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Integrate Astra Trident

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To integrate Astra Trident, the following design and architectural elements require integration: driver selection and deployment, storage class design, virtual pool design, Persistent Volume Claim (PVC) impacts on storage provisioning, volume operations, and OpenShift services deployment using Astra Trident.

Driver selection and deployment

Select and deploy a backend driver for your storage system.

ONTAP backend drivers

ONTAP backend drivers are differentiated by the protocol used and how the volumes are provisioned on the storage system. Therefore, give careful consideration when deciding which driver to deploy.

At a higher level, if your application has components which need shared storage (multiple pods accessing the same PVC), NAS-based drivers would be the default choice, while the block-based iSCSI drivers meet the needs of non-shared storage. Choose the protocol based on the requirements of the application and the comfort level of the storage and infrastructure teams. Generally speaking, there is little difference between them for most applications, so often the decision is based upon whether or not shared storage (where more than one pod will need simultaneous access) is needed.

The available ONTAP backend drivers are:

  • ontap-nas: Each PV provisioned is a full ONTAP FlexVolume.

  • ontap-nas-economy: Each PV provisioned is a qtree, with a configurable number of qtrees per FlexVolume (default is 200).

  • ontap-nas-flexgroup: Each PV provisioned as a full ONTAP FlexGroup, and all aggregates assigned to a SVM are used.

  • ontap-san: Each PV provisioned is a LUN within its own FlexVolume.

  • ontap-san-economy: Each PV provisioned is a LUN, with a configurable number of LUNs per FlexVolume (default is 100).

Choosing between the three NAS drivers has some ramifications to the features, which are made available to the application.

Note that, in the tables below, not all of the capabilities are exposed through Astra Trident. Some must be applied by the storage administrator after provisioning if that functionality is desired. The superscript footnotes distinguish the functionality per feature and driver.

ONTAP NAS drivers Snapshots Clones Dynamic export policies Multi-attach QoS Resize Replication

























Astra Trident offers 2 SAN drivers for ONTAP, whose capabilities are shown below.

ONTAP SAN drivers Snapshots Clones Multi-attach Bi-directional CHAP QoS Resize Replication

















Footnote for the above tables:
Yes[1]: Not managed by Astra Trident
Yes[2]: Managed by Astra Trident, but not PV granular
Yes[3]: Not managed by Astra Trident and not PV granular
Yes[4]: Supported for raw-block volumes
Yes[5]: Supported by Astra Trident

The features that are not PV granular are applied to the entire FlexVolume and all of the PVs (that is, qtrees or LUNs in shared FlexVols) will share a common schedule.

As we can see in the above tables, much of the functionality between the ontap-nas and ontap-nas-economy is the same. However, because the ontap-nas-economy driver limits the ability to control the schedule at per-PV granularity, this can affect your disaster recovery and backup planning in particular. For development teams which desire to leverage PVC clone functionality on ONTAP storage, this is only possible when using the ontap-nas, ontap-san or ontap-san-economy drivers.

Note The solidfire-san driver is also capable of cloning PVCs.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP backend drivers

Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides data control along with enterprise-class storage features for various use cases, including file shares and block-level storage serving NAS and SAN protocols (NFS, SMB / CIFS, and iSCSI). The compatible drivers for Cloud Volume ONTAP are ontap-nas, ontap-nas-economy, ontap-san and ontap-san-economy. These are applicable for Cloud Volume ONTAP for Azure, Cloud Volume ONTAP for GCP.

Amazon FSx for ONTAP backend drivers

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP lets you leverage NetApp features, performance, and administrative capabilities you're familiar with, while taking advantage of the simplicity, agility, security, and scalability of storing data on AWS. FSx for ONTAP supports many ONTAP file system features and administration APIs. The compatible drivers for Cloud Volume ONTAP are ontap-nas, ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup, ontap-san and ontap-san-economy.

