Overview of CSI volume snapshots

A snapshot represents the state of the storage volume in a cluster at a particular point in time. Volume snapshots can be used to provision a new volume.

OKD supports CSI volume snapshots by default. However, a specific CSI driver is required.

With CSI volume snapshots, a cluster administrator can:

  • Deploy a third-party CSI driver that supports snapshots.

  • Create a new persistent volume claim (PVC) from an existing volume snapshot.

  • Take a snapshot of an existing PVC.

  • Restore a snapshot as a different PVC.

  • Delete an existing volume snapshot.

With CSI volume snapshots, an app developer can:

  • Use volume snapshots as building blocks for developing application- or cluster-level storage backup solutions.

  • Rapidly rollback to a previous development version.

  • Use storage more efficiently by not having to make a full copy each time.

Be aware of the following when using volume snapshots:

  • Support is only available for CSI drivers. In-tree and FlexVolumes are not supported.

  • OKD only ships with select CSI drivers. For CSI drivers that are not provided by an OKD Driver Operator, it is recommended to use the CSI drivers provided by community or storage vendors. Follow the installation instructions provided by the CSI driver.

  • CSI drivers may or may not have implemented the volume snapshot functionality. CSI drivers that have provided support for volume snapshots will likely use the csi-external-snapshotter sidecar. See documentation provided by the CSI driver for details.

  • OKD 4 supports version 1.1.0 of the CSI specification.

CSI snapshot controller and sidecar

OKD provides a snapshot controller that is deployed into the control plane. In addition, your CSI driver vendor provides the CSI snapshot sidecar as a helper container that is installed during the CSI driver installation.

The CSI snapshot controller and sidecar provide volume snapshotting through the OKD API. These external components run in the cluster.

The external controller is deployed by the CSI Snapshot Controller Operator.

External controller

The CSI snapshot controller binds VolumeSnapshot and VolumeSnapshotContent objects. The controller manages dynamic provisioning by creating and deleting VolumeSnapshotContent objects.

External sidecar

Your CSI driver vendor provides the csi-external-snapshotter sidecar. This is a separate helper container that is deployed with the CSI driver. The sidecar manages snapshots by triggering CreateSnapshot and DeleteSnapshot operations. Follow the installation instructions provided by your vendor.

About the CSI Snapshot Controller Operator

The CSI Snapshot Controller Operator runs in the openshift-cluster-storage-operator namespace. It is installed by the Cluster Version Operator (CVO) in all clusters by default.

The CSI Snapshot Controller Operator installs the CSI snapshot controller, which runs in the openshift-cluster-storage-operator namespace.

Volume snapshot CRDs

During OKD installation, the CSI Snapshot Controller Operator creates the following snapshot custom resource definitions (CRDs) in the snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1 API group:

VolumeSnapshotContent

A snapshot taken of a volume in the cluster that has been provisioned by a cluster administrator.

Similar to the PersistentVolume object, the VolumeSnapshotContent CRD is a cluster resource that points to a real snapshot in the storage back end.

For manually pre-provisioned snapshots, a cluster administrator creates a number of VolumeSnapshotContent CRDs. These carry the details of the real volume snapshot in the storage system.

The VolumeSnapshotContent CRD is not namespaced and is for use by a cluster administrator.

VolumeSnapshot

Similar to the PersistentVolumeClaim object, the VolumeSnapshot CRD defines a developer request for a snapshot. The CSI Snapshot Controller Operator runs the CSI snapshot controller, which handles the binding of a VolumeSnapshot CRD with an appropriate VolumeSnapshotContent CRD. The binding is a one-to-one mapping.

The VolumeSnapshot CRD is namespaced. A developer uses the CRD as a distinct request for a snapshot.

VolumeSnapshotClass

Allows a cluster administrator to specify different attributes belonging to a VolumeSnapshot object. These attributes may differ among snapshots taken of the same volume on the storage system, in which case they would not be expressed by using the same storage class of a persistent volume claim.

The VolumeSnapshotClass CRD defines the parameters for the csi-external-snapshotter sidecar to use when creating a snapshot. This allows the storage back end to know what kind of snapshot to dynamically create if multiple options are supported.

