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Setup Guide

This guide contains detailed instructions for deploying GlusterFS + heketi onto Kubernetes.

Infrastructure Requirements

The only strict requirement is a pre-existing Kubernetes cluster and administrative access to that cluster. You can opt to deploy GlusterFS as a hyper-converged service on your Kubernetes nodes if they meet the following requirements:

  • There must be at least three nodes.

  • Each node must have at least one raw block device attached (like an EBS Volume or a local disk) for use by heketi. These devices must not have any data on them, as they will be formatted and partitioned by heketi.

  • Each node must have the following ports opened for GlusterFS communications:

  • 2222 - GlusterFS pod's sshd

  • 24007 - GlusterFS Daemon

  • 24008 - GlusterFS Management

  • 49152 to 49251 - Each brick for every volume on the host requires its own port. For every new brick, one new port will be used starting at 49152. We recommend a default range of 49152-49251 on each host, though you can adjust this to fit your needs.

  • The following kernel modules must be loaded:

    1. dm_snapshot
    2. dm_mirror
    3. dm_thin_pool

    For kernel modules, lsmod | grep <name> will show you if a given module is present, and modprobe <name> will load a given module.

  • Each node requires that the mount.glusterfs command is available. Under all Red Hat-based OSes this command is provided by the glusterfs-fuse package.

  • GlusterFS client version installed on nodes should be as close as possible to the version of the server. To get installed versions run glusterfs --version or kubectl exec <pod> -- glusterfs --version.

If you are not able to deploy a hyper-converged GlusterFS cluster, you must have one running somewhere that the Kubernetes nodes can access. The above requirements still apply for any pre-existing GlusterFS cluster.

Deployment Overview

An administrator must provide the topology information of the GlusterFS cluster to be accessed by heketi. The majority of the deployment tasks are handled by the gk-deploy script. The following is an overview of the steps taken by the script:

  1. Creates a Service Account for heketi to securely communicate with the GlusterFS nodes.
  2. As an option, deploys GlusterFS as a DaemonSet onto the Kubernetes nodes specified in the topology.
  3. Deploys an instance of heketi called 'deploy-heketi', which is used to initialize the heketi database.
  4. Creates the Service and Endpoints for communicating with the GlusterFS cluster and initializes the heketi database by creating a GlusterFS volume, then copies the database onto that same volume for use by the final instance of heketi.
  5. Deletes all the 'deploy-heketi' related resources.
  6. Deploys the final instance of the heketi service.


1. Create a topology file

As mentioned in the overview, an administrator must provide the GlusterFS cluster topology information. This takes the form of a topology file, which describes the nodes present in the GlusterFS cluster and the block devices attached to them for use by heketi. A sample topology file is provided. When creating your own topology file:

  • Make sure the topology file only lists block devices intended for heketi's use. heketi needs access to whole block devices (e.g. /dev/sdb, /dev/vdb) which it will partition and format.

  • The hostnames array is a bit misleading. manage should be a list of hostnames for the node, but storage should be a list of IP addresses on the node for backend storage communications.

2. Run the deployment script

Next, run the gk-deploy script from a machine with administrative access to your Kubernetes cluster. You should familiarize yourself with the script's options by running gk-deploy -h. Some things to note when running the script:

  • By default it expects the topology file to be in the same directory as itself. You can specify a different location as the first non-option argument on the command-line.

  • By default it expects to have access to Kubernetes template files in a subdirectory called kube-templates. Specify their location otherwise with -t.

  • By default it will NOT deploy GlusterFS, allowing you to use heketi with any existing GlusterFS cluster. If you specify the -g option, it will deploy a GlusterFS DaemonSet onto your Kubernetes cluster by treating the nodes listed in the topology file as hyper-converged nodes with both Kubernetes and storage devices on them.

  • If you use a pre-existing GlusterFS cluster, please note that any pre-existing volumes will not be detected by heketi, and thus not be under heketi's management.

Usage Examples

Running the following from a node with Kubernetes administrative access and heketi-cli installed creates a 100GB Persistent Volume which can be claimed from any application:

$ export HEKETI_CLI_SERVER=http://<address to heketi service>
$ heketi-cli volume create --size=100 \
  --persistent-volume \
  --persistent-volume-endpoint=heketi-storage-endpoints | kubectl create -f -

You will also find a sample application shipped as part of this documentation.

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