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Learn about Astra Trident installation

Contributors netapp-aruldeepa juliantap

To ensure Astra Trident can be installed in a wide variety of environments and organizations, NetApp offers multiple installation options. You can install Astra Trident using the Trident operator (manually or using Helm) or with tridentctl. This topic provides important information for selecting the right installation process for you.

Critical information about Astra Trident 24.06

You must read the following critical information about Astra Trident.

Critical information about Astra Trident
  • Kubernetes 1.29 is now supported in Astra Trident. Upgrade Trident prior to upgrading Kubernetes.

  • Astra Trident strictly enforces the use of multipathing configuration in SAN environments, with a recommended value of find_multipaths: no in multipath.conf file.

    Use of non-multipathing configuration or use of find_multipaths: yes or find_multipaths: smart value in multipath.conf file will result in mount failures. Trident has recommended the use of find_multipaths: no since the 21.07 release.

Before you begin

Regardless of your installation path, you must have:

  • Full privileges to a supported Kubernetes cluster running a supported version of Kubernetes and feature requirements enabled. Review the requirements for details.

  • Access to a supported NetApp storage system.

  • Capability to mount volumes from all of the Kubernetes worker nodes.

  • A Linux host with kubectl (or oc, if you are using OpenShift) installed and configured to manage the Kubernetes cluster that you want to use.

  • The KUBECONFIG environment variable set to point to your Kubernetes cluster configuration.

  • If you are using Kubernetes with Docker Enterprise, follow their steps to enable CLI access.

Tip If you have not familiarized yourself with the basic concepts, now is a great time to do that.

Choose your installation method

Select the installation method that's right for you. You should also review the considerations for moving between methods before making your decision.

Using the Trident operator

Whether deploying manually or using Helm, the Trident operator is a great way to simplify installation and dynamically manage Astra Trident resources. You can even customize your Trident operator deployment using the attributes in the TridentOrchestrator custom resource (CR).

The benefits of using the Trident operator include:

Astra Trident object creation

The Trident operator automatically creates the following objects for your Kubernetes version.

  • ServiceAccount for the operator

  • ClusterRole and ClusterRoleBinding to the ServiceAccount

  • Dedicated PodSecurityPolicy (for Kubernetes 1.25 and earlier)

  • The operator itself

Resource accountability

The cluster-scoped Trident operator manages resources associated with an Astra Trident installation at the cluster level. This mitigates errors that might be caused when maintaining cluster-scoped resources using a namespace-scoped operator. This is essential for self-healing and patching.

Self-healing capability

The operator monitors Astra Trident installation and actively takes measures to address issues, such as when the deployment is deleted or if it is accidentally modified. A trident-operator-<generated-id> pod is created that associates a TridentOrchestrator CR with an Astra Trident installation. This ensures there is only one instance of Astra Trident in the cluster and controls its setup, making sure the installation is idempotent. When changes are made to the installation (such as, deleting the deployment or node daemonset), the operator identifies them and fixes them individually.

Easy updates to existing installations

You can easily update an existing deployment with the operator. You only need to edit the TridentOrchestrator CR to make updates to an installation.

For example, consider a scenario where you need to enable Astra Trident to generate debug logs. To do this, patch your TridentOrchestrator to set spec.debug to true:

kubectl patch torc <trident-orchestrator-name> -n trident --type=merge -p '{"spec":{"debug":true}}'

After TridentOrchestrator is updated, the operator processes the updates and patches the existing installation. This might trigger the creation of new pods to modify the installation accordingly.

Clean reinstallation

The cluster-scoped Trident operator enables clean removal of cluster-scoped resources. Users can completely uninstall Astra Trident and easily reinstall.

Automatic Kubernetes upgrade handling

When the Kubernetes version of the cluster is upgraded to a supported version, the operator updates an existing Astra Trident installation automatically and changes it to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Kubernetes version.