Dynamically provisioned snapshots use the VolumeSnapshotClass CRD to specify storage-provider-specific parameters to use when creating a snapshot.

The VolumeSnapshotContentClass CRD is not namespaced and is for use by a cluster administrator to enable global configuration options for their storage back end.

Volume snapshot provisioning

There are two ways to provision snapshots: dynamically and manually.

Dynamic provisioning

Instead of using a preexisting snapshot, you can request that a snapshot be taken dynamically from a persistent volume claim. Parameters are specified using a VolumeSnapshotClass CRD.

Manual provisioning

As a cluster administrator, you can manually pre-provision a number of VolumeSnapshotContent objects. These carry the real volume snapshot details available to cluster users.

Creating a volume snapshot

When you create a VolumeSnapshot object, OKD creates a volume snapshot.

Prerequisites
  • Logged in to a running OKD cluster.

  • A PVC created using a CSI driver that supports VolumeSnapshot objects.

  • A storage class to provision the storage back end.

  • No pods are using the persistent volume claim (PVC) that you want to take a snapshot of.

    Do not create a volume snapshot of a PVC if a pod is using it. Doing so might cause data corruption because the PVC is not quiesced (paused). Be sure to first tear down a running pod to ensure consistent snapshots.

Procedure

To dynamically create a volume snapshot:

  1. Create a file with the VolumeSnapshotClass object described by the following YAML:

    volumesnapshotclass.yaml
    apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: VolumeSnapshotClass
    metadata:
      name: csi-hostpath-snap
    driver: hostpath.csi.k8s.io (1)
    deletionPolicy: Delete
    1 The name of the CSI driver that is used to create snapshots of this VolumeSnapshotClass object. The name must be the same as the Provisioner field of the storage class that is responsible for the PVC that is being snapshotted.
  2. Create the object you saved in the previous step by entering the following command:

    $ oc create -f volumesnapshotclass.yaml
  3. Create a VolumeSnapshot object:

    volumesnapshot-dynamic.yaml
    apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: VolumeSnapshot
    metadata:
      name: mysnap
    spec:
      volumeSnapshotClassName: csi-hostpath-snap (1)
      source:
        persistentVolumeClaimName: myclaim (2)
    1 The request for a particular class by the volume snapshot. If the volumeSnapshotClassName setting is absent and there is a default volume snapshot class, a snapshot is created with the default volume snapshot class name. But if the field is absent and no default volume snapshot class exists, then no snapshot is created.
    2 The name of the PersistentVolumeClaim object bound to a persistent volume. This defines what you want to create a snapshot of. Required for dynamically provisioning a snapshot.
  4. Create the object you saved in the previous step by entering the following command:

    $ oc create -f volumesnapshot-dynamic.yaml

To manually provision a snapshot:

  1. Provide a value for the volumeSnapshotContentName parameter as the source for the snapshot, in addition to defining volume snapshot class as shown above.

    volumesnapshot-manual.yaml
    apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: VolumeSnapshot
    metadata:
      name: snapshot-demo
    spec:
      source:
        volumeSnapshotContentName: mycontent (1)
    1 The volumeSnapshotContentName parameter is required for pre-provisioned snapshots.
  2. Create the object you saved in the previous step by entering the following command:

    $ oc create -f volumesnapshot-manual.yaml
Verification

After the snapshot has been created in the cluster, additional details about the snapshot are available.

  1. To display details about the volume snapshot that was created, enter the following command:

    $ oc describe volumesnapshot mysnap

    The following example displays details about the mysnap volume snapshot:

    volumesnapshot.yaml
    apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: VolumeSnapshot
    metadata:
      name: mysnap
    spec:
      source:
        persistentVolumeClaimName: myclaim
      volumeSnapshotClassName: csi-hostpath-snap
    status:
      boundVolumeSnapshotContentName: snapcontent-1af4989e-a365-4286-96f8-d5dcd65d78d6 (1)
      creationTime: "2020-01-29T12:24:30Z" (2)
      readyToUse: true (3)
      restoreSize: 500Mi
    1 The pointer to the actual storage content that was created by the controller.
    2 The time when the snapshot was created. The snapshot contains the volume content that was available at this indicated time.
    3 If the value is set to true, the snapshot can be used to restore as a new PVC.
    If the value is set to false, the snapshot was created. However, the storage back end needs to perform additional tasks to make the snapshot usable so that it can be restored as a new volume. For example, Amazon Elastic Block Store data might be moved to a different, less expensive location, which can take several minutes.
  2. To verify that the volume snapshot was created, enter the following command:

