October 7th, 2020

How are stateful workloads handled ?

How are distributed pods able to access the data all time ?

How is accessible data made consistent ?

And at times of failure , How is data retained ?

These are some of the questions that intrigues most of us while running our application on an High Available (HA) Openshift cluster .Let us find the answers

Firstly the pod workloads are handled by distributing it across the cluster to make the application highly available, it can be done by:

Using replica sets and Anti-Affinity rules


  • Replica sets gives us the pod count, increased number of pods would ensure that specified number of pods are available in an healthy state at any point of time.
  • Pod workload is handled by scheduling these pods on different computable nodes of the cluster and also making sure that no two similar app pods are on same node
  • For this purpose, combination of nodeAffinity and podAntiAffinity rules are set so that the application pods are distributed evenly.

Secondly, data consistency, accessibility and retainability is achieved by provisioning NFS storage that uses persistent volumes.

  • Here, NFS acts as persistent file storage device and we can make this storage instance available to cluster using static provisioning which requires creation of persistent volumes manually
  • Hence, NFS acts as persistent file storage device and creation of NFS directory acts as a shared volume


Below is the procedure for setting up :

1. Creating NFS-server EC2 Instance

  • Launch an Amazon Linux 2 AMI EC2 Instance (supports centos, rhel and fedora)
  • Configure Instance details with Openshift cluster VPC , associate related public subnet in the same zone , proceed with default settings.
  • configure security groups , allow NFS port 2049 .
  • proceed for launching the instance .
  • Now access the AWS terminal through putty and proceed for NFS- server installation

2. Installing the NFS-server

  • Install these packages on the CentOS server with yum
  • yum install nfs-utils

  • Create the directory that will be shared by NFS:
  • mkdir /var/nfsshare

  • Change the permissions of the folder as follows:
  • chmod -R 755 /var/nfsshare
    chown nfsnobody:nfsnobody /var/nfsshare

  • Start the services and enable them to be started at boot time:
  • systemctl enable rpcbind
    systemctl enable nfs-server
    systemctl enable nfs-lock
    systemctl enable nfs-idmap
    systemctl start rpcbind
    systemctl start nfs-server
    systemctl start nfs-lock
    systemctl start nfs-idmap

  • Share the NFS directory over the network as follows:
  • vim /etc/exports
    /var/nfsshare (rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_all_squash) ## is the NFS client IP
    ## Validate with below command
    showmount -e ## gives exports list.

  • Finally , start the NFS service
  • systemctl restart nfs-server

This completes setting up of NFS-server

3. At NFS-Client End

  • Connect to worker nodes of openshift cluster which are NFS-Clients .
  • ## NFS Client installation inside worker nodes
    yum install nfs-utils # need to install for non-coreOS

  • create the NFS directory mount points:
  • mkdir -p /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare

  • we will mount the /var/nfsshare directory:
  • mount -t nfs :/var/nfsshare /mnt/nfs/var/nfsshare/ # is the NFS-server IP

  • check if its mounted correctly :
  • df -h

4. Deploying Storage Class

  • Below is the sample storage class used , one can edit storage class name and the provisioner name accordingly.
  • #vim class.yml
    apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1
    kind: StorageClass
    name: nfs-storage
    storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class: "false"
    provisioner: example.com/nfs
    . archiveOnDelete: "false"

  • Once updated the class.yml file we can execute the file using oc create
  • # create storage class file
    oc create -f class.yml
    #check if storage class got created
    oc get storageclass

5. Creating Persistent Volume (PV)and Persistent Volume Claims (PVC)

  • PV contains file storage details like NFS server IP and NFS shared path, thus it gets pointed to file storage device , that is to the NFS server. /b
    • Using a reclaim policy of “retain”, a persistent volume will not be deleted or erased. Hence the relationship between pod and storage can be re-established

    ## create pv
    kind: PersistentVolume
    apiVersion: v1
    name: pv-nfs
    storage: 1Gi
    - ReadWriteMany
    persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy: Retain
    storageClassName: nfs-storage
    server: ## nfs server IP
    path: /var/nfsshare ## nfs server shared path
    ## creat pvc
    kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    apiVersion: v1
    name: pvc-nfs
    namespace: < project name >
    - ReadWriteMany
    storage: 20Mi
    volumeName: pv-nfs ## should be same as pv name
    storageClassName: nfs-storage

    ## to create above scripts
    oc create -f pv.yml
    oc create -f pvc.yml

6. Creating Pods to use Persistent Volume Claims

  • Pods utilize this shared volume using persistent volume claim(PVC)
  • apiVersion: apps/v1
    kind: Deployment
    name: deploy-nfs
    app: deploy-nfs
    replicas: 2
    app: deploy-nfs
    app: deploy-nfs
    - name: deploy-nfs1
    image: busybox
    - sleep
    - "3600"
    cpu: "0.01"
    - name: pv-nfs
    mountPath: /mydata
    - matchExpressions:
    - key: kubernetes.io/hostname
    operator: In
    - < worker1 hostname >
    - < worker2 hostname >
    - < worker3 hostname >
    - labelSelector:
    - key: app
    operator: In
    - deploy-nfs
    topologyKey: "kubernetes.io/hostname"
    - name: pv-nfs
    claimName: pvc-nfs

    # create the pod using deployment.yml file
    oc create -f deployment.yml
    # check for pods status
    oc get pods -n < project name >

7. NFS Validation

  1. NFS-Server end, create a sample file and check if getting replicated to nfs client and in pod as well.
  2. NFS-Clients end, create a sample file and check if getting replicated to nfs server and in pod as well.
  3. At Pod level, create a file in the container mount path i.e /mydata , it would get reflected in NFS-server and in NFS-client machines.


we can now make our data persistent , accessible and retainable through NFS by means of static provisioning that requires manual creation of persistent volumes.

Whats ahead ?

Can we claim the persistent volume without actually creating it ?

Yes , without actually creating a persistent volume we can allocate storage volume just by creating persistent volume claim , this reduces time in bringing up the application.

In next post we will see how a dynamically provisioned NFS storage is set up .


Saicharan Adavelli

DevOps Engineer| hands-on with Cloud Platform Infrastructure-AWS| Redhat Openshift Certified