Kubernetes Storage

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

[Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Kubernetes, Cloud Manager, Master, 4 minute read, Kubernetes Storage]
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 NetApp 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

Using the Cloud Manager platform, which is available both as a SaaS and as a solution, you can deploy and manage instances of Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Cloud Manager uses a graphical, web-based interface that 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, Google Cloud 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.

Cloud Manager allows us to deploy NetApp Trident to a Kubernetes cluster and then relate the cluster to Cloud Volumes ONTAP instances.

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. You should also have your kubeconfig file downloaded from Kubernetes.

Associating the Kubernetes Cluster with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

1. To deploy Trident you should begin by going to Cloud Manager. Head to the Kubernetes tab on the menu bar.

Choose the "Kubernetes" tab

2. On the Kubernetes screen, click the “Discover Cluster” button.

Click on the "Discover Cluster" option

3. Next you will upload your kubeconfig file. Note: the kubeconfig file contains all your cluster’s configuration details, and should be downloaded directly from Kubernetes itself first.

Upload Kubernetes Configuration File window

Once the file is uploaded, click “Save Cluster” to proceed.

4. Go back to the Working Environments screen and select the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance that you want to use with Trident. On that Cloud Volumes ONTAP volume’s details, click on the Kubernetes icon in the top right hand corner.

Click on the Kubernetes icon on the top right hand corner side

5. On this page, select the Kubernetes cluster that you just uploaded and your default storage class. For this example, we will select NFS.

When you’re done, click “Connect.”

Once done setting it up, click on "Connect"

6. Go to the Timeline screen on the menu bar, and see that the Kubernetes cluster is being associated with the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance. The Trident provisioner will be installed transparently in the background during this time.

7. You can verify that Trident was installed successfully by going to your Kubernetes cluster and running the kubectl get pod command.

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.

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