You can mount Alibaba Cloud disks as volumes to a Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) cluster. You can use the Contain Storage Interface (CSI) plug-in provided by Alibaba Cloud to mount disks by creating persistent volumes (PVs) and persistent volume claims (PVCs). A PV can be statically or dynamically provisioned. This topic describes the features, disk specifications, use scenarios, limits, and billing rules of disk volumes.

Features

Alibaba Cloud disks are block-level storage resources for Elastic Compute Service (ECS). Alibaba Cloud disks provide low latency, high performance, high durability, and high reliability. Alibaba Cloud disks use a distributed triplicate mechanism to ensure data reliability for ECS instances. If service disruptions occur within a zone due to hardware faults, data in that zone is automatically copied to an unaffected disk in another zone to ensure data availability.

Disks are classified into the following categories based on their performance:
  • Enhanced SSDs (ESSDs): ESSDs are based on the next-generation distributed block storage architecture and utilize the 25 Gigabit Ethernet and remote direct memory access (RDMA) technologies. Each ESSD has low latency and can deliver up to 1,000,000 random read/write IOPS. For more information, see ESSDs.

    We recommend that you use ESSDs for scenarios such as online transactional processing (OLTP) databases, NoSQL databases, and Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana (ELK) distributed logs.

  • Standard SSDs: Standard SSDs are high-performance disks that provide consistent high random IOPS and high data reliability.

    We recommend that you use standard SSDs for scenarios such as I/O-intensive applications, small and medium-sized relational databases, and NoSQL databases.

  • Ultra disks: Ultra disks are cost-effective and provide medium random IOPS and high data reliability.

    We recommend that you use ultra disks as system disks or for scenarios such as development and testing.

  • Basic disks: Basic disks are the previous generation of disks and are unavailable for purchase.

Disk specifications

The following table describes the performance of disks of different categories.

Category ESSD Standard SSD Ultra disk Basic disk
PL3 PL2 PL1 PL0
Capacity range per disk (GiB) 1261~32768 461~32768 20~32768 40~32768 20~32768 20~32768 5~2000
Maximum IOPS 1000000 100000 50000 10000 25000 5000 Several hundreds
Maximum throughput (MB/s) 4000 750 350 180 300 140 30~40
Formula for calculating the IOPS per disk min{1800 + 50 × Capacity, 1000000} min{1800 + 50 × Capacity, 100000} min{1800 + 50 × Capacity, 50000} min{1800 + 12 × Capacity, 10000} min{1800 + 30 × Capacity, 25000} min{1800 + 8 × Capacity, 5000} N/A
Formula for calculating the throughput per disk (MB/s) min{120 + 0.5 × Capacity, 4000} min{120 + 0.5 × Capacity, 750} min{120 + 0.5 × Capacity, 350} min{100 + 0.25 × Capacity, 180} min{120 + 0.5 × Capacity, 300} min{100 + 0.15 × Capacity, 140} N/A
Average single-channel random write latency in milliseconds (block size = 4 K) 0.2 0.3~0.5 0.5~2 1~3 5~10
API parameter value cloud_essd cloud_ssd cloud_efficiency cloud

For more information about disk performance, see EBS performance.

Scenarios

The following table describes the operations that you can perform on disks to meet your business requirements.

Business requirement References
Store application data
Resize a system disk or a data disk

For more information, see Overview.

Back up disk data For more information, see Use volume snapshots created from disks.
Encrypt disk data For more information, see Encryption overview.

For more information, see Encrypt a disk volume.

Precautions

  • We recommend that you mount a disk by using a StatefulSet. If you use a Deployment to mount a disk, you must set the number of replicated pods to 1. If the number of replicated pods is not set to 1, multiple nodes may use the disk at the same time when replicated pods are scheduled to different nodes. In this case, you cannot prioritize the node where you want to mount or unmount a disk. When Deployment pods are restarted, disk mounting may fail due to the upgrade policy. Therefore, we recommend that you do not use a Deployment to mount a disk.
  • Before you mount a disk to an ECS instance, make sure that the type of the disk is supported by the ECS instance. Otherwise, the disk cannot be mounted. For more information about the disk types that are supported by different ECS instance types, see Instance families.
  • You can mount at most 16 disks to each node. The maximum capacity of a disk is 32 TiB.