NetApp HCI/SolidFire backend drivers

The solidfire-san driver used with the NetApp HCI/SolidFire platforms, helps the admin configure an Element backend for Trident on the basis of QoS limits. If you would like to design your backend to set the specific QoS limits on the volumes provisioned by Trident, use the type parameter in the backend file. The admin also can restrict the volume size that could be created on the storage using the limitVolumeSize parameter. Currently, Element storage features like volume resize and volume replication are not supported through the solidfire-san driver. These operations should be done manually through Element Software web UI.

SolidFire Driver Snapshots Clones Multi-attach CHAP QoS Resize Replication









Yes[1]: Not managed by Astra Trident
Yes[2]: Supported for raw-block volumes

Azure NetApp Files backend drivers

Astra Trident uses the azure-netapp-files driver to manage the Azure NetApp Files service.

More information about this driver and how to configure it can be found in Astra Trident backend configuration for Azure NetApp Files.

Azure NetApp Files Driver Snapshots Clones Multi-attach QoS Expand Replication








Yes[1]: Not managed by Astra Trident

Cloud Volumes Service on Google Cloud backend driver

Astra Trident uses the gcp-cvs driver to link with the Cloud Volumes Service on Google Cloud.

The gcp-cvs driver uses virtual pools to abstract the backend and allow Astra Trident to determine volume placement. The administrator defines the virtual pools in the backend.json files. Storage classes use selectors to identify virtual pools by label.

  • If virtual pools are defined in the backend, Astra Trident will try to create a volume in the Google Cloud storage pools to which those virtual pools are limited.

  • If virtual pools are not defined in the backend, Astra Trident will select a Google Cloud storage pool from the available storage pools in the region.

To configure the Google Cloud backend on Astra Trident, you must specify projectNumber, apiRegion, and apiKey in the backend file. You can find the project number in the Google Cloud console. The API key is taken from the service account private key file you created when setting up API access for Cloud Volumes Service on Google Cloud.

For details on Cloud Volumes Service on Google Cloud service types and service levels, refer to Learn about Astra Trident support for CVS for GCP.

Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud driver Snapshots Clones Multi-attach QoS Expand Replication







Available on CVS-Performance service type only.

Replication notes
  • Replication is not managed by Astra Trident.

  • The clone will be created in the same storage pool as the source volume.

Storage class design

Individual Storage classes need to be configured and applied to create a Kubernetes Storage Class object. This section discusses how to design a storage class for your application.

Specific backend utilization

Filtering can be used within a specific storage class object to determine which storage pool or set of pools are to be used with that specific storage class. Three sets of filters can be set in the Storage Class: storagePools, additionalStoragePools, and/or excludeStoragePools.

The storagePools parameter helps restrict storage to the set of pools that match any specified attributes. The additionalStoragePools parameter is used to extend the set of pools that Astra Trident will use for provisioning along with the set of pools selected by the attributes and storagePools parameters. You can use either parameter alone or both together to make sure that the appropriate set of storage pools are selected.

The excludeStoragePools parameter is used to specifically exclude the listed set of pools that match the attributes.

Emulate QoS policies

If you would like to design Storage Classes to emulate Quality of Service policies, create a Storage Class with the media attribute as hdd or ssd. Based on the media attribute mentioned in the storage class, Trident will select the appropriate backend that serves hdd or ssd aggregates to match the media attribute and then direct the provisioning of the volumes on to the specific aggregate. Therefore we can create a storage class PREMIUM which would have media attribute set as ssd which could be classified as the PREMIUM QoS policy. We can create another storage class STANDARD which would have the media attribute set as `hdd' which could be classified as the STANDARD QoS policy. We could also use the ``IOPS'' attribute in the storage class to redirect provisioning to an Element appliance which can be defined as a QoS Policy.

Utilize backend based on specific features

Storage classes can be designed to direct volume provisioning on a specific backend where features such as thin and thick provisioning, snapshots, clones, and encryption are enabled. To specify which storage to use, create Storage Classes that specify the appropriate backend with the required feature enabled.

Virtual pools

Virtual pools are available for all Astra Trident backends. You can define virtual pools for any backend, using any driver that Astra Trident provides.

