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Published: Dec 18, 2020 License: Apache-2.0, Apache-2.0 Imports: 1 Imported by: 0


iSCSI-targetd provisioner

iSCSI-targetd provisioner is an out of tree provisioner for iSCSI storage for Kubernetes and OpenShift. The provisioniner uses the API provided by targetd to create and export iSCSI storage on a remote server.


iSCSI-targetd provisioner has the following prerequisistes:

  1. an iSCSI server managed by targetd
  2. all the openshift nodes correclty configured to communicate with the iSCSI server
  3. sufficient disk space available as LVM2 volume group (thinly provisioned volumes are also supported and can be used to alleviate this requirement)

How it works

When a pvc request is issued for an iscsi provisioner controlled storage class the following happens:

  1. a new volume in the configured volume group is created, the size of the volume corresponds to the size requested in the pvc
  2. the volume is exported to the first available lun and made accessible to all the configured initiators.
  3. the corresponding pv is created and bound to the pvc.

Each storage class is tied to an iSCSI target and a volume group. Because a target can manage a maximum of 255 LUNs, each storage class manages at most 255 pvs. iSCSI-targetd provisioner can manage multiple storage classes.

Installing the prerequisites

These instructions should work for RHEL/CentOS 7+ and Fedora 24+.

On Fedora 24, current updates to the SELinux policy do not work with targetd. There is a bug filed: Until this bug is resolve, SELinux must be set to permissive mode on Fedora 25+.

For RHEL and Centos make sure you install targetd >= 0.8.6-1 as in previous versions there a bug that prevented exposing a volume to more than one initiator

A note about names

In various places, iSCSI Qualified Names (IQNs) need to be created. These need to be unique. So every target must have it's own unique IQN, and every client (initiator) must have its own IQN.


IQNs have a specific format:

See the wikipedia article for more information.

Configure Storage

Before configuring the iSCSI server, it needs to have storage configured. targetd uses LVM to provision storage.

If possible, it's best to have a dedicated disk or partition that can be configured as a volume group. However, if this is not possible, a loopback device can be used to simulate a dedicated block device.

Create a Volume Group with a dedicated disk or partition

This requires an additional dedicated disk or partition to use for the volume group. If that's not possible, see the section on using a loopback device.

Assuming that the dedicated block device is /dev/vdb and that targetd is configured to use vg-targetd:

pvcreate /dev/vdb
vgcreate vg-targetd /dev/vdb
Create a Volume Group on a Loopback Device

the volume group should be called vg-target, this way you don' have to change any default

here is how you would do it in minishift

cd /var/lib/minishift
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=disk.img bs=1G count=2
export LOOP=`sudo losetup -f`
sudo losetup $LOOP disk.img
sudo vgcreate vg-targetd $LOOP
Optional: Enable Thin Provisioning

Logical Volumes created in a volume group are thick provisioned by default, i.e. space is reserved at time of creation. Optionally, a LVM can use a thin provisioning pool to create thin provisioned volumes.

To create a thin provisioning pool, called pool this example, execute the following commands:

# This will create a 15GB thin pool in the vg-targetd volume group
lvcreate -L 15G --thinpool pool vg-targetd

When configuring targetd, the pool_name setting in targetd.yaml will need to be set to /. In this example, it would be vg-targetd/pool.

Configure the iSCSI server
Install targetd and targetcli

Only targetd needs to be installed. However, it's highly recommended to also install targetcli as it provides a simple user interface for looking at the state of the iSCSI system.

sudo yum install -y targetcli targetd
Configure target

Enable and start target.service. This will ensure that iSCSI configuration persists through reboot.

sudo systemctl enable target
sudo systemctl start target
Configure targetd

First, edit /etc/target/targetd.yaml. A working sample configuration is provided below:

password: ciao

# defaults below; uncomment and edit
# if using a thin pool, use <volume group name>/<thin pool name>
# e.g vg-targetd/pool
pool_name: vg-targetd
user: admin
ssl: false

Next, enable and start targetd.service.

sudo systemctl enable targetd
sudo systemctl start targetd
Configure the Firewall

The default configuration requires that port 3260/tcp, 3260/udp and 18700/tcp be open on the iSCSI server.

If using firewalld,

firewall-cmd --add-service=iscsi-target --permanent
firewall-cmd --add-port=18700/tcp --permanent 
firewall-cmd --reload

Otherwise, add the following iptables rules to /etc/sysconfig/iptables

Configure the nodes (iscsi clients)
Install the iscsi-initiator-utils package

The iscsiadm command is required for all clients. This is provided by the iscsi-initiator-utils package and should be part of the standard RHEL, CentOS or Fedora installation.

sudo yum install -y iscsi-initiator-utils
Configure the Initiator Name


By default, a random initiator name is generated when the iscsi-initiator-utils package is installed. This usually unique enough, but is not guaranteed. It's also not very descriptive.