Billing

  • Only pay-as-you-go disks can be mounted. If you change the billing method of an ECS instance in the cluster from pay-as-you-go to subscription, you cannot change the billing method of its disks to subscription. Otherwise, the disks cannot be mounted to the cluster.
  • For more information, visit the ECS product page.
For more information, see Billing methods.

StorageClasses

If you create a large number of PVCs, you must also create a large number of PVs. This increases the workloads of O&M engineers. To solve this issue, Kubernetes provides the StorageClass object that you can use to enable automatic PV creation.

StorageClass

ACK clusters support the following types of StorageClass:
  • alicloud-disk-efficiency: ultra disk.
  • alicloud-disk-ssd: standard SSD.
  • alicloud-disk-essd: ESSD.
  • alicloud-disk-available: a high-availability mode. In this mode, the system first attempts to create a standard SSD. If SSD resources are exhausted, the system attempts to create an ultra disk.
    Notice
    • For alicloud-csi-provisioner versions earlier than alicloud-csi-provisioner v1.14.8.39-0d749258-aliyun, the system first attempts to create an enhanced SSD.
    • If enhanced SSDs are out of stock, the system attempts to create a standard SSD.
    • If standard SSDs are out of stock, the system attempts to create an ultra disk.
  • alicloud-disk-topology: creates a disk in WaitForFirstConsumer mode.

The first four types of StorageClass are suitable for clusters that are created in individual zones. The last type of StorageClass is suitable for clusters that are created across zones.

When you configure a StorageClass, the following rules determine the zone where the disk is created:
  • Specify volumeBindingMode: WaitForFirstConsumer in the StorageClass configurations to create a disk in the zone where the pod that uses the disk volume is deployed.
  • Specify volumeBindingMode: Immediate and specify a zone by setting the zoneId parameter in the StorageClass configurations to create a disk in the specified zone.
  • Specify volumeBindingMode: Immediate and specify multiple zones by setting the zoneId parameter in the StorageClass configurations to create a disk in one of the specified zones in a round-robin manner.
  • Specify volumeBindingMode: Immediate without setting the zoneId parameter in the StorageClass configurations to create a disk in the zone where csi-provisioner is deployed.

If your cluster is deployed across zones, we recommend that you specify volumeBindingMode: WaitForFirstConsumer in the StorageClass configurations. You can create a StorageClass based on the type of disk that is required.

Default StorageClass

Kubernetes provides the default StorageClass feature. If a PVC does not specify a StorageClass, the default StorageClass is used to provision a PV for the PVC. For more information, see Default StorageClass.

Note
  • The default StorageClass applies to all PVCs. Proceed with caution if your cluster has PVCs for multiple storage media. For example, the default StorageClass may create a disk PV for a PVC that defines an Apsara File Storage NAS (NAS) file system. Therefore, ACK clusters do not provide default StorageClasses. If you want to configure a default StorageClass, perform the following steps.
  • You can configure only one default StorageClass for each cluster. If you configure more than one default StorageClass for a cluster, all default StorageClasses become invalid.
  1. Configure the default StorageClass.
    Run the following command to set alicloud-disk-ssd as the default StorageClass:
    kubectl patch storageclass alicloud-disk-ssd -p '{"metadata": {"annotations":{"storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class":"true"}}}'
    After the default StorageClass is configured, alicloud-disk-ssd is marked as (default)
    kubectl get sc

    Expected output:

    NAME                          PROVISIONER                       AGE
    alicloud-disk-ssd (default)   diskplugin.csi.alibabacloud.com   96m
  2. Use the default StroageClass.
    1. Use the following template to create a PVC without specifying a StorageClass:
      apiVersion: v1
      kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
      metadata:
        name: disk-pvc
      spec:
        accessModes:
        - ReadWriteOnce
        resources:
          requests:
            storage: 20Gi
      The cluster automatically creates a disk PV based on the default StorageClass alicloud-disk-ssd.
      kubectl get pvc

      Expected output:

      NAME       STATUS   VOLUME                   CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS        AGE
      disk-pvc   Bound    d-bp18pbai447qverm3ttq   20Gi       RWO            alicloud-disk-ssd   49s
You can also run the following command to disable the default StorageClass:
kubectl patch storageclass alicloud-disk-ssd -p '{"metadata": {"annotations":{"storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class":"false"}}}'