Virtual pools allow an administrator to create a level of abstraction over backends which can be referenced through Storage Classes, for greater flexibility and efficient placement of volumes on backends. Different backends can be defined with the same class of service. Moreover, multiple storage pools can be created on the same backend but with different characteristics. When a Storage Class is configured with a selector with the specific labels, Astra Trident chooses a backend which matches all the selector labels to place the volume. If the Storage Class selector labels matches multiple storage pools, Astra Trident will choose one of them to provision the volume from.

Virtual pool design

While creating a backend, you can generally specify a set of parameters. It was impossible for the administrator to create another backend with the same storage credentials and with a different set of parameters. With the introduction of virtual pools, this issue has been alleviated. Virtual pools is a level abstraction introduced between the backend and the Kubernetes Storage Class so that the administrator can define parameters along with labels which can be referenced through Kubernetes Storage Classes as a selector, in a backend-agnostic way. Virtual pools can be defined for all supported NetApp backends with Astra Trident. That list includes SolidFire/NetApp HCI, ONTAP, Cloud Volumes Service on GCP, as well as Azure NetApp Files.

Note When defining virtual pools, it is recommended to not attempt to rearrange the order of existing virtual pools in a backend definition. It is also advisable to not edit/modify attributes for an existing virtual pool and define a new virtual pool instead.

Emulating different service levels/QoS

It is possible to design virtual pools for emulating service classes. Using the virtual pool implementation for Cloud Volume Service for Azure NetApp Files, let us examine how we can setup up different service classes. Configure the Azure NetApp Files backend with multiple labels, representing different performance levels. Set servicelevel aspect to the appropriate performance level and add other required aspects under each labels. Now create different Kubernetes Storage Classes that would map to different virtual pools. Using the parameters.selector field, each StorageClass calls out which virtual pools may be used to host a volume.

Assigning specific set of aspects

Multiple virtual pools with a specific set of aspects can be designed from a single storage backend. For doing so, configure the backend with multiple labels and set the required aspects under each label. Now create different Kubernetes Storage Classes using the parameters.selector field that would map to different virtual pools. The volumes that get provisioned on the backend will have the aspects defined in the chosen virtual pool.

PVC characteristics which affect storage provisioning

Some parameters beyond the requested storage class may affect the Astra Trident provisioning decision process when creating a PVC.

Access mode

When requesting storage via a PVC, one of the mandatory fields is the access mode. The mode desired may affect the backend selected to host the storage request.

Astra Trident will attempt to match the storage protocol used with the access method specified according to the following matrix. This is independent of the underlying storage platform.

ReadWriteOnce ReadOnlyMany ReadWriteMany




Yes (Raw block)





A request for a ReadWriteMany PVC submitted to a Trident deployment without an NFS backend configured will result in no volume being provisioned. For this reason, the requestor should use the access mode which is appropriate for their application.

Volume operations

Modify persistent volumes

Persistent volumes are, with two exceptions, immutable objects in Kubernetes. Once created, the reclaim policy and the size can be modified. However, this doesn't prevent some aspects of the volume from being modified outside of Kubernetes. This may be desirable in order to customize the volume for specific applications, to ensure that capacity is not accidentally consumed, or simply to move the volume to a different storage controller for any reason.

Note Kubernetes in-tree provisioners do not support volume resize operations for NFS or iSCSI PVs at this time. Astra Trident supports expanding both NFS and iSCSI volumes.

The connection details of the PV cannot be modified after creation.

Create on-demand volume snapshots

Astra Trident supports on-demand volume snapshot creation and the creation of PVCs from snapshots using the CSI framework. Snapshots provide a convenient method of maintaining point-in-time copies of the data and have a lifecycle independent of the source PV in Kubernetes. These snapshots can be used to clone PVCs.

Create volumes from snapshots

Astra Trident also supports the creation of PersistentVolumes from volume snapshots. To accomplish this, just create a PersistentVolumeClaim and mention the datasource as the required snapshot from which the volume needs to be created. Astra Trident will handle this PVC by creating a volume with the data present on the snapshot. With this feature, it is possible to duplicate data across regions, create test environments, replace a damaged or corrupted production volume in its entirety, or retrieve specific files and directories and transfer them to another attached volume.

