Volume Snapshots

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.17 [beta]
In Kubernetes, a VolumeSnapshot represents a snapshot of a volume on a storage system. This document assumes that you are already familiar with Kubernetes persistent volumes.

Introduction

Similar to how API resources PersistentVolume and PersistentVolumeClaim are used to provision volumes for users and administrators, VolumeSnapshotContent and VolumeSnapshot API resources are provided to create volume snapshots for users and administrators.

A VolumeSnapshotContent is a snapshot taken from a volume in the cluster that has been provisioned by an administrator. It is a resource in the cluster just like a PersistentVolume is a cluster resource.

A VolumeSnapshot is a request for snapshot of a volume by a user. It is similar to a PersistentVolumeClaim.

VolumeSnapshotClass allows you to specify different attributes belonging to a VolumeSnapshot. These attributes may differ among snapshots taken from the same volume on the storage system and therefore cannot be expressed by using the same StorageClass of a PersistentVolumeClaim.

Users need to be aware of the following when using this feature:

  • API Objects VolumeSnapshot, VolumeSnapshotContent, and VolumeSnapshotClass are CRDs, not part of the core API.
  • VolumeSnapshot support is only available for CSI drivers.
  • As part of the deployment process in the beta version of VolumeSnapshot, the Kubernetes team provides a snapshot controller to be deployed into the control plane, and a sidecar helper container called csi-snapshotter to be deployed together with the CSI driver. The snapshot controller watches VolumeSnapshot and VolumeSnapshotContent objects and is responsible for the creation and deletion of VolumeSnapshotContent object in dynamic provisioning. The sidecar csi-snapshotter watches VolumeSnapshotContent objects and triggers CreateSnapshot and DeleteSnapshot operations against a CSI endpoint.
  • CSI drivers may or may not have implemented the volume snapshot functionality. The CSI drivers that have provided support for volume snapshot will likely use the csi-snapshotter. See CSI Driver documentation for details.
  • The CRDs and snapshot controller installations are the responsibility of the Kubernetes distribution.

Lifecycle of a volume snapshot and volume snapshot content

VolumeSnapshotContents are resources in the cluster. VolumeSnapshots are requests for those resources. The interaction between VolumeSnapshotContents and VolumeSnapshots follow this lifecycle:

Provisioning Volume Snapshot

There are two ways snapshots may be provisioned: pre-provisioned or dynamically provisioned.

Pre-provisioned

A cluster administrator creates a number of VolumeSnapshotContents. They carry the details of the real volume snapshot on the storage system which is available for use by cluster users. They exist in the Kubernetes API and are available for consumption.

Dynamic

Instead of using a pre-existing snapshot, you can request that a snapshot to be dynamically taken from a PersistentVolumeClaim. The VolumeSnapshotClass specifies storage provider-specific parameters to use when taking a snapshot.

Binding

The snapshot controller handles the binding of a VolumeSnapshot object with an appropriate VolumeSnapshotContent object, in both pre-provisioned and dynamically provisioned scenarios. The binding is a one-to-one mapping.

In the case of pre-provisioned binding, the VolumeSnapshot will remain unbound until the requested VolumeSnapshotContent object is created.

Persistent Volume Claim as Snapshot Source Protection

The purpose of this protection is to ensure that in-use PersistentVolumeClaim API objects are not removed from the system while a snapshot is being taken from it (as this may result in data loss).

While a snapshot is being taken of a PersistentVolumeClaim, that PersistentVolumeClaim is in-use. If you delete a PersistentVolumeClaim API object in active use as a snapshot source, the PersistentVolumeClaim object is not removed immediately. Instead, removal of the PersistentVolumeClaim object is postponed until the snapshot is readyToUse or aborted.

Delete

Deletion is triggered by deleting the VolumeSnapshot object, and the DeletionPolicy will be followed. If the DeletionPolicy is Delete, then the underlying storage snapshot will be deleted along with the VolumeSnapshotContent object. If the DeletionPolicy is Retain, then both the underlying snapshot and VolumeSnapshotContent remain.

VolumeSnapshots

Each VolumeSnapshot contains a spec and a status.

apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: VolumeSnapshot
metadata:
  name: new-snapshot-test
spec:
  volumeSnapshotClassName: csi-hostpath-snapclass
  source:
    persistentVolumeClaimName: pvc-test

persistentVolumeClaimName is the name of the PersistentVolumeClaim data source for the snapshot. This field is required for dynamically provisioning a snapshot.

A volume snapshot can request a particular class by specifying the name of a VolumeSnapshotClass using the attribute volumeSnapshotClassName. If nothing is set, then the default class is used if available.

For pre-provisioned snapshots, you need to specify a volumeSnapshotContentName as the source for the snapshot as shown in the following example. The volumeSnapshotContentName source field is required for pre-provisioned snapshots.

apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: VolumeSnapshot
metadata:
  name: test-snapshot
spec:
  source:
    volumeSnapshotContentName: test-content

Volume Snapshot Contents

Each VolumeSnapshotContent contains a spec and status. In dynamic provisioning, the snapshot common controller creates VolumeSnapshotContent objects. Here is an example:

apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: VolumeSnapshotContent
metadata:
  name: snapcontent-72d9a349-aacd-42d2-a240-d775650d2455
spec:
  deletionPolicy: Delete
  driver: hostpath.csi.k8s.io
  source:
    volumeHandle: ee0cfb94-f8d4-11e9-b2d8-0242ac110002
  volumeSnapshotClassName: csi-hostpath-snapclass
  volumeSnapshotRef:
    name: new-snapshot-test
    namespace: default
    uid: 72d9a349-aacd-42d2-a240-d775650d2455

volumeHandle is the unique identifier of the volume created on the storage backend and returned by the CSI driver during the volume creation. This field is required for dynamically provisioning a snapshot. It specifies the volume source of the snapshot.

For pre-provisioned snapshots, you (as cluster administrator) are responsible for creating the VolumeSnapshotContent object as follows.

apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: VolumeSnapshotContent
metadata:
  name: new-snapshot-content-test
spec:
  deletionPolicy: Delete
  driver: hostpath.csi.k8s.io
  source:
    snapshotHandle: 7bdd0de3-aaeb-11e8-9aae-0242ac110002
  volumeSnapshotRef:
    name: new-snapshot-test
    namespace: default

snapshotHandle is the unique identifier of the volume snapshot created on the storage backend. This field is required for the pre-provisioned snapshots. It specifies the CSI snapshot id on the storage system that this VolumeSnapshotContent represents.

Provisioning Volumes from Snapshots

You can provision a new volume, pre-populated with data from a snapshot, by using the dataSource field in the PersistentVolumeClaim object.

For more details, see Volume Snapshot and Restore Volume from Snapshot.