Kubernetes and Trident objects

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You can interact with Kubernetes and Trident using REST APIs by reading and writing resource objects. There are several resource objects that dictate the relationship between Kubernetes and Trident, Trident and storage, and Kubernetes and storage. Some of these objects are managed through Kubernetes and the others are managed through Trident.

How do the objects interact with one another?

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the objects, what they are for, and how they interact, is to follow a single request for storage from a Kubernetes user:

  1. A user creates a PersistentVolumeClaim requesting a new PersistentVolume of a particular size from a Kubernetes StorageClass that was previously configured by the administrator.

  2. The Kubernetes StorageClass identifies Trident as its provisioner and includes parameters that tell Trident how to provision a volume for the requested class.

  3. Trident looks at its own StorageClass with the same name that identifies the matching Backends and StoragePools that it can use to provision volumes for the class.

  4. Trident provisions storage on a matching backend and creates two objects: a PersistentVolume in Kubernetes that tells Kubernetes how to find, mount, and treat the volume, and a volume in Trident that retains the relationship between the PersistentVolume and the actual storage.

  5. Kubernetes binds the PersistentVolumeClaim to the new PersistentVolume. Pods that include the PersistentVolumeClaim mount that PersistentVolume on any host that it runs on.

  6. A user creates a VolumeSnapshot of an existing PVC, using a VolumeSnapshotClass that points to Trident.

  7. Trident identifies the volume that is associated with the PVC and creates a snapshot of the volume on its backend. It also creates a VolumeSnapshotContent that instructs Kubernetes on how to identify the snapshot.

  8. A user can create a PersistentVolumeClaim using VolumeSnapshot as the source.

  9. Trident identifies the required snapshot and performs the same set of steps involved in creating a PersistentVolume and a Volume.

Tip For further reading about Kubernetes objects, we highly recommend that you read the Persistent Volumes section of the Kubernetes documentation.

Kubernetes PersistentVolumeClaim objects

A Kubernetes PersistentVolumeClaim object is a request for storage made by a Kubernetes cluster user.

In addition to the standard specification, Trident allows users to specify the following volume-specific annotations if they want to override the defaults that you set in the backend configuration:

Annotation Volume Option Supported Drivers

trident.netapp.io/fileSystem

fileSystem

ontap-san, solidfire-san,
eseries-iscsi, ontap-san-economy

trident.netapp.io/cloneFromPVC

cloneSourceVolume

ontap-nas,
ontap-san, solidfire-san, aws-cvs, azure-netapp-files, gcp-cvs,
ontap-san-economy

trident.netapp.io/splitOnClone

splitOnClone

ontap-nas, ontap-san

trident.netapp.io/protocol

protocol

any

trident.netapp.io/exportPolicy

exportPolicy

ontap-nas,
ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup

trident.netapp.io/snapshotPolicy

snapshotPolicy

ontap-nas,
ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup, ontap-san

trident.netapp.io/snapshotReserve

snapshotReserve

ontap-nas,
ontap-nas-flexgroup, ontap-san, aws-cvs, gcp-cvs

trident.netapp.io/snapshotDirectory

snapshotDirectory

ontap-nas,
ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup

trident.netapp.io/unixPermissions

unixPermissions

ontap-nas,
ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup

trident.netapp.io/blockSize

blockSize

solidfire-san

If the created PV has the Delete reclaim policy, Trident deletes both the PV and the backing volume when the PV becomes released (that is, when the user deletes the PVC). Should the delete action fail, Trident marks the PV as such and periodically retries the operation until it succeeds or the PV is manually deleted. If the PV uses the Retain policy, Trident ignores it and assumes the administrator will clean it up from Kubernetes and the backend, allowing the volume to be backed up or inspected before its removal. Note that deleting the PV does not cause Trident to delete the backing volume. You should remove it using the REST API (tridentctl).

Trident supports the creation of Volume Snapshots using the CSI specification: you can create a Volume Snapshot and use it as a Data Source to clone existing PVCs. This way, point-in-time copies of PVs can be exposed to Kubernetes in the form of snapshots. The snapshots can then be used to create new PVs. Take a look at On-Demand Volume Snapshots to see how this would work.

