Introducing Windows CSI support alpha for Kubernetes

Introducing Windows CSI support alpha for Kubernetes

The alpha version of CSI Proxy for Windows is being released with Kubernetes 1.18. CSI proxy enables CSI Drivers on Windows by allowing containers in Windows to perform privileged storage operations.

The alpha version of [CSI Proxy_](https://github.com/kubernetes-csi/csi-proxy) for Windows is being released with Kubernetes 1.18. CSI proxy enables CSI Drivers on Windows by allowing containers in Windows to perform privileged storage operations._

Background

Container Storage Interface (CSI) for Kubernetes went GA in the Kubernetes 1.13 release. CSI has become the standard for exposing block and file storage to containerized workloads on Container Orchestration systems (COs) like Kubernetes. It enables third-party storage providers to write and deploy plugins without the need to alter the core Kubernetes codebase. All new storage features will utilize CSI, therefore it is important to get CSI drivers to work on Windows.

A CSI driver in Kubernetes has two main components: a controller plugin and a node plugin. The controller plugin generally does not need direct access to the host and can perform all its operations through the Kubernetes API and external control plane services (e.g. cloud storage service). The node plugin, however, requires direct access to the host for making block devices and/or file systems available to the Kubernetes kubelet. This was previously not possible for containers on Windows. With the release of CSIProxy, CSI drivers can now perform storage operations on the node. This inturn enables containerized CSI Drivers to run on Windows.

CSI support for Windows clusters

CSI drivers (e.g. AzureDisk, GCE PD, etc.) are recommended to be deployed as containers. CSI driver’s node plugin typically runs on every worker node in the cluster (as a DaemonSet). Node plugin containers need to run with elevated privileges to perform storage related operations. However, Windows currently does not support privileged containers. To solve this problem, CSIProxy makes it so that node plugins can now be deployed as unprivileged pods and then use the proxy to perform privileged storage operations on the node.

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