.conf    services

Expand the volume

In this step, I am going to grow the volume from 1GB to 2GB, online using the kubectl patch command.

$ kubectl get pvc
NAME          STATUS   VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS   AGE
vol-exp-pvc   Bound    pvc-59eeb319-658a-4fb5-a09c-dc91bedfbc1a   1Gi        RWO            vol-exp-sc     10m

$ kubectl patch pvc vol-exp-pvc -p '{"spec": {"resources": {"requests": {"storage": "2Gi"}}}}'
persistentvolumeclaim/vol-exp-pvc patched

$ kubectl get pvc
NAME          STATUS   VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS   AGE
vol-exp-pvc   Bound    pvc-59eeb319-658a-4fb5-a09c-dc91bedfbc1a   2Gi        RWO            vol-exp-sc     12m

It appears that the PVC capacity has successfully grown. Let’s now check the Pod to see if the new volume size is also reflected on the mount.

/mnt/volume1/demo-folder # mount | grep volume1
/dev/sdd on /mnt/volume1 type ext4 (rw,relatime)

/mnt/volume1/demo-folder # df -h | grep volume1
/dev/sdd                  1.9G      3.1M      1.8G   0% /mnt/volume1

/mnt/volume1/demo-folder # ls
fstab          hostname       inittab        issue          mtab           os-release     profile        random-seed    securetty      shadow
group          hosts          inputrc        ld.so.conf     nsswitch.conf  passwd         protocols      resolv.conf    services

/mnt/volume1/demo-folder # cat os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Buildroot 2014.02"

It appears that the volume has been successfully grown online. To finish, I created this short video to show online volume grow in action:

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