Storage

Adding Persistent Storage to the Container Development Kit 3.0

Note: This article describes the functionality found in the Red Hat Container Development Kit 3.0 Beta. Features and functionality may change in future versions.

The Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK) provides an all-in-one environment to not only build and test Docker containers, but to make use of them on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform; all from a single developer’s machine. Since its inception, the CDK used Vagrant as the provisioning platform. Starting with version 3.0, the CDK now makes use of Minishift for the underlying provisioner. The transition to Minishift based CDK 3.0 reduces the number of dependencies that need to be installed and configured. Only a hypervisor such as VirtualBox or KVM is now required.

One of the best parts of the CDK is that is provides a fully functional environment that a developer can immediately make use of. However, the transition to CDK 3.0 did omit one of the key features found in prior versions: preconfigured persistent storage. In CDK 2.0, three (3) Persistent Volumes for use by OpenShift were preconfigured to provide applications with long term storage. A Network File System (NFS) server was configured on the host machine to provide such functionality. The Minishift host does not have an NFS server configured. However, one of the alternative storage types provided by OpenShift can be used instead: HostPath. The HostPath volume plugin makes use of storage on the underlying container host without needing to install any additional software.

To configure the CDK for HostPath storage, multiple directories representing the PersistentVolumes should be created to support applications requiring persistent storage. Since Minishift boots into a tempfs, the majority of the directories will not persist across machine restarts. Only files placed in the following directories will be retained:

  • /var/lib/docker
  • /var/lib/minishift

Three new Persistent Volumes should be created in the /var/lib/minishift/pv directory represented by folders pv01 pv02 and pv03.

With the CDK already started, execute the following command to access a shell in the Minishift machine:

minishift ssh

By default, when accessing the Minishift machine using the SSH command, you are logged in as a user called docker. Since this directory is privileged and protected and owned by the root user, sudo up.

sudo su -

Create the three directories for the PersistentVolumes:

mkdir -p /var/lib/minishift/pv/pv0{1..3}

To simplify the management of permissions in a development environment such as the CDK, relax the directory and permission ownership:

chmod -R 777 /var/lib/minishift/pv/pv*
chmod -R a+w /var/lib/minishift/pv/pv*

One of the key benefits of the CDK is that it is built on top of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) base. One of the security features inherent with RHEL is SELinux which provides added protections for not only the host, but any container that uses it as a base. By default, containers are restricted from writing directly to the underlying host file system. To allow a container to write to the directories created for the Persistent Volumes, the  SELinux label svirt_sandbox_file_t must be set.

Execute the following command to relabel the directories:

chcon -R -t svirt_sandbox_file_t /var/lib/minishift/pv/*
restorecon -R /var/lib/minishift/pv/

With the directories properly configured, Persistent Volumes making use of the HostPath storage plugin can be created. Make sure you are logged into the OpenShift environment using the OpenShift Command Line tool as the cluster administrator:

oc login -u system:admin

Now create the new Persistent Volumes:

for i in $(seq 1 3); do

oc create -f - <<PV
apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolume
metadata:
  name: pv0$i
spec:
  accessModes:
  - ReadWriteOnce
  - ReadWriteMany
  - ReadOnlyMany
  capacity:
    storage: 2Gi
  hostPath:
    path: /var/lib/minishift/pv/pv0$i
  persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy: Recycle
PV

done

The newly created Persistent Volumes can now be verified:

oc get pv

NAME      CAPACITY   ACCESSMODES   RECLAIMPOLICY   STATUS      CLAIM                                REASON    AGE
pv01      2Gi        RWO,ROX,RWX   Recycle         Available                                                  1m
pv02      2Gi        RWO,ROX,RWX   Recycle         Available                                                  1m
pv03      2Gi        RWO,ROX,RWX   Recycle         Available                                                  1m

The use of persistent storage, especially during the development phase, provides additional capabilities when creating containerized applications.


The Red Hat Container Development Kit is available for download, and you can read more at the Red Hat Container Development Kit website.


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For more information about Red Hat OpenShift and other related topics, visit: OpenShift, OpenShift Online.

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