We have just recently released CSM 1.2 and today we are releasing version 1.3, the new release provides new storage features for Kubernetes and extends existing feature to additional storage products across the portfolio.

For those who are not familiar with CSM – Container Storage Modules build on top of the Container Storage Interface (CSI) foundation to deliver robust and powerful enterprise storage capabilities for Kubernetes clusters. CSMs are software modules for storage management that go beyond CSI functionality. The objective of these modules is to expose enterprise storage features to Kubernetes users. CSM aims at improving the monitoring, observability, usability, resiliency, and data mobility for stateful applications with Dell Technologies Storage portfolio. CSM, with the CSI plugins and the pioneering app-aware, app-consistent backup and recovery solutions, form the most comprehensive enterprise grade storage and data protection solutions for Kubernetes from Dell Technologies.

Container Storage Modules v1.3 offers the following new highlights:

  • CSM Replication Module deployment via CSM Operator

    The Dell CSM Operator is a Kubernetes Operator, which can be used to install and manage the CSI Drivers and CSM Modules provided by Dell for various storage platforms. This operator is available as a community operator for upstream Kubernetes and can be deployed using OperatorHub.io. The operator can be installed using OLM (Operator Lifecycle Manager) or manually.

  • CSM Authorization Module deployment via Helm

    CSM Authorization can be installed by using the provided Helm v3 charts on Kubernetes platforms.

    The following CSM Authorization components are installed in the specified namespace:

    • proxy-service, which forwards requests from the CSI Driver to the backend storage array
    • tenant-service, which configures tenants, role bindings, and generates JSON Web Tokens
    • role-service, which configures roles for tenants to be bound to
    • storage-service, which configures backend storage arrays for the proxy-server to forward requests to

    The folloiwng third-party components are installed in the specified namespace:

    • redis, which stores data regarding tenants and their volume ownership, quota, and revocation status
    • redis-commander, a web management tool for Redis

    The following third-party components are optionally installed in the specified namespace:

    • cert-manager, which optionally provides a self-signed certificate to configure the CSM Authorization Ingresses
    • nginx-ingress-controller, which fulfills the CSM Authorization Ingresses
  • PowerScale:
    • New Resiliency Module support

      CSM for Resiliency is designed to make Kubernetes Applications, including those that utilize persistent storage, more resilient to various failures. The first component of the Resiliency module is a pod monitor that is specifically designed to protect stateful applications from various failures. It is not a standalone application, but rather is deployed as a sidecar to CSI (Container Storage Interface) drivers, in both the driver’s controller pods and the driver’s node pods. Deploying CSM for Resiliency as a sidecar allows it to make direct requests to the driver through the Unix domain socket that Kubernetes sidecars use to make CSI requests.

      PowerScale is a highly scalable NFS array that is very well suited to Kubernetes deployments. The CSM for Resiliency support for PowerScale leverages the following PowerScale features:

      • Detection of Array I/O Network Connectivity status changes.
      • A robust mechanism to detect if Nodes are actively doing I/O to volumes.
      • Low latency REST API supports fast CSI provisioning and de-provisioning operations.
    • Volume path restrictions made configurable by customers

      Starting from CSI PowerScale driver version 2.2, it is allowed to create PersistentVolumeClaim from VolumeSnapshot with different isi paths i.e., isi paths of the new volume and the VolumeSnapshot can be different.

    • New Replication Module support
      • CSM for Replication is the module that allows provisioning of replicated volumes using Dell storage. In this release we’ve added support for PowerScale using SyncIQ
      • This feature allows administrators to replicate groups of volumes using OneFS SyncIQ and provides an option to restart applications in case of planned and unplanned migrations

You can see how it all works, below

  • PowerStore:
    • New NVMeoF – FC Support

      NVMeFC Support CSI Driver for Dell Powerstore 2.3.0 and above supports NVMe/FC provisioning. To enable NVMe/FC provisioning, blockProtocol on secret should be specified as NVMeFC.

      NVMe/FC is supported with Powerstore 3.0 and above.

      NVMe-FC feature is supported with Helm.

      Note: In case blockProtocol is specified as auto, the driver will be able to find the initiators on the host and choose the protocol accordingly. If the host has multiple protocols enabled, then NVMeFC gets the highest priority followed by NVMeTCP, followed by FC and then iSCSI.

    • Volume Group Snapshots

      CSI Driver for Dell Powerstore 2.3.0 and above supports creating volume groups and take snapshot of them by making use of CRD (Custom Resource Definition).

      You can see a demo of the Volume Group Snapshots, below

Configurable Volume Attributes

The CSI PowerStore driver version 2.3.0 and above supports Configurable volume attributes.

PowerStore array provides a set of optional volume creation attributes. These attributes can be configured for the volume (block and NFS) at the time of creation through PowerStore CSI driver. These attributes can be specified as labels in PVC yaml file. The following is a sample manifest for creating volume with some of the configurable volume attributes.

See a demo, below

Standalone HELM support

In the my-powermax-settings.yaml file, the csireverseproxy section can be used to deploy and configure the CSI PowerMax Reverse Proxy.

The new Helm chart is configured as a sub chart for the CSI PowerMax helm chart. If it is enabled (using the enabled parameter in the csireverseproxy section of the my-powermax-settings.yaml file), the install script automatically installs the CSI PowerMax Reverse Proxy and configures the CSI PowerMax driver to use this service.

New FSGroupPolicy support

CSI Drivers can indicate whether or not they support modifying a volume’s ownership or permissions when the volume is being mounted. This can be useful if the CSI Driver does not support the operation, or wishes to re-use volumes with constantly changing permissions.

Volume to Namespace mapping

Volume Replication Type upgrade/downgrade

Enhanced Topology control

Starting from version 2.3.0, topology keys have been enhanced to filter out arrays, associated transport protocol available to each node and create topology keys based on any such user input.

To use the enhanced topology keys:

  1. Set node.topologyControl.enabled to true.
  2. Edit the config file topologyConfig.yaml in csi-powermax/samples/configmap folder and provide values for the following parameters.



allowedConnections List of node, array and protocol info for user allowed configuration
allowedConnections.nodeName Name of the node on which user wants to apply given rules
allowedConnections.rules List of StorageArrayID:TransportProtocol pair
deniedConnections List of node, array and protocol info for user denied configuration
deniedConnections.nodeName Name of the node on which user wants to apply given rules
deniedConnections.rules List of StorageArrayID:TransportProtocol pair

  • PowerFlex
    • New FSGroupPolicy support

      CSI Drivers can indicate whether or not they support modifying a volume’s ownership or permissions when the volume is being mounted. This can be useful if the CSI Driver does not support the operation, or wishes to re-use volumes with constantly changing permissions.

    • Certification of Kubernetes 1.24
    • Qualification of OpenShift 4.10

Documentation & Training

Container Storage Modules v1.3 downloads and documentation are available on:

Main CSM GitHub landing page – https://github.com/dell/csm

Training Link: https://learningstudio.dell.com/channel/container-storage-modules

A post by Tomer Eitan

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