HomeDevelopmentCloud NativeDynamic provisioning in Kubernetes & why it matters for cloud storage

Dynamic provisioning in Kubernetes & why it matters for cloud storage

Cloud-native technologies have modernized application development to keep up with changing customer demands. Microservices and containerization make your applications flexible and resilient to constant market changes. One key benefit of cloud-native applications is autoscaling. It allows organizations to offer reliable customer experiences with high loading speed and availability. Container orchestration solutions like Kubernetes allow you to scale your applications seamlessly through dynamic storage resources. This helps you to automate storage provisioning for multiple applications with minimal operational effort. Dynamic provisioning in Kubernetes has made life easy for developers who build apps with heterogeneous workloads. 

Let’s understand what dynamic volume provisioning is and how it benefits you in scaling your applications without hassle.

Dynamic provisioning of storage in Kubernetes

In simple terms, dynamic provisioning is the process of allowing the creation of storage resources as and when needed. It allows you to free up administrators from manually creating storage volumes when required. Instead, a user request for storage triggers an automated process for dynamic provisioning.

To better understand dynamic provisioning in Kubernetes, you need to learn a few key concepts in Kubernetes storage.

Containers are immutable. It means that when a container is destroyed, it involves destroying all the data created when it was alive. Quite understandably, this isn’t an ideal situation. Information produced during application runtime must be maintained regardless of the container status. This is why Kubernetes require two types of storage:

  • Non-persistent: Storage data information temporarily 
  • Persistent: Stores information on databases for durability 

Container Storage Interface: A Kubernetes extension that allows you to add plugins to manage storage devices.

Volumes: Fundamental storage entity that can manage all storage types.

Persistent Volume (PV): It is a storage volume that has been allotted to a cluster to cater to its storage provisioning. Some applications may require you to store information that a container produces long after it is terminated. It is through PVs that you can isolate storage from container instances. Once a PV is dedicated to a cluster, it must be accessible to all the nodes within that cluster.

Persistent Volume Claim (PVC): It is a user’s request for storage volume. Every claim features specifications for the type of storage required, including size and access modes. Once a PVC has been generated, Kubernetes evaluates available PVs and assigns the most appropriate one.

StorageClasses: It represents a storage device (SSD, magnetic drivers, etc.) as a Kubernetes API assigned to PVs. It allows you to provision PVs as per application needs automatically.

How does dynamic provisioning in Kubernetes work?

Without dynamic provisioning, your admin must learn about the PV requirements and create them on available storage resources. This means, you must depend on the admin for storage provisioning, creating a bottleneck. Dynamic provisioning, on the other side, makes it simple.

The admin configures Storage Classes linked to a specific storage source in this approach. PVs are automatically provisioned storage from here as dictated by application requirements. That means when a PVC is detected, Kubernetes identifies the suitable PV, retrieving storage resources from the volume plugin associated with the Storage Class.

Dynamic provisioning with cloud storage

Cloud storage has been a boon for enterprises as it empowers developers to access budget-friendly storage resources that can be scaled on demand. Cloud storage provides several benefits:

  • Accessibility
  • Security
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility
  • Cost saving

You can extend these benefits to your Kubernetes ecosystem by enabling dynamic provisioning with cloud storage. For automated storage provisioning to work, you will need access to unlimited storage space that can manage your information securely and doesn’t burn a hole through your wallet.

With dynamic provisioning in a cloud environment, you can take advantage of the pay-per-use model. It means you only pay when you use the resource. This gives your developers a great level of freedom with Storage Classes. Cloud storage allows smooth dynamic volume provisioning as you can move your VMs between cloud nodes without hiccups. As your application usage fluctuates, you can easily manage scalability challenges.

Benefits of dynamic provisioning with cloud storage

You can leverage multiple benefits by using dynamic volume provisioning with cloud platforms. Some of them are listed below:

Eliminating bottlenecks: As dynamic storage, provisioning doesn’t rely on admins; it eliminates the usual back and forth between developers and IT admins for storage resources. Instead, admins can configure rules once, which automates the process.

Saving significantly in storage costs: Cloud service providers allow you to pay for the resources you use, unlike bare metal servers, where you are charged for the storage regardless of its utilization. In addition, it does away with resource wastage by automatically provisioning and unprovisioning storage volumes through PVs and PVCs.

High availability for better experience: Automating storage allocation reduces disruption, ultimately improving customer experience. Further, as PVCs are matched to Storage Class based on the specifications, the PVs are linked to appropriate resource needs.

Cloud storage gives an edge to dynamic provisioning

Dynamic provisioning in Kubernetes adds significantly to an application’s performance. It makes the software scalable and reliable by providing storage resources as needed. Automating the allocation through a storage framework makes your software resilient to oscillating workloads. PVs, PVCs, and Storage Classes form an intricate architecture, which can burden admins to manage multiple storage classes like SSDs. To maximize the advantage of dynamic provisioning, you can couple it with cloud storage. Cloud providers offer a range of engagement models to suit your storage requirements at flexible prices.

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