Move volumes in the cluster

Storage administrators have the ability to move volumes between aggregates and controllers in the ONTAP cluster non-disruptively to the storage consumer. This operation does not affect Astra Trident or the Kubernetes cluster, as long as the destination aggregate is one which the SVM that Astra Trident is using has access to. Importantly, if the aggregate has been newly added to the SVM, the backend will need to be refreshed by re-adding it to Astra Trident. This will trigger Astra Trident to reinventory the SVM so that the new aggregate is recognized.

However, moving volumes across backends is not supported automatically by Astra Trident. This includes between SVMs in the same cluster, between clusters, or onto a different storage platform (even if that storage system is one which is connected to Astra Trident).

If a volume is copied to another location, the volume import feature may be used to import current volumes into Astra Trident.

Expand volumes

Astra Trident supports resizing NFS and iSCSI PVs. This enables users to resize their volumes directly through the Kubernetes layer. Volume expansion is possible for all major NetApp storage platforms, including ONTAP, SolidFire/NetApp HCI and Cloud Volumes Service backends. To allow possible expansion later, set allowVolumeExpansion to true in your StorageClass associated with the volume. Whenever the Persistent Volume needs to be resized, edit the annotation in the Persistent Volume Claim to the required volume size. Trident will automatically take care of resizing the volume on the storage cluster.

Import an existing volume into Kubernetes

Volume import provides the ability to import an existing storage volume into a Kubernetes environment. This is currently supported by the ontap-nas, ontap-nas-flexgroup, solidfire-san, azure-netapp-files, and gcp-cvs drivers. This feature is useful when porting an existing application into Kubernetes or during disaster recovery scenarios.

When using the ONTAP and solidfire-san drivers, use the command tridentctl import volume <backend-name> <volume-name> -f /path/pvc.yaml to import an existing volume into Kubernetes to be managed by Astra Trident. The PVC YAML or JSON file used in the import volume command points to a storage class which identifies Astra Trident as the provisioner. When using a NetApp HCI/SolidFire backend, ensure the volume names are unique. If the volume names are duplicated, clone the volume to a unique name so the volume import feature can distinguish between them.

If the azure-netapp-files or gcp-cvs driver is used, use the command tridentctl import volume <backend-name> <volume path> -f /path/pvc.yaml to import the volume into Kubernetes to be managed by Astra Trident. This ensures a unique volume reference.

When the above command is executed, Astra Trident will find the volume on the backend and read its size. It will automatically add (and overwrite if necessary) the configured PVC's volume size. Astra Trident then creates the new PV and Kubernetes binds the PVC to the PV.

If a container was deployed such that it required the specific imported PVC, it would remain in a pending state until the PVC/PV pair are bound via the volume import process. After the PVC/PV pair are bound, the container should come up, provided there are no other issues.

Deploy OpenShift services

The OpenShift value-add cluster services provide important functionality to cluster administrators and the applications being hosted. The storage which these services use can be provisioned using the node-local resources, however, this often limits the capacity, performance, recoverability, and sustainability of the service. Leveraging an enterprise storage array to provide the capacity to these services can enable dramatically improved service, however, as with all applications, the OpenShift and storage administrators should work closely together to determine the best options for each. The Red Hat documentation should be leveraged heavily to determine the requirements and ensure that sizing and performance needs are met.

Registry service

Deploying and managing storage for the registry has been documented on in the blog.

Logging service

Like other OpenShift services, the logging service is deployed using Ansible with configuration parameters supplied by the inventory file, a.k.a. hosts, provided to the playbook. There are two installation methods which will be covered: deploying logging during initial OpenShift install and deploying logging after OpenShift has been

Caution As of Red Hat OpenShift version 3.9, the official documentation recommends against NFS for the logging service due to concerns around data corruption. This is based on Red Hat testing of their products. The ONTAP NFS server does not have these issues, and can easily back a logging deployment. Ultimately, the choice of protocol for the logging service is up to you, just know that both will work great when using NetApp platforms and there is no reason to avoid NFS if that is your preference.

If you choose to use NFS with the logging service, you will need to set the Ansible variable openshift_enable_unsupported_configurations to true to prevent the installer from failing.

