Deploying Containerized Ceph on a Kubernetes Cluster Using Google Compute Engine

Quick Summary

Recently we've been hard at work trying to set up dynamic provisioning of Ceph Rados Block Device storage on a Kubernetes cluster. This required:

  • Kubernetes version >= 1.5
  • The ability to install Ceph and RBD packages on all host nodes i.e. master and slaves

Unfortunately we could not use Google Container Engine (GKE) for this because at first, it did not support version 1.5 since it was too new. Google quickly resolved that and has been really good at keeping up-to-date with the latest Kubernetes releases. However, the subsequent problem is that we needed to install Ceph and RBD packages on all host nodes. Even though Google does provide a CONTAINER_VM image that is able to install packages, GKE does not provide access to the master to install the necessary packages. This seems like a limitation with GKE. So it was decided to move towards a manual deployment of a Kubernetes cluster. For the manual deployment we used Google Compute Engine and followed the nice example Kelsey Hightower provides:

At first, I was hitting a DNS problem until I realized that there was a firewall rule missing for the POD CIDR that was being used. See issue 88 and the pull request that resolves it for more details. It was also nice to script the deployment so we created some scripts for that as well but they have not yet been merged. In the meantime you can get them here:

In the end it was good to understand how the different components of Kubernetes fit together and be able to debug it a bit.

After Kubernetes was deployed we deployed Ceph and went about testing CephFS and RBD volume mounts, static provisioning of CephFS and RBD persistent volume claims, as well as dynamic provisioning of RBD persistent volume claims and they all worked great!


If you're interested you can get the detailed documentation here:

Video Demonstration

In the documentation you'll also find a link to this video demonstration that walks through those steps:



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