This guide provides the steps necessary to enable binding of persistent volume claims (PVCs) to persistent volumes (PVs) via selector and label attributes. By implementing selectors and labels, regular users are able to target provisioned storage by identifiers defined by a cluster administrator.


In cases of statically provisioned storage, developers seeking persistent storage are required to know a handful of identifying attributes of a PV in order to deploy and bind a PVC. This creates several problematic situations. Regular users might have to contact a cluster administrator to either deploy the PVC or provide the PV values. PV attributes alone do not convey the intended use of the storage volumes, nor do they provide methods by which volumes can be grouped.

Selector and label attributes can be used to abstract away PV details from the user while providing cluster administrators with a way of identifying volumes by a descriptive and customizable tag. Through the selector-label method of binding, users are only required to know which labels are defined by the administrator.

The selector-label feature is currently only available for statically provisioned storage and is currently not implemented for storage provisioned dynamically.


This section reviews how to define and deploy PVCs.


  1. A running OKD 3.3+ cluster

  2. A volume provided by a supported storage provider

  3. A user with a cluster-admin role binding

Define the Persistent Volume and Claim

  1. As the cluster-admin user, define the PV. For this example, we will be using a GlusterFS volume. See the appropriate storage provider for your provider’s configuration.

    Example 1. Persistent Volume with Labels
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: PersistentVolume
      name: gluster-volume
      labels: (1)
        volume-type: ssd
        aws-availability-zone: us-east-1
        storage: 2Gi
        - ReadWriteMany
        endpoints: glusterfs-cluster
        path: myVol1
        readOnly: false
      persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy: Retain
    1 A PVC whose selectors match all of a PV’s labels will be bound, assuming a PV is available.
  2. Define the PVC:

    Example 2. Persistent Volume Claim with Selectors
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
      name: gluster-claim
      - ReadWriteMany
           storage: 1Gi
      selector: (1)
        matchLabels: (2)
          volume-type: ssd
          aws-availability-zone: us-east-1
    1 Begin selectors section.
    2 List all labels by which the user is requesting storage. Must match all labels of targeted PV.

Optional: Bind a PVC to a specific PV

A PVC that does not specify a PV name or selector will match any PV.

To bind a PVC to a specific PV as a cluster administrator:

  • Use pvc.spec.volumeName if you know the PV name.

  • Use pvc.spec.selector if you know the PV labels.

    By specifying a selector, the PVC requires the PV to have specific labels.

Optional: Reserve a PV to a specific PVC

To reserve a PV for specific tasks, you have two options: create a specific storage class, or pre-bind the PV to your PVC.

  1. Request a specific storage class for the PV by specifying the storage class’s name.

    The following resource shows the required values that you use to configure a StorageClass. This example uses the AWS ElasticBlockStore (EBS) object definition.

    Example 3. StorageClass definition for EBS
    kind: StorageClass
    apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1
      name: kafka
    provisioner: kubernetes.io/aws-ebs

    If necessary in a multi-tenant environment, use a quota definition to reserve the storage class and PV(s) only to a specific namespace.

  2. Pre-bind the PV to your PVC using the PVC namespace and name. A PV defined as such will bind only to the specified PVC and to nothing else, as shown in the following example:

    Example 4. claimRef in PV definition
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: PersistentVolume
      name: mktg-ops--kafka--kafka-broker01
        storage: 15Gi
        - ReadWriteOnce
          apiVersion: v1
          kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
          name: kafka-broker01
          namespace: default

Deploy the Persistent Volume and Claim

As the cluster-admin user, create the persistent volume:

Example 5. Create the Persistent Volume
# oc create -f gluster-pv.yaml
persistentVolume "gluster-volume" created

# oc get pv
gluster-volume            map[]    2147483648   RWX           Available                       2s

Once the PV is created, any user whose selectors match all its labels can create their PVC.

Example 6. Create the Persistent Volume Claim
# oc create -f gluster-pvc.yaml
persistentVolumeClaim "gluster-claim" created
# oc get pvc
gluster-claim           Bound     gluster-volume