Installing CSI Driver for PowerFlex via Dell CSM Operator

The CSI Driver for Dell PowerFlex can be installed via the Dell CSM Operator. To deploy the Operator, follow the instructions available here.

Note that the deployment of the driver using the operator does not use any Helm charts and the installation and configuration parameters will be slightly different from the one specified via the Helm installer.

Note: MKE (Mirantis Kubernetes Engine) does not support the installation of CSI-PowerFlex via Operator.

Listing installed drivers with the ContainerStorageModule CRD

User can query for all Dell CSI drivers using this command: kubectl get csm --all-namespaces


  • If multipath is configured, ensure CSI-PowerFlex volumes are blacklisted by multipathd. See troubleshooting section for details

SDC Deployment for Operator

  • This feature deploys the sdc kernel modules on all nodes with the help of an init container.
  • For non-supported versions of the OS also do the manual SDC deployment steps given below. Refer to https://hub.docker.com/r/dellemc/sdc for supported versions.
  • Note: When the driver is created, MDM value for initContainers in driver CR is set by the operator from mdm attributes in the driver configuration file, config.yaml. An example of config.yaml is below in this document. Do not set MDM value for initContainers in the driver CR file manually.
  • Note: To use an sdc-binary module from customer ftp site:
    • Create a secret, sdc-repo-secret.yaml to contain the credentials for the private repo. To generate the base64 encoding of a credential:
     echo -n <credential>| base64 -i

secret sample to use:

     apiVersion: v1
     kind: Secret
       name: sdc-repo-creds
       namespace: vxflexos
     type: Opaque
       # set username to the base64 encoded username, sdc default is
         username: <username in base64>
       # set password to the base64 encoded password, sdc default is
         password: <password in base64>
  • Create secret for FTP side by using the command kubectl create -f sdc-repo-secret.yaml.
  • Optionally, enable sdc monitor by setting the enable flag for the sdc-monitor to true. Please note:
    • If using sidecar, you will need to edit the value fields under the HOST_PID and MDM fields by filling the empty quotes with host PID and the MDM IPs.
    • If not using sidecar, leave the enabled field set to false.
Example CR: samples/storage_csm_powerflex_v240.yaml
    # sdc-monitor is disabled by default, due to high CPU usage 
      - name: sdc-monitor
        enabled: false
        image: dellemc/sdc:3.6
        - name: HOST_PID
          value: "1"
        - name: MDM
          value: "10.xx.xx.xx,10.xx.xx.xx" #provide MDM value

Manual SDC Deployment

For detailed PowerFlex installation procedure, see the Dell PowerFlex Deployment Guide. Install the PowerFlex SDC using this procedure:


  1. Download the PowerFlex SDC from Dell Online support. The filename is EMC-ScaleIO-sdc-*.rpm, where * is the SDC name corresponding to the PowerFlex installation version.
  2. Export the shell variable MDM_IP in a comma-separated list using export MDM_IP=xx.xxx.xx.xx,xx.xxx.xx.xx, where xxx represents the actual IP address in your environment. This list contains the IP addresses of the MDMs.
  3. Install the SDC per the Dell PowerFlex Deployment Guide:
    • For environments using RPM, run rpm -iv ./EMC-ScaleIO-sdc-*.x86_64.rpm, where * is the SDC name corresponding to the PowerFlex installation version.
  4. To add more MDM_IP for multi-array support, run /opt/emc/scaleio/sdc/bin/drv_cfg --add_mdm --ip 10.xx.xx.xx.xx,10.xx.xx.xx1. Create namespace. Execute kubectl create namespace test-vxflexos to create the test-vxflexos namespace (if not already present). Note that the namespace can be any user-defined name, in this example, we assume that the namespace is ’test-vxflexos'.

Create Secret

  1. Create namespace: Execute kubectl create namespace test-vxflexos to create the test-vxflexos namespace (if not already present). Note that the namespace can be any user-defined name, in this example, we assume that the namespace is ’test-vxflexos'.