    $ oc get volumesnapshotcontent

    The pointer to the actual content is displayed. If the boundVolumeSnapshotContentName field is populated, a VolumeSnapshotContent object exists and the snapshot was created.

  3. To verify that the snapshot is ready, confirm that the VolumeSnapshot object has readyToUse: true.

Deleting a volume snapshot

You can configure how OKD deletes volume snapshots.

Procedure
  1. Specify the deletion policy that you require in the VolumeSnapshotClass object, as shown in the following example:

    volumesnapshotclass.yaml
    apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: VolumeSnapshotClass
    metadata:
      name: csi-hostpath-snap
    driver: hostpath.csi.k8s.io
    deletionPolicy: Delete (1)
    1 When deleting the volume snapshot, if the Delete value is set, the underlying snapshot is deleted along with the VolumeSnapshotContent object. If the Retain value is set, both the underlying snapshot and VolumeSnapshotContent object remain.
    If the Retain value is set and the VolumeSnapshot object is deleted without deleting the corresponding VolumeSnapshotContent object, the content remains. The snapshot itself is also retained in the storage back end.
  2. Delete the volume snapshot by entering the following command:

    $ oc delete volumesnapshot <volumesnapshot_name>
    Example output
    volumesnapshot.snapshot.storage.k8s.io "mysnapshot" deleted
  3. If the deletion policy is set to Retain, delete the volume snapshot content by entering the following command:

    $ oc delete volumesnapshotcontent <volumesnapshotcontent_name>
  4. Optional: If the VolumeSnapshot object is not successfully deleted, enter the following command to remove any finalizers for the leftover resource so that the delete operation can continue:

    Only remove the finalizers if you are confident that there are no existing references from either persistent volume claims or volume snapshot contents to the VolumeSnapshot object. Even with the --force option, the delete operation does not delete snapshot objects until all finalizers are removed.

    $ oc patch -n $PROJECT volumesnapshot/$NAME --type=merge -p '{"metadata": {"finalizers":null}}'
    Example output
    volumesnapshotclass.snapshot.storage.k8s.io "csi-ocs-rbd-snapclass" deleted

    The finalizers are removed and the volume snapshot is deleted.

Restoring a volume snapshot

The VolumeSnapshot CRD content can be used to restore the existing volume to a previous state.

After your VolumeSnapshot CRD is bound and the readyToUse value is set to true, you can use that resource to provision a new volume that is pre-populated with data from the snapshot. .Prerequisites * Logged in to a running OKD cluster. * A persistent volume claim (PVC) created using a Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver that supports volume snapshots. * A storage class to provision the storage back end. * A volume snapshot has been created and is ready to use.

Procedure
  1. Specify a VolumeSnapshot data source on a PVC as shown in the following:

    pvc-restore.yaml
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    metadata:
      name: myclaim-restore
    spec:
      storageClassName: csi-hostpath-sc
      dataSource:
        name: mysnap (1)
        kind: VolumeSnapshot (2)
        apiGroup: snapshot.storage.k8s.io (3)
      accessModes:
        - ReadWriteOnce
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 1Gi
    1 Name of the VolumeSnapshot object representing the snapshot to use as source.
    2 Must be set to the VolumeSnapshot value.
    3 Must be set to the snapshot.storage.k8s.io value.
  2. Create a PVC by entering the following command:

    $ oc create -f pvc-restore.yaml
  3. Verify that the restored PVC has been created by entering the following command:

    $ oc get pvc

    A new PVC such as myclaim-restore is displayed.