vSAN File Services and Cloud Native Storage integration (Video)

In this short video, I want to show some of the integration points between vSAN 7.0 File Services, and Cloud Native Storage (CNS). We will use the CSI driver that ships with vSphere 7.0 to provision a new read-write-many persistent volume backed by a vSAN file share. A read-write-many persistent volume is one that can be accessed by multiple Kubernetes Pods simultaneously. I will then show how CNS provides the vSphere client all sorts of useful information about the volume. This information is invaluable to a vSphere Admin when trying to figure out how vSphere storage is being consumed when…

Static Persistent Volumes and Cloud Native Storage

Recently I was asked if “statically” provisioned persistent volumes (PVs) in native, vanilla, Kubernetes would be handled by Cloud Native Storage (CNS) in vSphere 7.0 and in turn appear in the vSphere client, just like a dynamically provisioned persistent volume. The short answer is yes, this is supported and works. The details on how to do this are shown here in this post. I am going to use a file-based (NFS) volume for this “static” PV test. Note that there are two ways of provisioning a static file-based volumes. The first is to use the in-tree NFS driver. These are…

Read-Only Persistent Volumes on vSAN File Services

I’m writing this post because of a misconception I had regarding how read-only volumes were configured in Kubernetes. I thought this was controlled by the accessModes parameter in the PersistentVolumeClaim manifest file. This is not the case. It is controlled from the Pod, which to me seems a bit strange. Why would this not be controlled from the PVC manifest? One of our engineers pointed me to a few Kubernetes discussions on the behaviour of accessModes and readOnly here and here. It would seem that I am not the only one confused by this behaviour. In this post, I deploy…

vSphere CSI driver versions and capabilities

The vSphere Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver is what enables Kubernetes clusters running on vSphere to provision persistent volumes on vSphere storage. This applies to both native Kubernetes clusters, and vSphere with Kubernetes. With the release of vSphere 7.0 and vSphere with Kubernetes (formerly Project Pacific) there are now a number of different flavors of the vSphere CSI driver available. [Update] Before going any further, it is worth highlighting the differences between what we term native Kubernetes and vSphere with Kubernetes. Native Kubernetes has many flavors, such as VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated (TKGI) formerly known…

Read-Write-Many Persistent Volumes with vSAN 7 File Services

A few weeks back, just after the vSphere 7.0 launch event, I wrote an article about Native File Services in vSAN 7.0. I had a few questions asking why we decided on NFS support in this initial release, and not something like SMB or some other protocol. The reason is quite straight-forward. We are positioning vSAN as a platform for both traditional virtual machine workloads and newer containerized workloads. We chose NFS to address a storage requirement in Kubernetes, namely a way to share Persistent Volumes between Pods. To date, the vSphere CSI driver only provisioned block based Persistent Volumes…

Deploying flannel, vSphere CPI and vSphere CSI with later versions of Kubernetes

I recently wanted to deploy a newer versions of Kubernetes to see it working with our Cloud Native Storage (CNS) feature. Having assisted with the original landing pages for CPI and CSI, I’d done this a few times in the past. However, the deployment tutorial that we used back then was based on Kubernetes version 1.14.2. I wanted to go with a more recent build of K8s, e.g. 1.16.3. By the way, if you are unclear about the purposes of the CPI and CSI, you can learn more about them on the landing page, here for CPI and here for…

Finding VMDK path from PV VolumeHandle

I’ve been looking at ways in which we could query the mappings of objects between the Kubernetes layer and the vSphere layer. One thing that I really wanted to figure out is if I have the VolumeHandle from the Persistent Volume in Kubernetes, could I easily find the datastore and path using PowerCLI. It looks like I can. Let’s begin with a look at the Persistent Volume or PV  for short. Note that this is a Kubernetes cluster that is using the new vSphere CSI driver.