To set a custom initiator name, edit the file /etc/iscsi/initiatorname.iscsi:

In the above example, the initiator name is set to

After changing the initiator name, restart iscsid.service.

sudo systemctl restart iscsid
Install the iscsi provisioner pod in Kubernetes

Run the following commands. The secret correspond to username and password you have chosen for targetd (admin is the default for the username). This set of command will install iSCSI-targetd provisioner in the default namespace.

export NS=default
kubectl create secret generic targetd-account --from-literal=username=admin --from-literal=password=ciao -n $NS
kubectl apply -f -n $NS
kubectl apply -f -n $NS
Install the iscsi provisioner pod in Openshift

Run the following commands. The secret correspond to username and password you have chosen for targetd (admin is the default for the username)

oc new-project iscsi-provisioner
oc create sa iscsi-provisioner
oc adm policy add-cluster-role-to-user cluster-reader system:serviceaccount:iscsi-provisioner:iscsi-provisioner
# if Openshift is version < 3.6 add the iscsi-provisioner-runner role
oc create -f
# else if Openshift is version >= 3.6 add the system:persistent-volume-provisioner role
oc adm policy add-cluster-role-to-user system:persistent-volume-provisioner system:serviceaccount:iscsi-provisioner:iscsi-provisioner
oc secret new-basicauth targetd-account --username=admin --password=ciao
oc create -f
Start iscsi provisioner as docker container.

Alternatively, you can start a provisioner as a container locally.

docker run -ti -v /root/.kube:/kube -v /var/run/kubernetes:/var/run/kubernetes --privileged --net=host start --kubeconfig=/kube/config --master= --log-level=debug --targetd-address= --targetd-password=ciao --targetd-username=admin
Create a storage class

storage classes should look like the following

kind: StorageClass
  name: iscsi-targetd-vg-targetd
provisioner: iscsi-targetd
# this id where the iscsi server is running
# this is the iscsi server iqn  
# this is the iscsi interface to be used, the default is default
# iscsiInterface: default

# this must be on eof the volume groups condifgured in targed.yaml, the default is vg-targetd
# volumeGroup: vg-targetd

# this is a comma separated list of initiators that will be give access to the created volumes, they must correspond to what you have configured in your nodes.
# whether or not to use chap authentication for discovery operations  
  chapAuthDiscovery: "true"
# whether or not to use chap authentication for session operations  
  chapAuthSession: "true" 

you can create one with the following command in kubernetes

kubectl create -f

or this command in openshift

oc create -f
Test iscsi provisioner

Create a pvc

oc create -f

verify that the pv has been created

oc get pv

you may also want to verify that the volume has been created in you volume group

targetcli ls

deploy a pod that uses the pvc

oc create -f

Installing iSCSI provisioner using ansible

If you have installed OpenShift using the ansible installer you can use a set of playbook to automate the above instructions. You can find more documentation on these playbooks here before running the playbooks you need to annotate the inventory file with some additional variables and the nodes with the iscsi inititator name that you want to be created. Here is a summary of the variables:

Variable Name Description
targetd_lvm_volume_group the volume group to be created
targetd_lvm_physical_volumes comma separated list of devices to add to the volume group
targetd_password the password used to authenticate the connection to targetd, you may want to not store this on your inventory file, you can pass this as {{ lookup('env','TARGETD_PASSWORD') }}
targetd_user the username used to authenticate the connection to targetd, you may want to not store this on your inventory file, you can pass this as {{ lookup('env','TARGETD_USERNAME') }}
targetd_iscsi_target the name of the target to be created in the target server
iscsi_provisioner_pullspec the location of the iSCSI-targetd provisioner image
iscsi_provisioner_default_storage_class whether the created storage class should be the default class
iscsi_provisioner_portals optional, comma separated list of alternative IP:port where the iscsi server can be found, specifying this parameters trigger the usage of multipath
chap_auth_discovery true/false whether to use chap authentication for discovery operations
discovery_sendtargets_auth_username initiator username
discovery_sendtargets_auth_password initiator password, you can pass this as {{ lookup('env','SENDTARGET_PASSWORD') }}
discovery_sendtargets_auth_username_in target username
discovery_sendtargets_auth_password_in target password, you can pass this as {{ lookup('env','SENDTARGET_PASSWORD_IN') }}
chap_auth_session true/false whether to use chap authentication for session operations
session_auth_username initiator username
session_auth_password initiator password, you can pass this as {{ lookup('env','SESSION_PASSWORD') }}
session_auth_username_in target username
session_auth_password_in target password, you can pass this as {{ lookup('env','SESSION_PASSWORD_IN') }}

All the nodes should have a label with their defining the initiator name for that node, here is an example:

ose-node1.cscc openshift_node_labels="{'region': 'primary', 'zone': 'default'}"
ose-node2.cscc openshift_node_labels="{'region': 'primary', 'zone': 'default'}"

see also the individual roles documentation

To install iSCSI provisioner using ansible, run the following

ansible-playbook -i <your inventory file> ansible/playbook/all.yaml

on iSCSI authentication

If you enable iSCSI CHAP-based authentication, the ansible installer will set the target configuration consinstently and also configure the storage class. However at provisioning time the provisioner will not setup the chap secret. Having the permissions to setup a secret in any namespace would make the provisioner too powerful and insecure. So, it is up to the project administrator to setup the secret. The name of the expected secret name will be <provisioner-name>-chap-secret An example of the secret format can be found here


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