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December 12th, 2019 02:00

FAQ / CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale

To which CSI driver Isilon/PowerScale version does this FAQ apply?
This FAQ applies to version 1.3 of the CSI Driver for Isilon/PowerScale available here :

What's new with version 1.3 ?

  • Supports Kubernetes version 1.17, 1.18, 1.19
  • Supports OpenShift 4.3 and 4.4 with both RHEL and RHCOS worker nodes
  • Supports Docker EE 3.1
  • Supports volume cloning
  • Supports CentOS versions 7.8, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.8
  • New installer scripts
  • New repo name

Which CSI version does the driver conform to?
The driver works with upstream Kubernetes1.17, 1.18, 1.19 ; Openshift 4.3 and 4.4  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 Provisioning yes
Dynamic Provisioning yes
Binding yes
Retain Reclaiming yes
Delete Reclaiming yes
Recycle Reclaiming no
Expand Persistent Volume yes
Shrink Persistent Volume no
Create Snapshot Volume yes
Create Volume from Snapshot yes
Delete Snapshot yes
CSI Volume Cloning yes
CSI Raw Block Volume no
CSI ephemeral volumes no


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?


How do I set up the Unity CSI driver?

The CSI driver can be installed with the provided installation scripts under the directory dell-csi-helm-installer or with the dell-csi-operator.

The operator is available directly from Openshift OperatorHub UI. For other distributions, you can download it from

For ease of installation, we recommend using the dell-csi-operator. If you want to have more control over the components helm is more open.

The details of each installation methods are documented in the product guide.

A video showing the Operator usage in context CSI Isilon is viewable here : (

How to install the beta snapshot capability?

With the promotion of Volume Snapshot to beta, one significant change is the CSI external-snapshotter sidecar has been split into two controllers, a common snapshot controller and a CSI external-snapshotter sidecar. 

The provided install script will :

  • By default, install of the external-snaphotter for CSI Unity.
  • Optionally, install the beta snapshot CRD when the option --snapshot-crd is set during the initial installation.

It is up to your Kubernetes distribution or you to deploy the common snapshotter controller.

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:

How to upgrade the CSI driver?

Previously, till version 1.2.0, the driver supported Kubernetes alpha Volume Snapshot. With the addition of support for beta snapshot, the Product Guide recommends to remove volume snapshots, volume snapshot content, and volume snapshot class objects before anything else. Nevertheless, the Kubernetes blog announcing the beta release explains how to manually import the snapshots. That procedure haven't been tested by Dell EMC so feel free to share your experience in the forum 


If you come from an installation with helm v2. You have to uninstall then reinstall the driver with helm v3 :
* Uninstall the driver using the latest
* Install the driver using the latest script and the new myvalues.yaml file

Because of the multi-array support the  and the secret with the credentials are very different from previous versions ; make sure secret.json is valid.

The version 1.3 is the first to bring the operator support for multi-array. Make sure to use the latest version of dell-csi-operator, before proceeding to the installation.

Please read to the product guide before upgrading.

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

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

Which k8s distributions are supported?
The supported versions are upstream Kubernetes 1.17, 1.18, 1.19 ; OpenShift 4.3, 4.4 with RHEL or RHCOS nodes ; Docker EE v3.1

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 driver was qualified with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS 7.6, 7.7, 7.8. With Openshift we support both RHEL and RHCOS nodes.

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:

or open a ticket directly to the support website: 

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

or call customer support.

April 15th, 2020 06:00

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

166 Posts

April 18th, 2020 08:00

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.


10 Posts

April 27th, 2020 05:00

When is the support for CoreOS and OPenshift 4.3 coming ?

72 Posts

April 27th, 2020 10:00

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.

166 Posts

June 19th, 2020 07:00

Bump v1.2

36 Posts

June 25th, 2020 09:00

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.

3 Posts

July 13th, 2020 14:00


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":""},"name":"","vendor_version":"1.1.0"}

166 Posts

July 22nd, 2020 00:00

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


166 Posts

September 28th, 2020 02:00

Update v1.3

2 Posts

February 10th, 2021 05:00

Does the CSI user have to be in the System zone?

166 Posts

February 15th, 2021 01:00

Hi @IvanBerg,

Yes it does.

July 6th, 2021 19:00

Hi ... Is CSI driver for Tanzu is now available?

8 Posts

August 25th, 2021 05:00

Now that from OneFS 8.2.2 onward we have zone aware RBAC (zRBAC) is it still mandatory to have CSI user in System zone or it could be in a dedicated for CSI access zone with appropriate roles only for that zone? 

4 Posts

September 6th, 2021 05:00

Until OneFS 9.2.1, you have to use CSI user in system zone, because privilege ISI_PRIV_SNAPSHOT and ISI_PRIV_QUOTA cannot be added to role in non-system zone. 

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