The Container Storage Interface (CSI) allows Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS to consume storage from storage back ends that implement the CSI interface as persistent storage.

Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS supports version 1.6.0 of the CSI specification.

CSI architecture

CSI drivers are typically shipped as container images. These containers are not aware of Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS where they run. To use CSI-compatible storage back end in Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS, the cluster administrator must deploy several components that serve as a bridge between Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS and the storage driver.

The following diagram provides a high-level overview about the components running in pods in the Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS cluster.

Architecture of CSI components

It is possible to run multiple CSI drivers for different storage back ends. Each driver needs its own external controllers deployment and daemon set with the driver and CSI registrar.

External CSI controllers

External CSI controllers is a deployment that deploys one or more pods with five containers:

  • The snapshotter container watches VolumeSnapshot and VolumeSnapshotContent objects and is responsible for the creation and deletion of VolumeSnapshotContent object.

  • The resizer container is a sidecar container that watches for PersistentVolumeClaim updates and triggers ControllerExpandVolume operations against a CSI endpoint if you request more storage on PersistentVolumeClaim object.

  • An external CSI attacher container translates attach and detach calls from Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS to respective ControllerPublish and ControllerUnpublish calls to the CSI driver.

  • An external CSI provisioner container that translates provision and delete calls from Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS to respective CreateVolume and DeleteVolume calls to the CSI driver.

  • A CSI driver container.

The CSI attacher and CSI provisioner containers communicate with the CSI driver container using UNIX Domain Sockets, ensuring that no CSI communication leaves the pod. The CSI driver is not accessible from outside of the pod.

The attach, detach, provision, and delete operations typically require the CSI driver to use credentials to the storage backend. Run the CSI controller pods on infrastructure nodes so the credentials are never leaked to user processes, even in the event of a catastrophic security breach on a compute node.

The external attacher must also run for CSI drivers that do not support third-party attach or detach operations. The external attacher will not issue any ControllerPublish or ControllerUnpublish operations to the CSI driver. However, it still must run to implement the necessary Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS attachment API.

CSI driver daemon set

The CSI driver daemon set runs a pod on every node that allows Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS to mount storage provided by the CSI driver to the node and use it in user workloads (pods) as persistent volumes (PVs). The pod with the CSI driver installed contains the following containers:

  • A CSI driver registrar, which registers the CSI driver into the openshift-node service running on the node. The openshift-node process running on the node then directly connects with the CSI driver using the UNIX Domain Socket available on the node.

  • A CSI driver.

The CSI driver deployed on the node should have as few credentials to the storage back end as possible. Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS will only use the node plugin set of CSI calls such as NodePublish/NodeUnpublish and NodeStage/NodeUnstage, if these calls are implemented.

CSI drivers supported by Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS

Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS installs certain CSI drivers by default, giving users storage options that are not possible with in-tree volume plugins.

To create CSI-provisioned persistent volumes that mount to these supported storage assets, Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS installs the necessary CSI driver Operator, the CSI driver, and the required storage class by default. For more details about the default namespace of the Operator and driver, see the documentation for the specific CSI Driver Operator.

The following table describes the CSI drivers that are installed with Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS and which CSI features they support, such as volume snapshots and resize.

In addition to the drivers listed in the following table, ROSA functions with CSI drivers from third-party storage vendors. Red Hat does not oversee third-party provisioners or the connected CSI drivers and the vendors fully control source code, deployment, operation, and Kubernetes compatibility. These volume provisioners are considered customer-managed and the respective vendors are responsible for providing support. See the Shared responsibilities for Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS matrix for more information.

Table 1. Supported CSI drivers and features in Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS
CSI driver CSI volume snapshots CSI cloning CSI resize Inline ephemeral volumes



LVM Storage

Dynamic provisioning

Dynamic provisioning of persistent storage depends on the capabilities of the CSI driver and underlying storage back end. The provider of the CSI driver should document how to create a storage class in Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS and the parameters available for configuration.

The created storage class can be configured to enable dynamic provisioning.

  • Create a default storage class that ensures all PVCs that do not require any special storage class are provisioned by the installed CSI driver.

    # oc create -f - << EOF
    apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: StorageClass
      name: <storage-class> (1)
        storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class: "true"
    provisioner: <provisioner-name> (2)
    1 The name of the storage class that will be created.
    2 The name of the CSI driver that has been installed.

Example using the CSI driver

The following example installs a default MySQL template without any changes to the template.

  • The CSI driver has been deployed.

  • A storage class has been created for dynamic provisioning.

  • Create the MySQL template:

    # oc new-app mysql-persistent
    Example output
    --> Deploying template "openshift/mysql-persistent" to project default
    # oc get pvc
    Example output
    NAME              STATUS    VOLUME                                   CAPACITY
    mysql             Bound     kubernetes-dynamic-pv-3271ffcb4e1811e8   1Gi
    RWO            cinder         3s