Dell Container Storage Modules 1.6 release

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The first release of 2023 for Kubernetes CSI Driver & Dell Container Storage Modules (CSM) is here !

The official changelog can be consulted on the CHANGELOG directory of the CSM repository

CSI Features

Supported Kubernetes distributions

The newly supported Kubernetes distributions are :

  • Kubernetes 1.26
  • MKE 3.6
  • RKE 1.4

Note: Notably missing is Openshift 4.12 official qualification. There is no technical blocker to use Dell CSI driver and affiliated CSM modules. Indeed these modules have been tested against Kubernetes 1.25 which is Openshift 4.12 base. But you have to install them with Helm package manager and not the CSI or CSM Operators.

Installation Wizard

One of the biggest new features for CSI in that release is the Installation Wizard.

If you are a faithful reader of this blog, you already know that Dell’s CSI and CSM moved to pure helm charts and are distributed via our helm chart repository. This paved the way for the wizard installer !

Straight from the documentation portal, you can launch the wizard to configure and install the CSI and CSM modules for PowerStore and PowerMax. All the dependencies between CSI and CSM are managed.

The wizard doesn’t aim to cover all use cases but gives an excellent default values.yaml, which can always be tuned later on.

It has never been easier to install CSI and CSM :


cert-csi Open-source

cert-csi is Dell’s test framework to validate and qualify drivers against the Kubernetes distributions.

If all tests from cert-csi pass, we call a platform (Linux OS + Kubernetes distribution) certified and officially supported by Dell Engineering and support structure.

With cert-csi open-sourced, the community can validate a platform, even if not in the support matrix yet.

You can refer to the documentation portal for more details on the usage of that utility.

Other features

The dellctl images CLI prints all the container images need by Dell CSI drivers.

PowerMax Metro volumes are now fully compliant with CSI specification for volume expansion, clone and snapshot.

CSM Features

CSM Operator adds PowerStore support

The CSM Operator is the future of the Operator framework for Dell CSI driver and Dell Container Storage Modules and now integrates the modules for PowerStore.

CSM Resiliency PowerStore support

Kubernetes is notably conservative with StatefulSets on node failures; it won’t reschedule them automatically and requires and administrator to force the deletion of the pods.

CSM resiliency solves that problem (and more) by querying the backend storage and getting the volumes’ status to allow rescheduling in a few seconds after a node is NotReady for Kubernetes.

PowerStore is now part of the supported storage backends !

CSM Replication PowerFlex support

CSM replication supports PowerFlex and it is possible to combine it with an offering of PowerFlex in AWS.

For these types of designs, it is recommended to have low latency between the source and the target.

For example, below is the architecture of our lab: Image

And the result of a replicated volume in PowerFlex UI in AWS: Image

You can learn more about PowerFlex in AWS–Ht8

CSM Observability PowerMax support

CSM Observability can collect PowerMax metrics, including the performance of the storage groups that back the PVC, the capacity on storage resource pool, and more. Image

Useful links

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