Trident also provides the cloneFromPVC and splitOnClone annotations for creating clones. You can use these annotations to clone a PVC without having to use the CSI implementation (on Kubernetes 1.13 and earlier) or if your Kubernetes release does not support beta Volume Snapshots (Kubernetes 1.16 and earlier). Keep in mind that Trident 19.10 supports the CSI workflow for cloning from a PVC.

Note You can use the cloneFromPVC and splitOnClone annotations with CSI Trident as well as the traditional non-CSI frontend.

Here is an example: If a user already has a PVC called mysql, the user can create a new PVC called mysqlclone by using the annotation, such as trident.netapp.io/cloneFromPVC: mysql. With this annotation set, Trident clones the volume corresponding to the mysql PVC, instead of provisioning a volume from scratch.

Consider the following points:

  • We recommend cloning an idle volume.

  • A PVC and its clone should be in the same Kubernetes namespace and have the same storage class.

  • With the ontap-nas and ontap-san drivers, it might be desirable to set the PVC annotation trident.netapp.io/splitOnClone in conjunction with trident.netapp.io/cloneFromPVC. With trident.netapp.io/splitOnClone set to true, Trident splits the cloned volume from the parent volume and thus, completely decoupling the life cycle of the cloned volume from its parent at the expense of losing some storage efficiency. Not setting trident.netapp.io/splitOnClone or setting it to false results in reduced space consumption on the backend at the expense of creating dependencies between the parent and clone volumes such that the parent volume cannot be deleted unless the clone is deleted first. A scenario where splitting the clone makes sense is cloning an empty database volume where it’s expected for the volume and its clone to greatly diverge and not benefit from storage efficiencies offered by ONTAP.

The sample-input directory contains examples of PVC definitions for use with Trident. See Trident Volume objects for a full description of the parameters and settings associated with Trident volumes.

Kubernetes PersistentVolume objects

A Kubernetes PersistentVolume object represents a piece of storage that is made available to the Kubernetes cluster. It has a lifecycle that is independent of the pod that uses it.

Note Trident creates PersistentVolume objects and registers them with the Kubernetes cluster automatically based on the volumes that it provisions. You are not expected to manage them yourself.

When you create a PVC that refers to a Trident-based StorageClass, Trident provisions a new volume using the corresponding storage class and registers a new PV for that volume. In configuring the provisioned volume and corresponding PV, Trident follows the following rules:

  • Trident generates a PV name for Kubernetes and an internal name that it uses to provision the storage. In both cases, it is assuring that the names are unique in their scope.

  • The size of the volume matches the requested size in the PVC as closely as possible, though it might be rounded up to the nearest allocatable quantity, depending on the platform.

Kubernetes StorageClass objects

Kubernetes StorageClass objects are specified by name in PersistentVolumeClaims to provision storage with a set of properties. The storage class itself identifies the provisioner to be used and defines that set of properties in terms the provisioner understands.

It is one of two basic objects that need to be created and managed by the administrator. The other is the Trident backend object.

A Kubernetes StorageClass object that uses Trident looks like this:

apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: StorageClass
metadata:
  name: <Name>
provisioner: csi.trident.netapp.io
mountOptions: <Mount Options>
parameters:
  <Trident Parameters>

These parameters are Trident-specific and tell Trident how to provision volumes for the class.

The storage class parameters are:

Attribute Type Required Description

attributes

map[string]string

no

See the attributes section below

storagePools

map[string]StringList

no

Map of backend names to lists
of storage pools within

additionalStoragePools

map[string]StringList

no

Map of backend names
to lists of storage pools within

excludeStoragePools

map[string]StringList

no

Map of backend names to
lists of storage pools within

Storage attributes and their possible values can be classified into storage pool selection attributes and Kubernetes attributes.

Storage pool selection attributes

These parameters determine which Trident-managed storage pools should be utilized to provision volumes of a given type.

