CSM Operator

Container Storage Modules Operator

CSM 1.7.1 is applicable to helm based installations of PowerFlex driver.

The Dell Container Storage Modules Operator is a Kubernetes Operator, which can be used to install and manage the CSI Drivers and CSM Modules provided by Dell for various storage platforms. This operator is available as a community operator for upstream Kubernetes and can be deployed using OperatorHub.io. The operator can be installed using OLM (Operator Lifecycle Manager) or manually.

Support Matrix

Dell CSM Operator has been tested and qualified on Upstream Kubernetes and OpenShift. Supported versions are listed below:

Kubernetes Version OpenShift Version
1.25, 1.26, 1.27 4.11, 4.12, 4.12 EUS


  • Authorization module is only supported on Kubernetes platforms.

Supported CSM Components

The table below lists the driver and modules versions installable with the CSM Operator:

CSI Driver Version CSM Authorization CSM Replication CSM Observability CSM Resiliency
CSI PowerScale 2.7.0 ✔ 1.7.0 ✔ 1.5.0 ✔ 1.5.0 ✔ 1.6.0
CSI PowerScale 2.6.0 ✔ 1.6.0 ✔ 1.4.0 ✔ 1.5.0
CSI PowerScale 2.5.0 ✔ 1.5.0 ✔ 1.3.0 ✔ 1.4.0
CSI PowerFlex 2.7.0 ✔ 1.7.0 ✔ 1.5.0 ✔ 1.5.0 ✔ 1.6.0
CSI PowerFlex 2.6.0 ✔ 1.6.0 ✔ 1.4.0 ✔ 1.5.0
CSI PowerFlex 2.5.0 ✔ 1.5.0 ✔ 1.4.0
CSI PowerStore 2.7.0 ✔ 1.6.0
CSI PowerStore 2.6.0
CSI PowerMax 2.7.0 ✔ 1.7.0 ✔ 1.5.0
CSI Unity XT 2.7.0


  • Refer to sample files here.


Dell CSM Operator can be installed manually or via Operator Hub.

Once installed you will be able to deploy drivers and modules from the Operator.

OpenShift Installation via Operator Hub

dell-csm-operator can be installed via Operator Hub on upstream Kubernetes clusters & Red Hat OpenShift Clusters.

The installation process involves the creation of a Subscription object either via the OperatorHub UI or using kubectl/oc. While creating the Subscription you can set the Approval strategy for the InstallPlan for the operator to:

  • Automatic - If you want the operator to be automatically installed or upgraded (once an upgrade is available).
  • Manual - If you want a cluster administrator to manually review and approve the InstallPlan for installation/upgrades.

OpenShit Operator Hub CSM install

NOTE: Dell CSM Operator is distributed as a Certified & Community versions. Both are the exact same code and supported by Dell Technologies, the only difference is that the Certified version is validated by RedHat. The Certified version often release couple of days/weeks after the Community version.

Manual Installation on a cluster without OLM

  1. Clone and checkout the required csm-operator version using
git clone -b v1.2.0 https://github.com/dell/csm-operator.git
  1. cd csm-operator
  2. (Optional) If using a local Docker image, edit the deploy/operator.yaml file and set the image name for the CSM Operator Deployment.
  3. Run bash scripts/install.sh to install the operator.

NOTE: Dell CSM Operator will be installed in the dell-csm-operator namespace.

  1. Run the command to validate the installation.
kubectl get pods -n dell-csm-operator

If installed successfully, you should be able to see the operator pod in the dell-csm-operator namespace.


Operator uninstallation on a cluster without OLM

To uninstall a CSM operator, run bash scripts/uninstall.sh. This will uninstall the operator in dell-csm-operator namespace.


Dell CSM Operator

Dell CSM Operator can be upgraded in 2 ways:

  1. Using Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM)

  2. Using script (for non-OLM based installation)

Using OLM

The upgrade of the Dell CSM Operator is done via Operator Lifecycle Manager.

