Version v1.2 of the documentation is for the Talos version being developed. For the latest stable version of Talos, see the latest version.

iSCSI Storage with Synology CSI

Automatically provision iSCSI volumes on a Synology NAS with the synology-csi driver.

Background

Synology is a company that specializes in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. They provide a number of features within a simple web OS, including an LDAP server, Docker support, and (perhaps most relevant to this guide) function as an iSCSI host. The focus of this guide is to allow a Kubernetes cluster running on Talos to provision Kubernetes storage (both dynamic or static) on a Synology NAS using a direct integration, rather than relying on an intermediary layer like Rook/Ceph or Maystor.

This guide assumes a very basic familiarity with iSCSI terminology (LUN, iSCSI target, etc.).

Prerequisites

  • Synology NAS running DSM 7.0 or above
  • Provisioned Talos cluster running Kubernetes v1.20 or above
  • (Optional) Both Volume Snapshot CRDs and the common snapshot controller must be installed in your Kubernetes cluster if you want to use the Snapshot feature

Setting up the Synology user account

The synology-csi controller interacts with your NAS in two different ways: via the API and via the iSCSI protocol. Actions such as creating a new iSCSI target or deleting an old one are accomplished via the Synology API, and require administrator access. On the other hand, mounting the disk to a pod and reading from / writing to it will utilize iSCSI. Because you can only authenticate with one account per DSM configured, that account needs to have admin privileges. In order to minimize access in the case of these credentials being compromised, you should configure the account with the lease possible amount of access – explicitly specify “No Access” on all volumes when configuring the user permissions.

Setting up the Synology CSI

Note: this guide is paraphrased from the Synology CSI readme. Please consult the readme for more in-depth instructions and explanations.

Clone the git repository.

git clone https://github.com/zebernst/synology-csi-talos.git

While Synology provides some automated scripts to deploy the CSI driver, they can be finicky especially when making changes to the source code. We will be configuring and deploying things manually in this guide.

The relevant files we will be touching are in the following locations:

.
├── Dockerfile
├── Makefile
├── config
│   └── client-info-template.yml
└── deploy
    └── kubernetes
        └── v1.20
            ├── controller.yml
            ├── csi-driver.yml
            ├── namespace.yml
            ├── node.yml
            ├── snapshotter
            │   ├── snapshotter.yaml
            │   └── volume-snapshot-class.yml
            └── storage-class.yml

Configure connection info

Use config/client-info-template.yml as an example to configure the connection information for DSM. You can specify one or more storage systems on which the CSI volumes will be created. See below for an example:

---
clients:
- host: 192.168.1.1   # ipv4 address or domain of the DSM
  port: 5000          # port for connecting to the DSM
  https: false        # set this true to use https. you need to specify the port to DSM HTTPS port as well
  username: username  # username
  password: password  # password

Create a Kubernetes secret using the client information config file.

kubectl create secret -n synology-csi generic client-info-secret --from-file=config/client-info.yml

Note that if you rename the secret to something other than client-info-secret, make sure you update the corresponding references in the deployment manifests as well.

Build the Talos-compatible image

Modify the Makefile so that the image is built and tagged under your GitHub Container Registry username:

REGISTRY_NAME=ghcr.io/<username>

When you run make docker-build or make docker-build-multiarch, it will push the resulting image to ghcr.io/<username>/synology-csi:v1.1.0. Ensure that you find and change any reference to synology/synology-csi:v1.1.0 to point to your newly-pushed image within the deployment manifests.