  2. Prepare the config.yaml for driver configuration.

    Example: config.yaml

     # Username for accessing PowerFlex system.	
     # Required: true
    - username: "admin"
     # Password for accessing PowerFlex system.	
     # Required: true
     password: "password"
     # System name/ID of PowerFlex system.	
     # Required: true
     systemID: "ID1"
     # REST API gateway HTTPS endpoint/PowerFlex Manager public IP for PowerFlex system.
     # Required: true
     endpoint: ""
     # Determines if the driver is going to validate certs while connecting to PowerFlex REST API interface.
     # Allowed values: true or false
     # Required: true
     # Default value: true
     skipCertificateValidation: true 
     # indicates if this array is the default array
     # needed for backwards compatibility
     # only one array is allowed to have this set to true 
     # Required: false
     # Default value: false
     isDefault: true
     # defines the MDM(s) that SDC should register with on start.
     # Allowed values:  a list of IP addresses or hostnames separated by comma.
     # Required: true
     # Default value: none 
     mdm: ","
     # Defines all system names used to create powerflex volumes
     # Required: false
     # Default value: none
     AllSystemNames: "name1,name2"
    - username: "admin"
     password: "Password123"
     systemID: "ID2"
     endpoint: ""
     skipCertificateValidation: true 
     mdm: ","
     AllSystemNames: "name1,name2"

    After editing the file, run this command to create a secret called test-vxflexos-config. If you are using a different namespace/secret name, just substitute those into the command. kubectl create secret generic test-vxflexos-config -n test-vxflexos --from-file=config=config.yaml

    Use this command to replace or update the secret:

    kubectl create secret generic test-vxflexos-config -n test-vxflexos --from-file=config=config.yaml -o yaml --dry-run=client | kubectl replace -f -

Install Driver

  1. Follow all the prerequisites above

  2. Create a CR (Custom Resource) for PowerFlex using the sample files provided here. This file can be modified to use custom parameters if needed.

  3. Users should configure the parameters in CR. The following table lists the primary configurable parameters of the PowerFlex driver and their default values:

    Parameter Description Required Default
    dnsPolicy Determines the DNS Policy of the Node service Yes ClusterFirstWithHostNet
    fsGroupPolicy Defines which FS Group policy mode to be used, Supported modes None, File and ReadWriteOnceWithFSType No “ReadWriteOnceWithFSType”
    replicas Controls the number of controller pods you deploy. If the number of controller pods is greater than the number of available nodes, excess pods will become stay in a pending state. Defaults are 2 which allows for Controller high availability. Yes 2
    Common parameters for node and controller
    X_CSI_VXFLEXOS_ENABLELISTVOLUMESNAPSHOT Enable list volume operation to include snapshots (since creating a volume from a snap actually results in a new snap) No false
    X_CSI_VXFLEXOS_ENABLESNAPSHOTCGDELETE Enable this to automatically delete all snapshots in a consistency group when a snap in the group is deleted No false
    X_CSI_DEBUG To enable debug mode No true
    X_CSI_ALLOW_RWO_MULTI_POD_ACCESS Setting allowRWOMultiPodAccess to “true” will allow multiple pods on the same node to access the same RWO volume. This behavior conflicts with the CSI specification version 1.3. NodePublishVolume description that requires an error to be returned in this case. However, some other CSI drivers support this behavior and some customers desire this behavior. Customers use this option at their own risk. No false
  4. Execute this command to create PowerFlex custom resource: kubectl create -f <input_sample_file.yaml> . This command will deploy the CSI-PowerFlex driver in the namespace specified in the input YAML file.

  5. Verify the CSI Driver installation

Note :

  1. “Kubelet config dir path” is not yet configurable in case of Operator based driver installation.
  2. Also, snapshotter and resizer sidecars are not optional to choose, it comes default with Driver installation.