3 Argentum

FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale

To which CSI driver Isilon/PowerScale version does this FAQ apply?
This FAQ applies to version 1.2 of the CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale available here : https://github.com/dell/csi-isilon/tree/release-1.2.0

What's new with version 1.1 ?
* Volume Expansion !!!
* Helm3 support
* Kubernetes 1.16 support
* RHEL 7.7 support
* Openshift 4.3 support
* OneFS 9.0 support
* Easy static volume provisioning with volume ingestion script

Which CSI version does the driver conform to?
The driver works with upstream Kubernetes 1.14.x & 1.16.x and CSI specification 1.1 with the CSI interface enabled.
Additional Kubernetes versions and variants will be qualified over time.

What are the supported features?
The following table lists the supported action to manage the lifecycle of a Isilon/PowerScale volume managed with the CSI driver

Action Supported (version)
Static Provisioningyes
Dynamic Provisioningyes
Retain Reclaimingyes
Delete Reclaimingyes
Recycle Reclaimingno
Expanding Persistent Volumeyes
Resizing Persistent Volumeno
Create Snapshot Volumeyes
Create Volume from Snapshotyes
Delete Snapshotyes
CSI Volume Cloningno
CSI Raw Block Volumeno
CSI ephemeral volumesno


Is it possible to create volume in different share ?
It is possible to create multiple or different StorageClass to access separate access zones.

What are the known limitations?
NFS is the only supported protocol.
One driver instance can manage one Isilon/PowerScale cluster only.
One driver instance can be installed on the Kubernetes cluster.

How do I set up the CSI driver?
The CSI driver can be installed with the installation scripts provided (with helm) or with the dell-csi-operator.

We recommend using the scripts, which leverage helm, as they will check your pre-requisites are fulfilled.

The details of the installation are documented in the product guide

A video showing the Operator usage with CSI Isilon is viewable here : (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4z2tRqHnSg&list=PLbssOJyyvHuVXyKi0c9Z7NLqBiDiwF1eA&index=6)

How to uninstall the CSI driver?
Like for the installation, you can uninstall the driver with helm :
helm delete ISILON_RELEASE [--purge]

Or execute the script:
sh uninstall.isilon

How to upgrade the CSI driver?

The upgrade process requires to uninstall the driver first with the uninstall.isilon. Once done, you can decide to switch to helm v3 ; then reinstall the driver with command install.isilon.

Note that mounted volumes will still work but you can't request new volume or snapshot.

A script might be released in the future.

What are the pre-requisites for CSI driver installation?
To check your system complies with the pre-requisites, you can execute the script sh verify.kubernetes

The detailed list of pre-requisites is available in the product guide

Which k8s distributions are supported?
Kubernetes v1.14 & v1.16 and OpenShift 4.2 & 4.3 are officially supported by Dell EMC support. If you need support on any other CSI v1.1 compatible distribution, please use this forum to discuss it.

What about future releases of k8s?
In the next release, the objective is to support at least version n-2 of the current Kubernetes version at the moment of the release.

What operating systems are supported for Kubernetes nodes?
The supported OSes is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6

How do I troubleshoot the driver?
The driver can be troubleshooting using the usual kubectl commands as any other k8s pod/resources.
Most often used commands are :
* kubectl get pods -n isilon : gives the status of the controller and drivers on every node
* kubectl describe pods isilon-controller-0 -n isilon : provides details on the deployment for the controller
* kubectl logs isilon-controller-0 -n isilon -c driver : logs the API calls between the driver and Unisphere

Which driver version is installed?
helm list -c ISILON_RELEASE

What version and model of Isilon/PowerScale versions are supported?
OneFS 8.1, 8.2 and 9 are supported.

Where to submit an issue against the driver?
Please create a discussion in the forum: https://www.dell.com/community/Containers/bd-p/Containers

or open a ticket directly to the support website: https://www.dell.com/support/ 

Is volume expansion supported?
Yes, volume expansion is not supported by the driver. It is not supported to reduce a volume size.

Why a volume in Isilon/PowerScale can be greater than the Volume size required by the PersistentVolumeClaim ?
By default, SmartQuota feature is disabled ; without it, nothing prevents a volume to be greater than its configured size in Kubernetes.

Can I run this driver in a production environment?
Yes, the driver is production-grade. Please make sure your environment follows the pre-requisites and Kubernetes' best practices.

What support does Dell EMC provide for the driver built via the GitHub sources?

Dell EMC is fully committed to supporting the driver image on Dockerhub built from the sources hosted on GitHub.

Do I need to have programming skills to use CSI driver?

To use the driver, you need to have basic knowledge around Kubernetes administration (How to create a PV, How to use a Volume, etc.).

How can connect Dell EMC storage to Kubernetes running on VMWare?
There is no impact on the configuration or the usage of the Isilon/PowerScale driver if your Kubernetes nodes are hosted on a virtualized environment.

What do I do if I discover an issue with the code on the GitHub?
Please submit the question in https://www.dell.com/community/Containers/bd-p/Containers

or call customer support.

8 Replies

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon

Are theer plans for supporting other advanced K8s solutions, like VMW/Pivotal PKS (which uses Ubuntu OS) and VMW Tanzu K8s Grid (TKG, which uses VMW PhotonOS)?

If so, what is the timeframe? I'd appreciate an update.


Sergey Schindler

DTS Global Enterprise Architect

0 Kudos
3 Argentum

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon

Hi Sergey,

Ubuntu support is on the roadmap.

VMware Project Pacific & Tanzu are under evaluation.

I will reach out to you directly to discuss the dates.


0 Kudos
2 Bronze

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon v1.1

When is the support for CoreOS and OPenshift 4.3 coming ?

0 Kudos
3 Silver

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon v1.1

CoreOS support for the OpenShift worker nodes is currently on the backlog for qualification.  Along with OpenShift 4.3, it is something we are trying to target for the next release.

0 Kudos
3 Argentum

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale

Bump v1.2

0 Kudos
2 Bronze

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale


Is there a way to add Version object in any way somewhere in the driver so it's easy to find out which version of CSI driver is installed? Perhaps in the default storage class if it's allowed.

This is how i find it but there could be an easier way:

#kubectl logs -n isilon isilon-controller-0 -c provisioner

GRPC response: {"manifest":{"commit":"a96b86bfb7fe7c74a6f286e23fad58ad70237610","formed":"Thu, 16 Apr 2020 00:10:23 UTC","semver":"1.1.0","url":"http://github.com/dell/csi-isilon"},"name":"csi-isilon.dellemc.com","vendor_version":"1.1.0"}

0 Kudos
3 Argentum

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale

Hi @acd13,

The easiest is probably to check the image version:

[~]$ kubectl get statefulsets.apps -n isilon isilon-controller  -o yaml | grep 'image: dell'
        image: dellemc/csi-isilon:v1.2.0.000R

[~]$ kubectl get daemonset -n isilon isilon-node  -o yaml | grep 'image: dell'
        image: dellemc/csi-isilon:v1.2.0.000R


0 Kudos
2 Iron

Re: FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale

The resizer works well! Glad that was added. I would add that I have it running on 1.17.6. I had no issues with deployment and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Also wanted to add that we use Oracle Linux 7. No issues with that either. But it makes sense since OL7 is 100% binary compatible to RHEL.

0 Kudos