Kubernetes natively offers ephemeral storage support for containers, where the data gets cleared whenever the container is restarted. Even if storage volumes are declared persistent, they are mere files in the local server file system, where if the server is lost, so is the data. The Container Storage Interface (CSI) APIs were developed to solve these challenges with the pod portability and data resiliency with native Kubernetes solutions. The CSI is a standard for provisioning and managing on-demand block and file persistent volumes for containerized applications. The persistent volumes are generally created outside of the host operating system, such as on the PowerFlex system, making the data highly available across the infrastructure.
Dell EMC storage solutions provide unique CSI Plugins that allow customers to deliver persistent storage for container-based applications at scale. The combination of the Kubernetes orchestration system and the Dell EMC PowerFlex CSI plug-in enables easy provisioning of containers and persistent storage.
Kubernetes that is enhanced with the PowerFlex CSI plug-in provides the capability to attach and manage PowerFlex volumes to containerized applications. It enables provisioning of the storage for Pods through a Kubernetes Persistent Volume Claim (PVC).
This reference architecture demonstrates how developers and database administrators can use PowerFlex CSI driver to provision storage without making requests to the storage administrator. Storage is made available in seconds compared to hours, as seen with the traditional and manual processes, while the storage administrator is still able to monitor the newly added storage resources. The CSI Driver for Dell EMC PowerFlex provides the following features: