How to Install and configure vSphere CSI Driver on OpenShift 4.x

Note2: December 2021 VMware released the Red Hat Certified Operator "vSphere Kubernetes Driver Operator", which is now the preferred and recommended way to install CPI and CSI in your OpenShift environment.
- Using the new vSphere Kubernetes Driver Operator with Red Hat OpenShift via Operator Hub

Note: This blog post was updated in February 2021 to use the new driver manifests from the Official VMware CSI Driver repository, which now provides support for OpenShift


In this post I am going to install the vSphere CSI Driver version 2.1.0 with OpenShift 4.x, in my demo environment I’m connecting to a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC and vCenter, however the steps are the same for an on-prem deployment.

We will be using the vSphere CSI Driver which now supports OpenShift.

- Pre-Reqs
- - vCenter Server Role
- - Download the deployment files
- - Create the vSphere CSI secret in OpenShift
- - Create Roles, ServiceAccount and ClusterRoleBinding for vSphere CSI Driver
- Installation
- - Install vSphere CSI driver
- - Verify Deployment
- Create a persistent volume claim
- Using Labels
- Troubleshooting

In your environment, cluster VMs will need “disk.enableUUID” and VM hardware version 15 or higher.

vCenter Server Role

In my environment I will use the default administrator account, however in production environments I recommend you follow a strict RBAC procedure and configure the necessary roles and use a dedicated account for the CSI driver to connect to your vCenter.

To make life easier I have created a PowerCLI script to create the necessary roles in vCenter based on the vSphere CSI documentation;

Download the deployment files

Run the following;

git clone

vSphere CSI OpenShift git clone

Create the vSphere CSI Secret + CPI ConfigMap in OpenShift

Edit the two files “csi-vsphere.conf” + “vsphere.conf” with your vCenter infrastructure details. These two files may have the same information in them, but in the example of using VSAN File Services, then you may include further configuration in your CSI conf file, as an example.

# run the following on your OCP cluster to get the ID
# oc get clusterversion -o jsonpath='{.items[].spec.clusterID}{"\n"}'
#Your OCP cluster name provided below can just be a human readable name but needs to be unique when running different OCP clusters on the same vSphere environment.
cluster-id = "OCP_CLUSTER_ID"

[VirtualCenter "VC_FQDN"]
insecure-flag = "true"
user = "USER"
password = "PASSWORD"
port = "443"
datacenters = "VC_DATACENTER"

vSphere CSI with Openshift configure vSphere Secret in OpenShift

Create the CSI secret + CPI configmap;

oc create secret generic vsphere-config-secret --from-file=csi-vsphere.conf --namespace=kube-system

oc create configmap cloud-config --from-file=vsphere.conf --namespace=kube-system

To validate:
oc get secret vsphere-config-secret --namespace=kube-system
oc get configmap cloud-config --namespace=kube-syste

This configuration is for block volumes, it is also supported to configure access to VSAN File volumes, and you can see an example of the configuration here;

Remove the two local .conf files form your machine once the secret is created, as it contains your password in clear text for vCenter.

Install the vSphere CPI

Taint all OpenShift Nodes.

kubectl taint nodes --all ''

Install the vSphere CPI (RBAC, Bindings, DaemonSet)

oc apply -f

oc apply -f

oc apply -f

You can verify the installation by viewing the providerID for the nodes, which must reference “vSphere”.

oc describe nodes | grep "ProviderID"

vSphere CSI CPI OpenShift ProviderID

Install vSphere CSI driver

The driver is made up of the following components

  • CSI Controller runs as a Kubernetes deployment, with a replica count of 1.
  • For version v2.1.0, the vsphere-csi-controller Pod consists of 6 containers
    • CSI controller, External Provisioner, External Attacher, External Resizer, Liveness probe and vSphere Syncer.
Note: This example shows the newer driver manifests for vSphere 7.0 U1. 
Use the correct vSphere version manifests as per this link.

Create the CSI artifacts.

oc apply -f

oc apply -f

oc apply -f
Verify the deployment

You can verify the deployment with the two below commands

oc get deployments --namespace=kube-system

oc get CSINode
vSphere CSI oc get deployments oc get CSInode
Creating a Storage Class that uses the CSI-Driver

Create a storage class to test the deployment. As I am using VMC as my test environment, I must use some additional optional parameters to ensure that I use the correct VSAN datastore (WorkloadDatastore). You can visit the references below for more information.

In the VMC vCenter UI, you can get this by going to the Datastore summary page.

VMC get WorkloadDatastore VSAN URL

To get my datastore URL I need to reference, I will use PowerCLI

get-datastore work* | Select -ExpandProperty ExtensionData | select -ExpandProperty Info
vSphere CSI with Openshift Get VMC Datastore URL

I’m going to create my StorageClass on the fly, but you can find my example YAMLs here;

cat << EOF | oc apply -f -
kind: StorageClass
  name: csi-sc-vmc
  annotations: "false"
  StoragePolicyName: "vSAN Default Storage Policy"
  datastoreURL: "ds:///vmfs/volumes/vsan:3672d400f5fa4515-8a8cb78f6b972f74/"
vSphere CSI with Openshift Create StorageClass
Create a Persistent Volume Claim

Finally, we are going to create a PVC. You can find my example PVC files at the same link above.

cat << EOF | oc apply -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
  name: example-openshift-vmc-block-pvc
    - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 5Gi
  storageClassName: csi-sc-vmc
vSphere CSI with Openshift PVC Created

You can see the PVC created under my cluster > Monitor Tab > Cloud Native Storage in vCenter.

vSphere CSI with Openshift PVC in vCenter Console

Using Labels

Thanks to one of my colleagues (Jason Monger), who asked me if we could use labels with this integration. And the answer is yes you can.

When creating your PVC, under metadata including your labels such as the able below. These will be pulled into your vCenter UI making it easier to associate your volumes.

kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
apiVersion: v1
  name: csi-pvc-test
  annotations: csi-sc-vmc
    appname: veducate
  - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 30Gi
vSphere CSI with Openshift PVC Labels

For troubleshooting, you need to be aware of the four main containers that run in the vSphere CSI Controller pod and you should investigate the logs from these when you run into issues;

  • CSI-Attacher
  • CSI-Provisoner
  • vSphere-CSI-Controller
  • vSphere-Syncer

Below I have uploaded some of the logs from a successful setup and creation of a persistent volume.



5 thoughts on “How to Install and configure vSphere CSI Driver on OpenShift 4.x

  1. Deployment of vsphere-csi-controller-deployment-for-OCP.yaml fails with below error –

    $ oc logs -n kube-system deployment/vsphere-csi-controller csi-resizer
    I0818 22:49:07.078731 1 main.go:61] Version : v0.3.0-0-g150071d
    I0818 22:49:07.081675 1 connection.go:151] Connecting to unix:///csi/csi.sock
    I0818 22:49:07.083030 1 common.go:111] Probing CSI driver for readiness
    F0818 22:49:07.088578 1 main.go:72] failed to check if plugin supports node resize: error getting node capabilities: rpc error: code = Unimplemented desc = unknown service csi.v1.Node

    OCP – 4.5
    vCenter – 6.7 U3

    1. I deployed this from scratch the other day and it worked for me, but this was with vSphere 7.0, not that should make a difference to where your issue is.

      If you run “oc get CSINode” do you get a list returning your control plane and compute nodes?

    2. I realise I’m replying a little late to this, but resize is not supported on vSphere 6.7 u3, hence the failed container. So this is expected.

    1. Hey, so it’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally found some time to stand up an older environment to have a look at this. I deployed vSphere 6.7 u3, and the deployment works fine.

      can you run

      oc describe deployment vsphere-csi-controller -n kube-system

      In vSphere 6.7 u3 you will find that the csi-resizer will fail to start, as this is not supported in this vSphere version. You will something as per the below.

      oc describe pod vsphere-csi-controller-84dfd55866-fz27x -n kube-system

      Normal Started 3m15s (x2 over 3m18s) kubelet, labs-scnm9-master-1 Started container csi-resizer
      Normal Created 3m15s (x2 over 3m18s) kubelet, labs-scnm9-master-1 Created container csi-resizer
      Warning BackOff 3m13s (x2 over 3m14s) kubelet, labs-scnm9-master-1 Back-off restarting failed container
      Normal Pulled 3m1s (x3 over 3m18s) kubelet, labs-scnm9-master-1 Container image “” already present on machine

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