Configure the CSI driver

By default, the deployment manifests include one storage class and one volume snapshot class. See below for examples:

---
apiVersion: storage.k8s.io/v1
kind: StorageClass
metadata:
  annotations:
    storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class: "false"
  name: syno-storage
provisioner: csi.san.synology.com
parameters:
  fsType: 'ext4'
  dsm: '192.168.1.1'
  location: '/volume1'
reclaimPolicy: Retain
allowVolumeExpansion: true
---
apiVersion: snapshot.storage.k8s.io/v1
kind: VolumeSnapshotClass
metadata:
  name: syno-snapshot
  annotations:
    storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class: "false"
driver: csi.san.synology.com
deletionPolicy: Delete
parameters:
  description: 'Kubernetes CSI'

It can be useful to configure multiple different StorageClasses. For example, a popular strategy is to create two nearly identical StorageClasses, with one configured with reclaimPolicy: Retain and the other with reclaimPolicy: Delete. Alternately, a workload may require a specific filesystem, such as ext4. If a Synology NAS is going to be the most common way to configure storage on your cluster, it can be convenient to add the storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class: "true" annotation to one of your StorageClasses.

The following table details the configurable parameters for the Synology StorageClass.

NameTypeDescriptionDefaultSupported protocols
dsmstringThe IPv4 address of your DSM, which must be included in the client-info.yml for the CSI driver to log in to DSM-iSCSI, SMB
locationstringThe location (/volume1, /volume2, …) on DSM where the LUN for PersistentVolume will be created-iSCSI, SMB
fsTypestringThe formatting file system of the PersistentVolumes when you mount them on the pods. This parameter only works with iSCSI. For SMB, the fsType is always ‘cifs‘.ext4iSCSI
protocolstringThe backing storage protocol. Enter ‘iscsi’ to create LUNs or ‘smb‘ to create shared folders on DSM.iscsiiSCSI, SMB
csi.storage.k8s.io/node-stage-secret-namestringThe name of node-stage-secret. Required if DSM shared folder is accessed via SMB.-SMB
csi.storage.k8s.io/node-stage-secret-namespacestringThe namespace of node-stage-secret. Required if DSM shared folder is accessed via SMB.-SMB

The VolumeSnapshotClass can be similarly configured with the following parameters:

NameTypeDescriptionDefaultSupported protocols
descriptionstringThe description of the snapshot on DSM-iSCSI
is_lockedstringWhether you want to lock the snapshot on DSMfalseiSCSI, SMB

Apply YAML manifests

Once you have created the desired StorageClass(es) and VolumeSnapshotClass(es), the final step is to apply the Kubernetes manifests against the cluster. The easiest way to apply them all at once is to create a kustomization.yaml file in the same directory as the manifests and use Kustomize to apply:

kubectl apply -k path/to/manifest/directory

Alternately, you can apply each manifest one-by-one:

kubectl apply -f <file>

Run performance tests

In order to test the provisioning, mounting, and performance of using a Synology NAS as Kubernetes persistent storage, use the following command:

kubectl apply -f speedtest.yaml

Content of speedtest.yaml (source)

kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
  name: test-claim
spec:
#  storageClassName: syno-storage
  accessModes:
  - ReadWriteMany
  resources:
    requests:
      storage: 5G
---
apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: Job
metadata:
  name: read
spec:
  template:
    metadata:
      name: read
      labels:
        app: speedtest
        job: read
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: read
        image: ubuntu:xenial
        command: ["dd","if=/mnt/pv/test.img","of=/dev/null","bs=8k"]
        volumeMounts:
        - mountPath: "/mnt/pv"
          name: test-volume
      volumes:
      - name: test-volume
        persistentVolumeClaim:
          claimName: test-claim
      restartPolicy: Never
---
apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: Job
metadata:
  name: write
spec:
  template:
    metadata:
      name: write
      labels:
        app: speedtest
        job: write
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: write
        image: ubuntu:xenial
        command: ["dd","if=/dev/zero","of=/mnt/pv/test.img","bs=1G","count=1","oflag=dsync"]
        volumeMounts:
        - mountPath: "/mnt/pv"
          name: test-volume
      volumes:
      - name: test-volume
        persistentVolumeClaim:
          claimName: test-claim
      restartPolicy: Never

If these two jobs complete successfully, use the following commands to get the results of the speed tests:

# Pod logs for read test:
kubectl logs -l app=speedtest,job=read

# Pod logs for write test:
kubectl logs -l app=speedtest,job=write

When you’re satisfied with the results of the test, delete the artifacts created from the speedtest:

kubectl delete -f speedtest.yaml