On-disk files in a container are ephemeral and can't be shared with other members of a pod. For some applications, this is not an issue, but for many persistent storage is required.

Charmed Kubernetes makes it easy to add and configure different types of persistent storage for your Kubernetes cluster, as outlined below. For more detail on the concept of storage volumes in Kubernetes, please see the Kubernetes documentation.

Ceph storage

Charmed Kubernetes can make use of Ceph to provide persistent storage volumes. The following sections assume you have already deployed a Charmed Kubernetes cluster and you have internet access to the Juju Charm Store.

Deploy Ceph

Check that the current Juju model is the one where you wish to deploy Ceph

juju switch

Begin by adding a minimum number of Ceph monitor nodes:

 juju deploy -n 3 ceph-mon

For the storage nodes we will also need to specify storage volumes for the backing cloud to add. This is done by using the --storage option. The ceph-osd charm defines two useful types of storage, osd-devices for the volumes which will be formatted and used to provide storage, and osd-journals for storage used for journalling.

The format for the --storage option is <storage pool>,<size>,<number>. The storage pools available are dependent on and defined by the backing cloud. However, by omitting the storage type, the default pool for that cloud will be chosen (E.g. for AWS, the default pool is EBS storage).

So, for example, to deploy three ceph-osd storage nodes, using the default storage pool, with 2x 32G volumes of storage per node, and one 8G journal, we would use the command:

 juju deploy -n 3 ceph-osd --storage osd-devices=32G,2 --storage osd-journals=8G,1

Note: For a more detailed explanation of Juju's storage pools and options, please see the relevant Juju documentation.

Note that actually deploying these charms with storage may take some time, but you can continue to run other Juju commands in the meantime.

The ceph-osd and ceph-mon deployments should then be connected:

juju add-relation ceph-osd ceph-mon

If you wish to include CephFS support, which allows for ReadWriteMany volumes, you can also deploy and relate ceph-fs:

juju deploy -n1 ceph-fs
juju add-relation ceph-fs ceph-mon

Charmed Kubernetes will then deploy the CephFS provisioner pod and create a cephfs storage class in the cluster.

Note: CephFS support in Kubernetes requires at least Ubuntu 18.04LTS and OpenStack Train. OpenStack Ussuri or newer is recommended.

When deploying Charmed Kubernetes on Ubuntu 18.04(Bionic), you will need to explicitly set the install_sources config option on the kubernetes-master charm to include cloud:bionic-ussuri (or whatever OpenStack release you are using).

When using OpenStack Train, ReadWriteMany (RWX) CephFS volumes on containers running as a non-root user will be mounted as owned by root instead of the container's user, potentially leading to permissions issues. You can work around this by adding an initContainer to your pod to adjust the mounted volume's ownership or permissions. For example:

  - name: fix-cephfs-rwx-volume-perm
      runAsUser: 0
    image: ubuntu  # or whatever image your pod is using
      - name: shared-data  # adjust volume name and mountPath
        mountPath: /data   # to match your pod spec
    command: ['chmod', '0777', '/data']

Relate to Charmed Kubernetes

Making Charmed Kubernetes aware of your Ceph cluster requires 2 Juju relations.

juju add-relation ceph-mon:admin kubernetes-master
juju add-relation ceph-mon:client kubernetes-master

Create storage pools

By default, the kubernetes-master charm will create the required pools defined in the storage class. To view the default options, run:

juju list-actions ceph-mon --schema --format json | jq '.["create-pool"]'

If you're happy with this, you can skip the section. Otherwise, if you want to change these, you can delete the pools:

juju run --unit ceph-mon/0 "ceph tell mon.\* injectargs '--mon-allow-pool-delete=true'"

juju run-action ceph-mon/0 delete-pool pool-name=xfs-pool --wait
juju run-action ceph-mon/0 delete-pool pool-name=ext4-pool --wait

Then recreate them, using the options listed from the list-actions command ran earlier. For example:

juju run-action ceph-mon/0 create-pool name=xfs-pool replicas=6 --wait
  id: c12f0688-f31b-4956-8314-abacd2d6516f
  status: completed
    completed: 2018-08-20 20:49:34 +0000 UTC
    enqueued: 2018-08-20 20:49:31 +0000 UTC
    started: 2018-08-20 20:49:31 +0000 UTC
  unit: ceph-mon/0
juju run-action ceph-mon/0 create-pool name=ext4-pool replicas=6 --wait
  id: 4e82d93d-546f-441c-89e1-d36152c082f2
  status: completed
    completed: 2018-08-20 20:49:45 +0000 UTC
    enqueued: 2018-08-20 20:49:41 +0000 UTC
    started: 2018-08-20 20:49:43 +0000 UTC
  unit: ceph-mon/0


Now you can look at your Charmed Kubernetes cluster to verify things are working. Running:

kubectl get sc,po

... should return output similar to:

NAME                                             PROVISIONER           RECLAIMPOLICY   VOLUMEBINDINGMODE   ALLOWVOLUMEEXPANSION   AGE        Delete          Immediate           false                  7m (default)      Delete          Immediate           false                  7m        Delete          Immediate           false                  7m

NAME                                 READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod/csi-cephfsplugin-attacher-0      1/1     Running   0          7m
pod/csi-cephfsplugin-bzzgn           2/2     Running   0          7m
pod/csi-cephfsplugin-provisioner-0   2/2     Running   0          7m
pod/csi-rbdplugin-69xp6              2/2     Running   0          7m
pod/csi-rbdplugin-attacher-0         1/1     Running   0          7m
pod/csi-rbdplugin-provisioner-0      3/3     Running   0          7m

Note that the CephFS storage class and pods will only be present if CephFS was included above.

Scaling out

To check existing storage allocation, use the command:

juju storage

If extra storage is required, it is possible to add extra ceph-osd units as desired:

juju add-unit ceph-osd -n 2

Once again, it is necessary to attach appropriate storage volumes as before. In this case though, the storage needs to be added on a per-unit basis.

Confirm the running units of ceph-osd

juju status ceph-osd

Add additional storage to existing or new units with the add-storage command. For example, to add two volumes of 32G to the unit ceph-osd/2:

juju add-storage ceph-osd/2 --storage osd-devices=32G,2

Using a separate Juju model

In some circumstances it can be useful to locate the persistent storage in a different Juju model, for example to have one set of storage used by different clusters. The only change required is in adding relations between Ceph and Charmed Kubernetes.

For more information on how to achieve this, please see the Juju documentation on cross-model relations.


It is possible to add simple storage for Kubernetes using NFS. In this case, the storage is implemented on the root disk of units running the nfs charm.

Deploy NFS

Make use of Juju constraints to allocate an instance with the required amount of storage. For example, for 200G of storage:

juju deploy nfs --constraints root-disk=200G

Relate to Charmed Kubernetes

The NFS units can be related directly to the Kubernetes workers:

 juju add-relation nfs kubernetes-worker


Now you can look at your Charmed Kubernetes cluster to verify things are working. Running:

kubectl get sc,po

... should return output similar to:

NAME                                            PROVISIONER      AGE (default)   fuseim.pri/ifs   3m

NAME                                                   READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod/nfs-client-provisioner-778dcffbc8-2725b            1/1       Running   0          3m

Scaling out

If extra storage is required, it is possible to add extra nfs units as desired. For example, to add three new units, each with 100G of storage:

juju add-unit nfs  -n 3 --constraints root-disk=100G

There is no requirement that these additional units should have the same amount of storage space as previously.

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