The Update approval (InstallPlan in OLM terms) strategy plays a role while upgrading dell-csm-operator on OpenShift. This option can be set during installation of dell-csm-operator on OpenShift via the console and can be either set to Manual or Automatic.

  • If the Update approval is set to Automatic, OpenShift automatically detects whenever the latest version of dell-csm-operator is available in the Operator hub, and upgrades it to the latest available version.
  • If the upgrade policy is set to Manual, OpenShift notifies of an available upgrade. This notification can be viewed by the user in the Installed Operators section of the OpenShift console. Clicking on the hyperlink to Approve the installation would trigger the dell-csm-operator upgrade process.

NOTE: The recommended version of OLM for Upstream Kubernetes is v0.18.3.

Using Installation Script

  1. Clone and checkout the required csm-operator version using
git clone -b v1.2.0 https://github.com/dell/csm-operator.git
  1. cd csm-operator
  2. Execute bash scripts/install.sh --upgrade . This command will install the latest version of the operator.

NOTE: Dell CSM Operator would install to the ‘dell-csm-operator’ namespace by default.

Upgrade driver using Dell CSM Operator:

The CSI Drivers installed by the Dell CSM Operator can be updated like any Kubernetes resource.

  • Modifying the installation directly via kubectl edit
    $ kubectl get <driver-object> -n <driver-namespace>
    For example - If the CSI PowerStore driver is installed then run this command to get the object name
    # Replace driver-namespace with the namespace where the CSI PowerStore driver is installed
    $ kubectl get csm -n <driver-namespace>
    use the object name in kubectl edit command.
    $ kubectl edit csm <driver-object>/<object-name> -n <driver-namespace>
    For example - If the object name is powerstore then use the name as powerstore
    # Replace object-name with the powerstore
    $ kubectl edit csm powerstore -n <driver-namespace>
    and modify the installation. The usual fields to edit are the version of drivers, sidecars and the environment variables. The following notes explain some of the general items to take care of.


  1. If you are trying to upgrade the CSI driver from an older version, make sure to modify the configVersion field.
         configVersion: v2.7.0

Custom Resource Definitions

As part of the Dell CSM Operator installation, a CRD representing configuration for the CSI Driver and CSM Modules is also installed. containerstoragemodule CRD is installed in API Group storage.dell.com.

Drivers and modules can be installed by creating a customResource.

Custom Resource Specification

Each CSI Driver and CSM Module installation is represented by a Custom Resource.

The specification for the Custom Resource is the same for all the drivers.Below is a list of all the mandatory and optional fields in the Custom Resource specification

Mandatory fields

configVersion - Configuration version - refer here for appropriate config version.

replicas - Number of replicas for controller plugin - must be set to 1 for all drivers.

dnsPolicy - Determines the dnsPolicy for the node daemonset. Accepted values are Default, ClusterFirst, ClusterFirstWithHostNet, None.

common - This field is mandatory and is used to specify common properties for both controller and the node plugin.

  • image - driver container image
  • imagePullPolicy - Image Pull Policy of the driver image
  • envs - List of environment variables and their values

Optional fields

controller - List of environment variables and values which are applicable only for controller.

node - List of environment variables and values which are applicable only for node.

sideCars - Specification for CSI sidecar containers.

tlsCertSecret - Name of the TLS cert secret for use by the driver. If not specified, a secret *-certs must exist in the namespace as driver.

tolerations - List of tolerations which should be applied to the driver StatefulSet/Deployment and DaemonSet. It should be set separately in the controller and node sections if you want separate set of tolerations for them.

nodeSelector - Used to specify node selectors for the driver StatefulSet/Deployment and DaemonSet.

NOTE: The image field should point to the correct image tag for version of the driver you are installing.

CSI Drivers

Installation of Dell CSI Drivers using Dell CSM Operator

CSM Modules

Installation of Dell CSM Modules using Dell CSM Operator


Troubleshooting guide for Dell CSM Operator

Release notes

Release notes for Dell Container Storage Modules Operator