Attribute Type Values Offer Request Supported by

media1

string

hdd, hybrid, ssd

Pool contains media of this type; hybrid means both

Media type specified

ontap-nas, ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup, ontap-san, solidfire-san

provisioningType

string

thin, thick

Pool supports this provisioning method

Provisioning method specified

thick: all ontap & eseries-iscsi; thin: all ontap & solidfire-san

backendType

string

ontap-nas, ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroup, ontap-san, solidfire-san, eseries-iscsi, aws-cvs, gcp-cvs, azure-netapp-files, ontap-san-economy

Pool belongs to this type of backend

Backend specified

All drivers

snapshots

bool

true, false

Pool supports volumes with snapshots

Volume with snapshots enabled

ontap-nas, ontap-san, solidfire-san, aws-cvs, gcp-cvs

clones

bool

true, false

Pool supports cloning volumes

Volume with clones enabled

ontap-nas, ontap-san, solidfire-san, aws-cvs, gcp-cvs

encryption

bool

true, false

Pool supports encrypted volumes

Volume with encryption enabled

ontap-nas, ontap-nas-economy, ontap-nas-flexgroups, ontap-san

IOPS

int

positive integer

Pool is capable of guaranteeing IOPS in this range

Volume guaranteed these IOPS

solidfire-san

1: Not supported by ONTAP Select systems

In most cases, the values requested directly influence provisioning; for instance, requesting thick provisioning results in a thickly provisioned volume. However, an Element storage pool uses its offered IOPS minimum and maximum to set QoS values, rather than the requested value. In this case, the requested value is used only to select the storage pool.

Ideally, you can use attributes alone to model the qualities of the storage you need to satisfy the needs of a particular class. Trident automatically discovers and selects storage pools that match all of the attributes that you specify.

If you find yourself unable to use attributes to automatically select the right pools for a class, you can use the storagePools and additionalStoragePools parameters to further refine the pools or even to select a specific set of pools.

You can use the storagePools parameter to further restrict the set of pools that match any specified attributes. In other words, Trident uses the intersection of pools identified by the attributes and storagePools parameters for provisioning. You can use either parameter alone or both together.

You can use the additionalStoragePools parameter to extend the set of pools that Trident uses for provisioning, regardless of any pools selected by the attributes and storagePools parameters.

You can use the excludeStoragePools parameter to filter the set of pools that Trident uses for provisioning. Using this parameter removes any pools that match.

In the storagePools and additionalStoragePools parameters, each entry takes the form <backend>:<storagePoolList>, where <storagePoolList> is a comma-separated list of storage pools for the specified backend. For example, a value for additionalStoragePools might look like ontapnas_192.168.1.100:aggr1,aggr2;solidfire_192.168.1.101:bronze.
These lists accept regex values for both the backend and list values. You can use tridentctl get backend to get the list of backends and their pools.

Kubernetes attributes

These attributes have no impact on the selection of storage pools/backends by Trident during dynamic provisioning. Instead, these attributes simply supply parameters supported by Kubernetes Persistent Volumes. Worker nodes are responsible for filesystem create operations and might require filesystem utilities, such as xfsprogs.

Attribute Type Values Description Relevant Drivers Kubernetes
Version

fsType

string

ext4, ext3, xfs, etc.

The file system type for block
volumes

solidfire-san, ontap-san, ontap-san-economy, eseries-iscsi

All

The Trident installer bundle provides several example storage class definitions for use with Trident in sample-input/storage-class-*.yaml. Deleting a Kubernetes storage class causes the corresponding Trident storage class to be deleted as well.

Kubernetes VolumeSnapshotClass objects

Kubernetes VolumeSnapshotClass objects are analogous to StorageClasses. They help define multiple classes of storage and are referenced by volume snapshots to associate the snapshot with the required snapshot class. Each volume snapshot is associated with a single volume snapshot class.

A VolumeSnapshotClass should be defined by an administrator in order to create snapshots. A volume snapshot class is created with the following definition:

apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: VolumeSnapshotClass
metadata:
  name: csi-snapclass
driver: csi.trident.netapp.io
deletionPolicy: Delete

The driver specifies to Kubernetes that requests for volume snapshots of the csi-snapclass class are handled by Trident. The deletionPolicy specifies the action to be taken when a snapshot must be deleted. When deletionPolicy is set to Delete, the volume snapshot objects as well as the underlying snapshot on the storage cluster are removed when a snapshot is deleted. Alternatively, setting it to Retain means that VolumeSnapshotContent and the physical snapshot are retained.

