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How to Use NetApp Cloud Manager with Trident for Provisioning Persistent Volumes in Kubernetes Deployments

Kubernetes persistent volumes are used to provide containers with durable storage without application developers needing to concern themselves about the underlying implementation details. This creates a useful abstraction that is able to support an extensible set of different storage provisioners, such as for Amazon EBS and Azure Managed Disks.

But there’s more to it than this. This level of abstraction can also be used to switch out the storage implementation when going from development to production environments, for example.
NetApp Trident is a storage provisioner for Kubernetes that uses Cloud Volumes ONTAP as its back-end storage service, giving Kubernetes pods access to NetApp’s enterprise data platform for the cloud.

In this article, we will demonstrate how Cloud Manager simplifies the use of NetApp Trident with your Kubernetes deployment, and gets you up and running with Cloud Volumes ONTAP in just a few clicks.

Persistent Storage Using Cloud Volumes ONTAP



Cloud Volumes ONTAP is NetApp’s enterprise data management platform for the cloud, and builds on cloud storage services such as Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, Azure Managed Disks, and Azure Blob to give users a complete solution for NFS, SMB, and iSCSI storage in cloud, hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Cloud Volumes ONTAP reduces cloud storage costs through a set of sophisticated storage efficiency features, helps to protect data with snapshots and high availability, and supports many other crucial features for managing data, such as NetApp SnapMirror® for highly-efficient data replication.

Deployments of Kubernetes on AWS, Kubernetes on Azure, or Kubernetes on-prem, can make use of Cloud Volumes ONTAP from directly within a cluster by using the NetApp Trident storage provisioner. This allows storage to be dynamically provisioned in Cloud Volumes ONTAP in response to Kubernetes persistent volume claims. Advanced storage features, such as cloning an existing persistent volume using NetApp FlexClone®, are all available via standard Kubernetes manifests. However, NetApp Trident must first be installed into the cluster, and then configured to use an appropriate deployment of Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Cloud Manager now makes Kubernetes deployment with NetApp Trident very easy to accomplish.

Using Cloud Manager for Kubernetes Deployment with NetApp Trident


Cloud Manager is the central platform from which you can deploy and manage instances of Cloud Volumes ONTAP for both large and small environments. The graphical, web-based user interface makes it easy to setup Cloud Volumes ONTAP storage services and organize them across multiple tenants for better overall manageability. On-premises systems, Azure deployments, and AWS deployments can all be controlled from a single dashboard, and NetApp SnapMirror replication relationships created between them with a simple drag-and-drop.

Prerequisites

Before you can start, you should make sure that you have network access between Cloud Manager, the instances of Cloud Volumes ONTAP to be used, and the actual Kubernetes cluster. Cloud Manager will also require internet access in order to download the latest deployment packages for NetApp Trident.

Deploying Trident

To deploy NetApp Trident, Cloud Manager must be provided with the kubeconfig file for the target Kubernetes cluster, which provides all the necessary details for making a connection and performing cluster operations. After uploading the file, Cloud Manager takes care of the rest of the deployment.

Setting up access to a Kubernetes
Setting up access to a Kubernetes cluster from Cloud Manager.


Associating the Kubernetes Cluster with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Now that we have NetApp Trident installed, our Kubernetes cluster is able to interface with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, however, we still need to associate the cluster with the specific instance of Cloud Volumes ONTAP that it should use. This is achieved by clicking the Kubernetes icon on the details page for that instance, and confirming that we wish to proceed. Cloud Manager will then complete the configuration process and allow us to start provisioning persistent storage for Kubernetes.
Associating a depoyment of Could VOlumes ONTAP
Associating a deployment of Cloud Volumes ONTAP with the Kubernetes cluster

When integrating with NFS Kubernetes deployments, Trident is also able to create the storage class and the NFS mount points. Other benefits include cloning Kubernetes persistent volumes with FlexClone, using storage efficiencies to cut persistent volume footprint and costs, storage tiering to Amazon S3 or Azure Blob, and data protection.

Conclusion

NetApp Trident gives Kubernetes clusters the power to provision persistent storage using Cloud Volumes ONTAP, which is an enterprise-grade solution for dynamically provisioning persistent volumes. Cloud Manager greatly simplifies Kubernetes deployment with NetApp Trident, and the configuration of Cloud Volumes ONTAP, making it much easier to start using NetApp data technology natively from within your Kubernetes cluster.

Find out more about NetApp Trident and Cloud Volumes ONTAP, or start a free trial today in AWS or Azure.
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