Portworx Enterprise


Portworx on Anthos

Portworx has been certified with the following Anthos versions:

  • Anthos 1.1
  • Anthos 1.2
  • Anthos 1.3


Below diagram gives an overview of the Portworx architecture on vSphere using shared datastores.

  • Portworx runs as a Daemonset hence each Kubernetes minion/worker will have the Portworx daemon running.
  • Based on the given spec by the end user, Portworx on each node will create it’s disk on the configured shared datastore(s) or datastore cluster(s).
  • Portworx will aggregate all of the disks and form a single storage cluster. End users can carve PVCs (Persistent Volume Claims), PVs (Persistent Volumes) and Snapshots from this storage cluster.
  • Portworx tracks and manages the disks that it creates. So in a failure event, if a new VM spins up, Portworx on the new VM will be able to attach to the same disk that was previously created by the node on the failed VM.

Portworx architecture for PKS on vSphere using shared datastores or datastore clusters


This topic explains how to install Portworx with Kubernetes on Anthos. Follow the steps in this topic in order.

Run these steps from the anthos admin station or any other machine which has kubectl access to your cluster.

Step 1: vCenter user for Portworx

You will need to provide Portworx with a vCenter server user that will need to either have the full Admin role or, for increased security, a custom-created role with the following minimum vSphere privileges:

  • Datastore
    • Browse datastore
    • Low level file operations
    • Remove file
  • Host
    • Local operations
    • Reconfigure virtual machine
  • Virtual machine
    • Change Configuration
    • Add existing disk
    • Add new disk
    • Add or remove device
    • Advanced configuration
    • Change Settings
    • Modify device settings
    • Remove disk

If you create a custom role as above, make sure to select “Propagate to children” when assigning the user to the role.

All commands in the subsequent steps need to be run on a machine with kubectl access.

Step 2: Create a Kubernetes secret with your vCenter user and password

Update the following items in the Secret template below to match your environment:

  1. VSPHERE_USER: Use output of printf <vcenter-server-user> | base64
  2. VSPHERE_PASSWORD: Use output of printf <vcenter-server-password> | base64
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: px-vsphere-secret
  namespace: kube-system
type: Opaque

kubectl apply the above spec after you update the above template with your user and password.

Step 3: Generate rest of the specs

vSphere environment details

Export following env variables based on your vSphere environment. These variables will be used in a later step when generating the yaml spec.

# Hostname or IP of your vCenter server
export VSPHERE_VCENTER=myvcenter.net

# Prefix of your shared ESXi datastore(s) names. Portworx will use datastores who names match this prefix to create disks.
export VSPHERE_DATASTORE_PREFIX=mydatastore-

# Change this to the port number vSphere services are running on if you have changed the default port 443

Disk templates

A disk template defines the VMDK properties that Portworx will use as a reference for creating the actual disks out of which Portworx will create the virtual volumes for your PVCs.

Following example will create a 150GB zeroed thick vmdk on each VM.

export VSPHERE_DISK_TEMPLATE=type=zeroedthick,size=150

The template follows the following format:

"type=<vmdk type>,size=<size of the vmdk>"
  • type: Supported types are thin, zeroedthick , eagerzeroedthick
  • size: This is the size of the VMDK in GiB

Max storage nodes

Anthos cluster management operations, such as upgrades, recycle cluster nodes by deleting and recreating them. During this process, the cluster momentarily scales up to more nodes than initially installed. For example, a 3-node cluster may increase to a 4-node cluster.

To prevent Portworx from creating storage on these additional nodes, you must cap the number of Portworx nodes that will act as storage nodes. You can do this by setting the MAX_NUMBER_OF_NODES_PER_ZONE environment variable according to the following requirements:

  • If your Anthos cluster does not have zones configured, this number should be your initial number of cluster nodes
  • If your Anthos cluster has zones configured, this number should be initial number of cluster nodes per zone

NOTE: In the command above, 3 is an example. Change this number to suit your cluster.

Generate the spec file

Now generate the spec with the following curl command.

Observe how curl below uses the environment variables setup up above as query parameters.
export VER=$(kubectl version --short | awk -Fv '/Server Version: /{print $3}')
curl -fsL -o px-spec.yaml "https://install.portworx.com/$VER&mz=$MAX_NUMBER_OF_NODES_PER_ZONE&csida=true&c=portworx-demo-cluster&b=true&st=k8s&csi=true&vsp=true&ds=$VSPHERE_DATASTORE_PREFIX&vc=$VSPHERE_VCENTER&s=%22$VSPHERE_DISK_TEMPLATE%22&misc=-rt_opts%20kvdb_failover_timeout_in_mins=25"

Apply the specs

Apply the generated specs to your cluster.

kubectl apply -f px-spec.yaml
Monitor the Portworx pods
  1. Enter the following kubectl get command, waiting until all Portworx pods show as ready in the output:

    kubectl get pods -o wide -n kube-system -l name=portworx
  2. Enter the following kubectl describe command with the ID of one of your Portworx pods to show the current installation status for individual nodes:

     kubectl -n kube-system describe pods <portworx-pod-id>
       Type     Reason                             Age                     From                  Message
       ----     ------                             ----                    ----                  -------
       Normal   Scheduled                          7m57s                   default-scheduler     Successfully assigned kube-system/portworx-qxtw4 to k8s-node-2
       Normal   Pulling                            7m55s                   kubelet, k8s-node-2   Pulling image "portworx/oci-monitor:2.5.0"
       Normal   Pulled                             7m54s                   kubelet, k8s-node-2   Successfully pulled image "portworx/oci-monitor:2.5.0"
       Normal   Created                            7m53s                   kubelet, k8s-node-2   Created container portworx
       Normal   Started                            7m51s                   kubelet, k8s-node-2   Started container portworx
       Normal   PortworxMonitorImagePullInPrgress  7m48s                   portworx, k8s-node-2  Portworx image portworx/px-enterprise:2.5.0 pull and extraction in progress
       Warning  NodeStateChange                    5m26s                   portworx, k8s-node-2  Node is not in quorum. Waiting to connect to peer nodes on port 9002.
       Warning  Unhealthy                          5m15s (x15 over 7m35s)  kubelet, k8s-node-2   Readiness probe failed: HTTP probe failed with statuscode: 503
       Normal   NodeStartSuccess                   5m7s                    portworx, k8s-node-2  PX is ready on this node
     **NOTE:** In your output, the image pulled will differ based on your chosen Portworx license type and version.
Monitor Portworx cluster status
PX_POD=$(kubectl get pods -l name=portworx -n kube-system -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')
kubectl exec $PX_POD -n kube-system -- /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl status

Known issues

vSphere 6.5

  • Issue: If you are running on VMware vSphere version 6.5 or lower: When you delete a worker node VM, vSphere deletes all disks attached to the VM. While this is the default vSphere behavior, the deletion of these disks will cause the Portworx cluster to lose quorum.
  • Workaround: Upgrade to vSphere 6.7.3 and use Portworx or higher

Last edited: Thursday, Jun 18, 2020