Kubernetes VolumeSnapshot objects

A Kubernetes VolumeSnapshot object is a request to create a snapshot of a volume. Just as a PVC represents a request made by a user for a volume, a volume snapshot is a request made by a user to create a snapshot of an existing PVC.

When a volume snapshot request comes in, Trident automatically manages the creation of the snapshot for the volume on the backend and exposes the snapshot by creating a unique
VolumeSnapshotContent object. You can create snapshots from existing PVCs and use the snapshots as a DataSource when creating new PVCs.

Note The lifecyle of a VolumeSnapshot is independent of the source PVC: a snapshot persists even after the source PVC is deleted. When deleting a PVC which has associated snapshots, Trident marks the backing volume for this PVC in a Deleting state, but does not remove it completely. The volume is removed when all the associated snapshots are deleted.

Kubernetes VolumeSnapshotContent objects

A Kubernetes VolumeSnapshotContent object represents a snapshot taken from an already provisioned volume. It is analogous to a PersistentVolume and signifies a provisioned snapshot on the storage cluster. Similar to PersistentVolumeClaim and PersistentVolume objects, when a snapshot is created, the VolumeSnapshotContent object maintains a one-to-one mapping to the VolumeSnapshot object, which had requested the snapshot creation.

Note Trident creates VolumeSnapshotContent objects and registers them with the Kubernetes cluster automatically based on the volumes that it provisions. You are not expected to manage them yourself.

The VolumeSnapshotContent object contains details that uniquely identify the snapshot, such as the snapshotHandle. This snapshotHandle is a unique combination of the name of the PV and the name of the VolumeSnapshotContent object.

When a snapshot request comes in, Trident creates the snapshot on the backend. After the snapshot is created, Trident configures a VolumeSnapshotContent object and thus exposes the snapshot to the Kubernetes API.

Kubernetes CustomResourceDefinition objects

Kubernetes Custom Resources are endpoints in the Kubernetes API that are defined by the administrator and are used to group similar objects. Kubernetes supports the creation of custom resources for storing a collection of objects. You can obtain these resource definitions by running kubectl get crds.

Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) and their associated object metadata are stored by Kubernetes in its metadata store. This eliminates the need for a separate store for Trident.

Beginning with the 19.07 release, Trident uses a number of CustomResourceDefinition objects to preserve the identity of Trident objects, such as Trident backends, Trident storage classes, and Trident volumes. These objects are managed by Trident. In addition, the CSI volume snapshot framework introduces some CRDs that are required to define volume snapshots.

CRDs are a Kubernetes construct. Objects of the resources defined above are created by Trident. As a simple example, when a backend is created using tridentctl, a corresponding tridentbackends CRD object is created for consumption by Kubernetes.

Here are a few points to keep in mind about Trident’s CRDs:

  • When Trident is installed, a set of CRDs are created and can be used like any other resource type.

  • When upgrading from a previous version of Trident (one that used etcd to maintain state), the Trident installer migrates data from the etcd key-value data store and creates corresponding CRD objects.

  • When uninstalling Trident by using the tridentctl uninstall command, Trident pods are deleted but the created CRDs are not cleaned up. See Uninstall Trident to understand how Trident can be completely removed and reconfigured from scratch.

Trident StorageClass objects

Trident creates matching storage classes for Kubernetes StorageClass objects that specify csi.trident.netapp.io/netapp.io/trident in their provisioner field. The storage class name matches that of the Kubernetes StorageClass object it represents.

Note With Kubernetes, these objects are created automatically when a Kubernetes StorageClass that uses Trident as a provisioner is registered.

Storage classes comprise a set of requirements for volumes. Trident matches these requirements with the attributes present in each storage pool; if they match, that storage pool is a valid target for provisioning volumes using that storage class.

You can create storage class configurations to directly define storage classes by using the REST API. However, for Kubernetes deployments, we expect them to be created when registering new Kubernetes StorageClass objects.

Trident backend objects

Backends represent the storage providers on top of which Trident provisions volumes; a single Trident instance can manage any number of backends.

Note This is one of the two object types that you create and manage yourself. The other is the Kubernetes StorageClass object.

For more information about how to construct these objects, see Backend configuration.

Trident StoragePool objects

Storage pools represent the distinct locations available for provisioning on each backend. For ONTAP, these correspond to aggregates in SVMs. For NetApp HCI/SolidFire, these correspond to administrator-specified QoS bands. For Cloud Volumes Service, these correspond to cloud provider regions. Each storage pool has a set of distinct storage attributes, which define its performance characteristics and data protection characteristics.

Unlike the other objects here, storage pool candidates are always discovered and managed automatically.

Trident Volume objects

Volumes are the basic unit of provisioning, comprising backend endpoints, such as NFS shares and iSCSI LUNs. In Kubernetes, these correspond directly to PersistentVolumes. When you create a volume, ensure that it has a storage class, which determines where that volume can be provisioned, along with a size.

Note In Kubernetes, these objects are managed automatically. You can view them to see what Trident provisioned.
Tip When deleting a PV with associated snapshots, the corresponding Trident volume is updated to a Deleting state. For the Trident volume to be deleted, you should remove the snapshots of the volume.

A volume configuration defines the properties that a provisioned volume should have.

Attribute Type Required Description

version

string

no

Version of the Trident API ("1")

name

string

yes

Name of volume to create

storageClass

string

yes

Storage class to use when provisioning the volume

size

string

yes

Size of the volume to provision in bytes

protocol

string

no

Protocol type to use; "file" or "block"

internalName

string

no

Name of the object on the storage system; generated by Trident

cloneSourceVolume

string

no

ontap (nas, san) & solidfire-* & aws-cvs*: Name of the volume to clone from

splitOnClone

string

no

ontap (nas, san): Split the clone from its parent

snapshotPolicy

string

no

ontap-*: Snapshot policy to use

snapshotReserve

string

no

ontap-*: Percentage of volume reserved for snapshots

exportPolicy

string

no

ontap-nas*: Export policy to use

snapshotDirectory

bool

no

ontap-nas*: Whether the snapshot directory is visible

unixPermissions

string

no

ontap-nas*: Initial UNIX permissions

blockSize

string

no

solidfire-*: Block/sector size

fileSystem

string

no

File system type

Trident generates internalName when creating the volume. This consists of two steps. First, it prepends the storage prefix (either the default trident or the prefix in the backend configuration) to the volume name, resulting in a name of the form <prefix>-<volume-name>. It then proceeds to sanitize the name, replacing characters not permitted in the backend. For ONTAP backends, it replaces hyphens with underscores (thus, the internal name becomes <prefix>_<volume-name>). For Element backends, it replaces underscores with hyphens. For E-Series, which imposes a 30-character limit on all object names, Trident generates random string for the internal name of each volume. For CVS (AWS), which imposes a 16-to-36-character limit on the unique volume creation token, Trident generates a random string for the internal name of each volume.

You can use volume configurations to directly provision volumes using the REST API, but in Kubernetes deployments we expect most users to use the standard Kubernetes PersistentVolumeClaim method. Trident creates this volume object automatically as part of the provisioning
process.

Trident Snapshot objects

Snapshots are a point-in-time copy of volumes, which can be used to provision new volumes or restore state. In Kubernetes, these correspond directly to VolumeSnapshotContent objects. Each snapshot is associated with a volume, which is the source of the data for the snapshot.

Each Snapshot object includes the properties listed below:

Attribute Type Required Description

version

String

Yes

Version of the Trident API ("1")

name

String

Yes

Name of the Trident snapshot object

internalName

String

Yes

Name of the Trident snapshot object on the storage system

volumeName

String

Yes

Name of the Persistent Volume for which the snapshot is created

volumeInternalName

String

Yes

Name of the associated Trident volume object on the storage system

Note In Kubernetes, these objects are managed automatically. You can view them to see what Trident provisioned.

When a Kubernetes VolumeSnapshot object request is created, Trident works by creating a snapshot object on the backing storage system. The internalName of this snapshot object is generated by combining the prefix snapshot- with the UID of the VolumeSnapshot object (for example, snapshot-e8d8a0ca-9826-11e9-9807-525400f3f660). volumeName and volumeInternalName are populated by getting the details of the backing
volume.