You can provision your OpenShift cluster with storage dynamically when running in a cloud environment. The Kubernetes persistent volume framework allows administrators to provision a cluster with persistent storage and gives users a way to request those resources without having any knowledge of the underlying infrastructure.

Many storage types are available for use as persistent volumes in OpenShift. While all of them can be statically provisioned by an administrator, some types of storage can be created dynamically using an API. These types of storage can be provisioned in an OpenShift cluster using the new and experimental dynamic storage feature.

Dynamic provisioning of persistent volumes is currently a Technology Preview feature, introduced in OpenShift Enterprise 3.1.1. This feature is experimental and expected to change in the future as it matures and feedback is received from users. New ways to provision the cluster are planned and the means by which one accesses this feature is going to change. Backwards compatibility is not guaranteed.

Enabling Provisioner Plug-ins

OpenShift provides the following provisioner plug-ins, which have generic implementations for dynamic provisioning that use the cluster’s configured cloud provider’s API to create new storage resources:

Storage Type Provisioner Plug-in Name Required Cloud Configuration Notes

OpenStack Cinder


Configuring for OpenStack

AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS)


Configuring for AWS

For dynamic provisioning when using multiple clusters in different zones, each node must be tagged with Key=KubernetesCluster,Value=clusterid.

GCE Persistent Disk (gcePD)


Configuring for GCE

In multi-zone configurations, PVs must be created in the same region/zone as the master node. Do this by setting the failure-domain.beta.kubernetes.io/region and failure-domain.beta.kubernetes.io/zone PV labels to match the master node.

For any chosen provisioner plug-ins, the relevant cloud configuration must also be set up, per Required Cloud Configuration in the above table.

When your OpenShift cluster is configured for EBS, GCE, or Cinder, the associated provisioner plug-in is implied and automatically enabled. No additional OpenShift configuration by the cluster administration is required for dynamic provisioning.

For example, if your OpenShift cluster is configured to run in AWS, the EBS provisioner plug-in is automatically available for creating dynamically provisioned storage requested by a user.

Future provisioner plug-ins will include the many types of storage a single provider offers. AWS, for example, has several types of EBS volumes to offer, each with its own performance characteristics; there is also an NFS-like storage option. More provisioner plug-ins will be implemented for the supported storage types available in OpenShift.

Requesting Dynamically Provisioned Storage

Users can request dynamically provisioned storage by including a storage class annotation in their persistent volume claim:

Example 1. Persistent Volume Claim Requesting Dynamic Storage
kind: "PersistentVolumeClaim"
apiVersion: "v1"
  name: "claim1"
    volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class: "foo" (1)
    - "ReadWriteOnce"
      storage: "3Gi"
1 The value of the volume.alpha.kubernetes.io/storage-class annotation is not meaningful at this time. The presence of the annotation, with any arbitrary value, triggers provisioning using the single implied provisioner plug-in per cloud.

Volume Recycling

Volumes created dynamically by a provisioner have their persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy set to Delete. When a persistent volume claim is deleted, its backing persistent volume is considered released of its claim, and that resource can be reclaimed by the cluster. Dynamic provisioning utilizes the provider’s API to delete the volume from the provider and then removes the persistent volume from the cluster.