So what really is a CSI driver?

Kubernetes is a popular open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It provides a flexible and scalable platform for running containerized workloads across multiple nodes.

Kubernetes is the de-facto standard container orchestrator today

One important feature of Kubernetes is the ability to attach and mount storage volumes to containers. This allows applications to store and retrieve data from persistent storage even if the container is deleted or recreated.

Kubernetes CSI (Container Storage Interface) is a standard interface for integrating storage systems with Kubernetes. It provides a way for storage vendors to develop drivers that can be used by Kubernetes to manage storage volumes.

The CSI driver extends Kubernetes by integrating external storage systems in a standardized way

The history of Kubernetes CSI driver can be traced back to the early days of Kubernetes, when the only way to attach storage volumes to containers was through in-tree volume plugins. These plugins were tightly coupled with the Kubernetes codebase and had several limitations, such as lack of extensibility and difficulty in maintaining.

To address these issues, the Kubernetes community decided to develop a standardized interface for storage providers to integrate with Kubernetes. This led to the development of the CSI specification, which defines a standard API for storage vendors to develop drivers that can be used by Kubernetes.

Since its inception, the Kubernetes CSI driver has undergone several iterations and improvements. It has become the de facto standard for storage integration in Kubernetes, and many storage vendors have developed drivers that are compliant with the CSI specification.

Today, Kubernetes CSI driver is a key component in the Kubernetes ecosystem, providing a flexible and extensible way to integrate storage systems with Kubernetes.

Beyond the CSI driver: Dell CSM

The CSI interface is really awesome, but it stops at what Kubernetes can “understand” today. In order to allow Kubernetes to work beyond it’s own capabilities, Dell has developed the Container Storage Modules or CSM.

The CSM modules are part of the same install as the CSI drivers are, installed either as sidecars or in their own namespace. They introduce important enterprise-level capabilities to Kubernetes like storage-based replication, multi tenancy, quotas from the storage administrator perspective, application mobility between kubernetes and storage platforms, and much much more.

Read more on the CSM modules in a next blog post!

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