OpenShift Container Platform can provision persistent volumes (PVs) using the Container Storage Interface (CSI) VMware vSphere driver for Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) volumes.

vSphere CSI Driver Operator is a Technology Preview feature only. Technology Preview features are not supported with Red Hat production service level agreements (SLAs) and might not be functionally complete. Red Hat does not recommend using them in production. These features provide early access to upcoming product features, enabling customers to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

For more information about the support scope of Red Hat Technology Preview features, see https://access.redhat.com/support/offerings/techpreview/.

Familiarity with persistent storage and configuring CSI volumes is recommended when working with a CSI Operator and driver.

To create CSI-provisioned persistent volumes (PVs) that mount to vSphere storage assets, OpenShift Container Platform, after this feature is enabled, installs the vSphere CSI Driver Operator and the vSphere CSI driver by default in the openshift-cluster-csi-drivers namespace.

  • vSphere CSI Driver Operator: After being enabled, the Operator provides a storage class, called thin-csi, that you can use to create persistent volumes claims (PVCs). The vSphere CSI Driver Operator supports dynamic volume provisioning by allowing storage volumes to be created on-demand, eliminating the need for cluster administrators to pre-provision storage.

  • vSphere CSI driver: The driver enables you to create and mount vSphere PVs.

OpenShift Container Platform defaults to using an in-tree (non-CSI) plugin to provision vSphere storage.

In future OpenShift Container Platform versions, volumes provisioned using existing in-tree plugins are planned for migration to their equivalent CSI driver. CSI automatic migration should be seamless. Migration does not change how you use all existing API objects, such as persistent volumes, persistent volume claims, and storage classes. For more information about migration, see CSI automatic migration.

After full migration, in-tree plugins will eventually be removed in future versions of OpenShift Container Platform.

About CSI

Storage vendors have traditionally provided storage drivers as part of Kubernetes. With the implementation of the Container Storage Interface (CSI), third-party providers can instead deliver storage plugins using a standard interface without ever having to change the core Kubernetes code.

CSI Operators give OpenShift Container Platform users storage options, such as volume snapshots, that are not possible with in-tree volume plugins.

Additional resources

Enabling the vSphere CSI Driver Operator

To enable the vSphere Container Storage Interface (CSI) Driver Operator, you must enable feature gates with the TechPreviewNoUpgrade feature set.

  1. Enable feature gates with the TechPreviewNoUpgrade feature set (see NodesEnabling features using feature gates).

    After turning Technology Preview features on by using feature gates, they cannot be turned off and cluster upgrades are prevented.

  2. Verify the cluster operator storage:

    $ oc get co storage
    NAME    VERSION                             AVAILABLE   PROGRESSING DEGRADED    SINCE
    storage 4.8.0-0.nightly-2021-04-30-201824   True        False       False       4h26m
    • AVAILABLE should be "True".

    • PROGRESSING should be "False".

    • DEGRADED should be "False".

  3. Verify the status of the pods in the openshift-cluster-csi-drivers namespace to ensure that they are running:

    $ oc get pod -n openshift-cluster-csi-drivers
    NAME                                                    READY   STATUS  RESTARTS    AGE
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-controller-5646dbbf54-cnsx7   9/9     Running 0           4h29m
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-node-ch22q                    3/3     Running 0           4h37m
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-node-gfjrb                    3/3     Running 0           4h37m
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-node-ktlmp                    3/3     Running 0           4h37m
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-node-lgksl                    3/3     Running 0           4h37m
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-node-vb4gv                    3/3     Running 0           4h37m
    vmware-vsphere-csi-driver-operator-7c7fc474c-p544t      1/1     Running 0           4h29m
  4. Verify that the storage class is installed:

    $ oc get storageclass
    thin (default)  kubernetes.io/vsphere-volume    Delete          Immediate               false                   5h43m
    thin-csi        csi.vsphere.vmware.com          Delete          WaitForFirstConsumer    false                   4h38m (1)
    1 vSphere storage class