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Intersight Kubernetes Service (IKS) Series-Hitachi Persistent Storage Solution with Cisco IKS

By Arvin Jami posted 06-06-2022 18:16


Why persistent storage?

As customers move to deliver new revenue-generating services to their end customers, we see IT development teams move aggressively to cloud-native techniques, including containers as the form factor to provide these application services. These containerized application services are hosted on Kubernetes clusters, that run across private, hybrid and service provider clouds.  As with any application service, data eventually needs to be persisted and stored reliably. This could be a customer’s grocery order placed from a mobile app or a data stream from a drone service that AI/ML models are analyzing. The data location could be a SQL/NoSQL database, temporary file system using volumes from internal storage on a server or a reliable storage system such as Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP). As adoption grows for containers and the supporting ecosystem, including software to manage Kubernetes clusters and a range of data storage options, Cisco and Hitachi have collaborated to provide additional choices.  

Cisco now enables customers to deploy turnkey production-grade Kubernetes clusters directly from the Cisco Intersight dashboard under their Cisco Intersight Kubernetes Service (IKS) for virtualized VMware environments. Hitachi collaborated with Cisco to enable IKS to run on Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions, a software integrated storage solution with Hitachi VSP and Cisco Unified Compute System (UCS). Hitachi offers IKS customers a solution with two flexible options that can be used concurrently to meet the majority of deployment configurations of IKS that require persistent storage services for apps running in those Kubernetes Clusters. The solution integrates Hitachi Storage Plug-in for Containers (HSPC) and VMware CSI with Cloud Native Storage (CNS) using Hitachi Storage Provider for VMware vCenter (VASA) software.

Hitachi and Cisco IKS: Advanced persistent storage for containers

In supported IKS environments, customers can use HSPC to dynamically provision persistent volumes (PVs) to their containers and stateful applications using virtual worker nodes with iSCSI. This allows administrators to take advantage of Hitachi storage management capabilities provided by the Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS). For IKS worker nodes running on the VMware vSphere hypervisor, customers can also use the native vSphere VMware CSI driver with CNS services to dynamically provision VMDK storage from Hitachi VSP over FC and iSCSI protocols. This takes advantage of our tagging and policy-based provisioning with Hitachi Storage VASA software to utilize policy-based provisioning of VMDKs from VMFS and/or vVols datastores from VSP storage systems. The following figure illustrates persistent storage capabilities from Hitachi for supporting fully virtualized IKS clusters:

Data & Control Path to IKS Cluster with iSCSI using HSPCData & Control Path to IKS Cluster with FC and iSCSI using CNS

On top of automated persistent storage creation and mapping via HSPC, Hitachi also provides the Hitachi Storage Plug-in for Prometheus (HSPP), which enables administrators to view and monitor metrics of persistent volumes provided from the Hitachi VSP storage system to the Kubernetes cluster from a Grafana dashboard. This allows administrators to understand important performance metrics related to their persistent storage, such as IOPS, response time, transfer rate, capacity, and cache hit rate, all from a single dashboard. These metrics can be presented by Namespace, Persistent Volume Claims, Storage Class, Storage Serial Number, or Storage Pool ID.

The following figure represents the flow of metric collection via HSPP up to the Grafana dashboard:

Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP)

With these capabilities, customers can streamline their support of production-grade Kubernetes clusters backed by Hitachi VSP. As covered in our previous blog, Hitachi is working extensively with Cisco to expand further automation via Intersight Cloud Orchestrator (ICO) by providing tasks and workflows to help alleviate the additional load on administrators who manage multiple arrays. See this blog for more information on current capabilities.

Check out the following videos of demos conducted during Cisco live 2022 show casing the capabilities of Hitachi Storage Plug-in for Containers v3.10 backing Cisco IKS:

Scenario 1: Dynamically provision a new storage volume and attach a Persistent Volume to a Pod:

Scenario 2: Creating a clone of a Persistent Volume and attaching this volume to a clone of the original Pod:

Scenario 3: Taking a snapshot of a Persistent Volume:

Scenario 4: Expanding the size of an existing Persistent volume:

Hitachi Storage Plug-in for Prometheus :

We look forward to expanding additional capabilities for the Hitachi VSP and want to thank our customers and partners. For more information on the Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions program visit



#Intersight Kubernetes ServiceIKS
#Hitachi Storage Plug-in for ContainersHSPC
#Hitachi Storage Plug-in for PrometheusHSPP
#Container Storage InterfaceCSI
#Cisco Unified Compute SystemUCS




06-30-2022 11:59

Interesting one!!

06-09-2022 10:58

Nice write up