Note If the cluster is upgraded to an unsupported version, the operator prevents installing Astra Trident. If Astra Trident has already been installed with the operator, a warning is displayed to indicate that Astra Trident is installed on an unsupported Kubernetes version.
Kubernetes cluster management using BlueXP (formerly Cloud Manager)

With Astra Trident using BlueXP, you can upgrade to the latest version of Astra Trident, add and manage storage classes and connect them to Working Environments, and back up persistent volumes using Cloud Backup Service. BlueXP supports Astra Trident deployment using the Trident operator, either manually or using Helm.

Using tridentctl

If you have an existing deployment that must be upgraded or if you are looking to highly customize your deployment, you should consider installing using tridentctl. This is the conventional method of deploying Astra Trident.

You can customize your tridentctl installation to generate the manifests for Trident resources. This includes the deployment, daemonset, service account, and the cluster role that Astra Trident creates as part of its installation.

Note Beginning with the 22.04 release, AES keys will no longer be regenerated every time Astra Trident is installed. With this release, Astra Trident will install a new secret object that persists across installations. This means, tridentctl in 22.04 can uninstall previous versions of Trident, but earlier versions cannot uninstall 22.04 installations.
Select the appropriate installation method.

Choose your installation mode

Determine your deployment process based on the installation mode (Standard, Offline, or Remote) required by your organization.

Standard installation

This is the easiest way to install Astra Trident and works for most environments that do not impose network restrictions. Standard installation mode uses default registries to store required Trident ( and CSI ( images.

When you use standard mode, the Astra Trident installer:

  • Fetches the container images over the Internet

  • Creates a deployment or node daemonset, which spins up Astra Trident pods on all the eligible nodes in the Kubernetes cluster

Offline installation

Offline installation mode might be required in an air-gapped or secure location. In this scenario, you can create a single private, mirrored registry or two mirrored registries to store required Trident and CSI images.

Note Regardless of your registry configuration, CSI images must reside in one registry.
Remote installation

Here is a high-level overview of the remote installation process:

  • Deploy the appropriate version of kubectl on the remote machine from where you want to deploy Astra Trident.

  • Copy the configuration files from the Kubernetes cluster and set the KUBECONFIG environment variable on the remote machine.

  • Initiate a kubectl get nodes command to verify that you can connect to the required Kubernetes cluster.

  • Complete the deployment from the remote machine by using the standard installation steps.

Select the process based on your method and mode

After you've made your decisions, select the appropriate process.

Method Installation mode

Trident operator (manually)

Trident operator (Helm)


Moving between installation methods

You can decide to change your installation method. Before doing so, consider the following:

  • Always use the same method for installing and uninstalling Astra Trident. If you have deployed with tridentctl, you should use the appropriate version of the tridentctl binary to uninstall Astra Trident. Similarly, if you are deploying with the operator, you should edit the TridentOrchestrator CR and set spec.uninstall=true to uninstall Astra Trident.

  • If you have an operator-based deployment that you want to remove and use instead tridentctl to deploy Astra Trident, you should first edit TridentOrchestrator and set spec.uninstall=true to uninstall Astra Trident. Then delete TridentOrchestrator and the operator deployment. You can then install using tridentctl.

  • If you have a manual operator-based deployment, and you want to use Helm-based Trident operator deployment, you should manually uninstall the operator first, and then perform the Helm install. This enables Helm to deploy the Trident operator with the required labels and annotations. If you do not do this, your Helm-based Trident operator deployment will fail with label validation error and annotation validation error. If you have a tridentctl-based deployment, you can use Helm-based deployment without running into issues.

Other known configuration options

When installing Astra Trident on VMWare Tanzu Portfolio products:

  • The cluster must support privileged workloads.

  • The --kubelet-dir flag should be set to the location of kubelet directory. By default, this is /var/vcap/data/kubelet.

    Specifying the kubelet location using --kubelet-dir is known to work for Trident Operator, Helm, and tridentctl deployments.