How to share storage between Kubernetes pods?

I am evaluating Kubernetes as a platform for our new application. For now, it looks all very exciting! However, I’m running into a problem: I’m hosting my cluster on GCE and I need some mechanism to share storage between two pods – the continous integration server and my application server. What’s the best way for doing this with kubernetes? None of the volume types seems to fit my needs, since GCE disks can’t be shared if one pod needs to write to the disk. NFS would be perfect, but seems to require special build options for the kubernetes cluster?

EDIT: Sharing storage seems to be a problem that I have encountered multiple times now using Kubernetes. There are multiple use cases where I’d just like to have one volume and hook it up to multiple pods (with write access). I can only assume that this would be a common use case, no?

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  • 6 Solutions collect form web for “How to share storage between Kubernetes pods?”

    A bit late to answer this question but from my experience thus far of Kubernetes / MSA, the issue here is more in your design pattern. One of the fundamental design patterns that continues to come up quite often in MSA is the proper encapsulation of your services, which also includes its data.

    Your service should look after the data that is related to its area of concern and, much like OOP, should allow access to this data to other services via an interface (an API, PUBSUB message etc). Multi-service access to data is an anti-pattern akin to global variables in OOP.

    I assume that Google have the same opinion as well and this is why Kubernetes is set up in this fashion.

    As an example, if you where looking to write logs, you should have a log service which each service can call with the relevant data it needs to log. Writing directly to a shared disk means that you’d need to update every container if you change your log directory structure etc or decided to add extra functionality like emails on errors.

    NFS is a built-in volume plugin and supports multiple pod writers. There are no special build options to get NFS working in Kube.

    I work at Red Hat on Kubernetes, focused mainly on storage.

    If it is logs that you are looking to write to disk, I suggest you look at logspout This will collect each pod’s logging and then you can use google cloud platforms’ fairly new logging service that uses fluentd. That way all logs from each pod are collected into a single place.

    If it is data that would normally write to a database or something of that nature, I recommend having a separate server outside of the kubernetes cluster that runs the database.


    For sharing files amongst pods, I recommend mounting a google cloud storage drive to each node in your kubernetes cluster, then setting that up as a volume into each pod that mounts to that mounted directory on the node and not directly to the drive. Having it mount to each node is good because pods do not run on designated nodes, so it’s best to centralize it in that case.

    Have you tried Google Cloud Storage? You might even be able to use the FUSE adapter to map it like a network disk.

    @Marco – in regards to the Maven related question my advice would be to stop looking at this as a centralized storage problem and perhaps think of it as a service issue.

    I’ve run Maven repositories under HTTP in the past (read-only). I would simply create a Maven repo and expose it over Apache/Nginx in its own pod (docker container) with what ever dedicated storage you need for just that pod and then use service discovery to link it to your application and build systems.

    Have you looked at kubernetes Volumes ? You are probably looking at creating a gcePersistentDisk

    A gcePersistentDisk volume mounts a Google Compute Engine (GCE)
    Persistent Disk into your pod. Unlike emptyDir, which is erased when a
    Pod is removed, the contents of a PD are preserved and the volume is
    merely unmounted. This means that a PD can be pre-populated with data,
    and that data can be “handed off” between pods. Important: You must
    create a PD using gcloud or the GCE API or UI before you can use it
    There are some restrictions when using a gcePersistentDisk: the nodes
    on which pods are running must be GCE VMs those VMs need to be in the
    same GCE project and zone as the PD A feature of PD is that they can
    be mounted as read-only by multiple consumers simultaneously. This
    means that you can pre-populate a PD with your dataset and then serve
    it in parallel from as many pods as you need. Unfortunately, PDs can
    only be mounted by a single consumer in read-write mode – no
    simultaneous writers allowed. Using a PD on a pod controlled by a
    ReplicationController will fail unless the PD is read-only or the
    replica count is 0 or 1.

    To support multiple writes from various pods you will probably need to create one beefy pod which exposes a thrift or socket types service which exposes readFromDisk and WriteToDisk methods.

    Docker will be the best open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications.