Lifecycle of a Volume and Claim

PVs are resources in the cluster. PVCs are requests for those resources and also act as claim checks to the resource. The interaction between PVs and PVCs have the following lifecycle.

Provision storage

In response to requests from a developer defined in a PVC, a cluster administrator configures one or more dynamic provisioners that provision storage and a matching PV.

Alternatively, a cluster administrator can create a number of PVs in advance that carry the details of the real storage that is available for use. PVs exist in the API and are available for use.

Bind claims

When you create a PVC, you request a specific amount of storage, specify the required access mode, and create a storage class to describe and classify the storage. The control loop in the master watches for new PVCs and binds the new PVC to an appropriate PV. If an appropriate PV does not exist, a provisioner for the storage class creates one.

The size of all PVs might exceed your PVC size. This is especially true with manually provisioned PVs. To minimize the excess, OKD cluster binds to the smallest PV that matches all other criteria.

Claims remain unbound indefinitely if a matching volume does not exist or can not be created with any available provisioner servicing a storage class. Claims are bound as matching volumes become available. For example, a cluster with many manually provisioned 50Gi volumes would not match a PVC requesting 100Gi. The PVC can be bound when a 100Gi PV is added to the cluster.

Use pods and claimed PVs

Pods use claims as volumes. The cluster inspects the claim to find the bound volume and mounts that volume for a pod. For those volumes that support multiple access modes, you must specify which mode applies when you use the claim as a volume in a pod.

Once you have a claim and that claim is bound, the bound PV belongs to you for as long as you need it. You can schedule pods and access claimed PVs by including persistentVolumeClaim in the pod’s volumes block.

Storage Object in Use Protection

The Storage Object in Use Protection feature ensures that PVCs in active use by a pod and PVs that are bound to PVCs are not removed from the system, as this can result in data loss.

Storage Object in Use Protection is enabled by default.

If a user deletes a PVC that is in active use by a pod, the PVC is not removed immediately. PVC removal is postponed until the PVC is no longer actively used by any pods. Also, if a cluster admin deletes a PV that is bound to a PVC, the PV is not removed immediately. PV removal is postponed until the PV is no longer bound to a PVC.

Release a persistent volume

When you are finished with a volume, you can delete the PVC object from the API, which allows reclamation of the resource. The volume is considered released when the claim is deleted, but it is not yet available for another claim. The previous claimant’s data remains on the volume and must be handled according to policy.

Reclaim policy for persistent volumes

The reclaim policy of a persistent volume tells the cluster what to do with the volume after it is released. A volume’s reclaim policy can be Retain, Recycle, or Delete.

  • Retain reclaim policy allows manual reclamation of the resource for those volume plug-ins that support it.
  • Recycle reclaim policy recycles the volume back into the pool of unbound persistent volumes once it is released from its claim.
  • Delete reclaim policy deletes both the PersistentVolume object from OKD cluster and the associated storage asset in external infrastructure, such as AWS EBS or VMware vSphere.

Reclaiming a persistent volume manually

When a persistent volume claim (PVC) is deleted, the persistent volume (PV) still exists and is considered "released". However, the PV is not yet available for another claim because the data of the previous claimant remains on the volume. To manually reclaim the PV as a cluster administrator:

  • Delete the PV.
  • Clean up the data on the associated storage asset.
  • Delete the associated storage asset. Alternately, to reuse the same storage asset, create a new PV with the storage asset definition.
  • The reclaimed PV is now available for use by another PVC.