Get started

The logging service can, optionally, be deployed for both applications as well as for the core operations of the OpenShift cluster itself. If you choose to deploy operations logging, by specifying the variable openshift_logging_use_ops as true, two instances of the service will be created. The variables which control the logging instance for operations contain "ops" in them, whereas the instance for applications does not.

Configuring the Ansible variables according to the deployment method is important to ensure that the correct storage is utilized by the underlying services. Let's look at the options for each of the deployment methods.

Note The tables below contain only the variables relevant for storage configuration as it relates to the logging service. You can find other options in RedHat OpenShift logging documentation which should be reviewed, configured, and used according to your deployment.

The variables in the below table will result in the Ansible playbook creating a PV and PVC for the logging service using the details provided. This method is significantly less flexible than using the component installation playbook after OpenShift installation, however, if you have existing volumes available, it is an option.

Variable Details


Set to nfs to have the installer create an NFS PV for the logging service.


The hostname or IP address of the NFS host. This should be set to the data LIF for your virtual machine.


The mount path for the NFS export. For example, if the volume is junctioned as /openshift_logging, you would use that path for this variable.


The name, e.g. pv_ose_logs, of the PV to create.


The size of the NFS export, for example 100Gi.

If your OpenShift cluster is already running, and therefore Trident has been deployed and configured, the installer can use dynamic provisioning to create the volumes. The following variables will need to be configured.

Variable Details


Set to true to use dynamically provisioned volumes.


The name of the storage class which will be used in the PVC.


The size of the volume requested in the PVC.


A prefix for the PVCs used by the logging service.


Set to true to use dynamically provisioned volumes for the ops logging instance.


The name of the storage class for the ops logging instance.


The size of the volume request for the ops instance.


A prefix for the ops instance PVCs.

Deploy the logging stack

If you are deploying logging as a part of the initial OpenShift install process, then you only need to follow the standard deployment process. Ansible will configure and deploy the needed services and OpenShift objects so that the service is available as soon as Ansible completes.

However, if you are deploying after the initial installation, the component playbook will need to be used by Ansible. This process may change slightly with different versions of OpenShift, so be sure to read and follow RedHat OpenShift Container Platform 3.11 documentation for your version.

Metrics service

The metrics service provides valuable information to the administrator regarding the status, resource utilization, and availability of the OpenShift cluster. It is also necessary for pod auto-scale functionality and many organizations use data from the metrics service for their charge back and/or show back applications.

Like with the logging service, and OpenShift as a whole, Ansible is used to deploy the metrics service. Also, like the logging service, the metrics service can be deployed during an initial setup of the cluster or after its operational using the component installation method. The following tables contain the variables which are important when configuring persistent storage for the metrics service.

Note The tables below only contain the variables which are relevant for storage configuration as it relates to the metrics service. There are many other options found in the documentation which should be reviewed, configured, and used according to your deployment.
Variable Details


Set to nfs to have the installer create an NFS PV for the logging service.


The hostname or IP address of the NFS host. This should be set to the data LIF for your SVM.


The mount path for the NFS export. For example, if the volume is junctioned as /openshift_metrics, you would use that path for this variable.


The name,
e.g. pv_ose_metrics, of the PV to create.


The size of the NFS export, for example 100Gi.

If your OpenShift cluster is already running, and therefore Trident has been deployed and configured, the installer can use dynamic provisioning to create the volumes. The following variables will need to be configured.

Variable Details


A prefix to use for the metrics PVCs.


The size of the volumes to request.


The type of storage to use for metrics, this must be set to dynamic for Ansible to create PVCs with the appropriate storage class.


The name of the storage class to use.

Deploy the metrics service

With the appropriate Ansible variables defined in your hosts/inventory file, deploy the service using Ansible. If you are deploying at OpenShift install time, then the PV will be created and used automatically. If you're deploying using the component playbooks, after OpenShift install, then Ansible will create any PVCs which are needed and, after Astra Trident has provisioned storage for them, deploy the service.

The variables above, and the process for deploying, may change with each version of OpenShift. Ensure you review and follow RedHat's OpenShift deployment guide for your version so that it is configured for your environment.