This guide will take you through the process of deploying Trident and provisioning your first volume automatically.

Before you begin

If you have not already familiarized yourself with the basic concepts, now is a great time to do that. Go ahead, we’ll be here when you get back.

To deploy Trident you need:

Got all that? Great! Let’s get started.

1: Qualify your Kubernetes cluster

You made sure that you have everything in hand from the previous section, right? Right.

The first thing you need to do is log into the Linux host and verify that it is managing a working, supported Kubernetes cluster that you have the necessary privileges to.


With OpenShift, you will use oc instead of kubectl in all of the examples that follow, and you need to login as system:admin first by running oc login -u system:admin.

# Are you running a supported Kubernetes server version?
kubectl version

# Are you a Kubernetes cluster administrator?
kubectl auth can-i '*' '*' --all-namespaces

# Can you launch a pod that uses an image from Docker Hub and can reach your
# storage system over the pod network?
kubectl run -i --tty ping --image=busybox --restart=Never --rm -- \
  ping <management IP>

2: Download & extract the installer

Download the latest version of the Trident installer bundle from the Downloads section and extract it.

For example, if the latest version is 19.04.0:

tar -xf trident-installer-19.04.0.tar.gz
cd trident-installer

3: Configure the installer

Configure a storage backend that the Trident installer will use to provision a volume to store its own metadata.

You do this by placing a backend.json file in the installer’s setup directory. Sample configuration files for different backend types can be found in the sample-input directory.

Visit the backend configuration section of this guide for more details about how to craft the configuration file for your backend type.


Many of the backends require some basic preparation, so make sure that’s been done before you try to use it. Also, we don’t recommend an ontap-nas-economy backend or ontap-nas-flexgroup backend for this step as volumes of these types have specialized and limited capabilities relative to the volumes provisioned on other types of backends.

cp sample-input/<backend template>.json setup/backend.json
# Fill out the template for your backend
vi setup/backend.json

4: Install Trident

First, let’s verify that Trident can be installed:

./tridentctl install --dry-run -n trident
INFO Starting storage driver.                backend=setup/backend.json
INFO Storage driver loaded.                  driver=ontap-nas
INFO Dry run completed, no problems found.

The --dry-run argument tells the installer to inspect the current environment and checks that everything looks good for a Trident installation, but it makes no changes to the environment and will not install Trident.

The -n argument specifies the namespace (project in OpenShift) that Trident will be installed into. We recommend installing Trident into its own namespace to isolate it from other applications.

Provided that everything was configured correctly, you can now run the Trident installer and it should be running in a few minutes:

./tridentctl install -n trident
INFO Starting storage driver.                backend=setup/backend.json
INFO Storage driver loaded.                  driver=ontap-nas
INFO Starting Trident installation.          namespace=trident
INFO Created service account.
INFO Created cluster role.
INFO Created cluster role binding.
INFO Created PVC.
INFO Created PV.                             pv=trident
INFO Waiting for PVC to be bound.            pvc=trident
INFO Created Trident deployment.
INFO Waiting for Trident pod to start.
INFO Trident pod started.                    namespace=trident pod=trident-7d5d659bd7-tzth6
INFO Trident installation succeeded.

It will look like this when the installer is complete:

kubectl get pod -n trident
NAME                       READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
trident-7d5d659bd7-tzth6   2/2       Running   1          14s

./tridentctl -n trident version
| 19.04.0        | 19.04.0        |

If that’s what you see, you’re done with this step, but Trident is not yet fully configured. Go ahead and continue to the next step.

However, if the installer does not complete successfully or you don’t see a Running trident-<generated id>, then Trident had a problem and the platform was not installed.

To help figure out what went wrong, you could run the installer again using the -d argument, which will turn on debug mode and help you understand what the problem is:

./tridentctl install -n trident -d

After addressing the problem, you can clean up the installation and go back to the beginning of this step by first running:

./tridentctl uninstall -n trident
INFO Deleted Trident deployment.
INFO Deleted cluster role binding.
INFO Deleted cluster role.
INFO Deleted service account.
INFO Removed Trident user from security context constraint.
INFO Trident uninstallation succeeded.

If you continue to have trouble, visit the troubleshooting guide for more advice.

Customized Installation

Trident’s installer allows you to customize attributes such as PV or PVC default names, by using the installer’s --pv or --pvc parameters. You can also specify a storage volume name and size by using --volume-name and --volume-size. If you have copied the Trident images to a private repository, you can specify the image names by using --trident-image and --etcd-image.

Users can also customize Trident’s deployment files. Using the --generate-custom-yaml parameter will create the following YAML files in the installer’s setup directory:

  • trident-clusterrolebinding.yaml
  • trident-deployment.yaml
  • trident-pvc.yaml
  • trident-clusterrole.yaml
  • trident-namespace.yaml
  • trident-serviceaccount.yaml

Once you have generated these files, you can modify them according to your needs and then use the --use-custom-yaml to install a customized version of Trident.

./tridentctl install -n trident --use-custom-yaml --volume-name my_volume

5: Verify your first backend

You already created a backend in step 3 to provision a volume for that Trident uses for its own metadata.

During a first-time installation, the installer assumes you want to use that backend for the rest of the volumes that Trident provisions.

./tridentctl -n trident get backend
|         NAME          | STORAGE DRIVER | ONLINE | VOLUMES |
| ontapnas_10.0.0.1     | ontap-nas      | true   |       0 |

You can add more backends, or replace the initial one with other backends (it won’t affect the volume where Trident keeps its metadata). It’s up to you.

./tridentctl -n trident create backend -f <path-to-backend-config-file>
|         NAME          | STORAGE DRIVER | ONLINE | VOLUMES |
| ontapnas_10.0.1.1     | ontap-nas      | true   |       0 |

If the creation fails, something was wrong with the backend configuration. You can view the logs to determine the cause by running:

./tridentctl -n trident logs

After addressing the problem, simply go back to the beginning of this step and try again. If you continue to have trouble, visit the troubleshooting guide for more advice on how to determine what went wrong.

6: Add your first storage class

Kubernetes users provision volumes using persistent volume claims (PVCs) that specify a storage class by name. The details are hidden from users, but a storage class identifies the provisioner that will be used for that class (in this case, Trident) and what that class means to the provisioner.

Create a storage class Kubernetes users will specify when they want a volume. The configuration of the class needs to model the backend that you created in the previous step so that Trident will use it to provision new volumes.

The simplest storage class to start with is one based on the sample-input/storage-class-basic.yaml.templ file that comes with the installer, replacing __BACKEND_TYPE__ with the storage driver name.

./tridentctl -n trident get backend
|         NAME          | STORAGE DRIVER | ONLINE | VOLUMES |
| ontapnas_10.0.0.1     | ontap-nas      | true   |       0 |

cp sample-input/storage-class-basic.yaml.templ sample-input/storage-class-basic.yaml

# Modify __BACKEND_TYPE__ with the storage driver field above (e.g., ontap-nas)
vi sample-input/storage-class-basic.yaml

This is a Kubernetes object, so you will use kubectl to create it in Kubernetes.

kubectl create -f sample-input/storage-class-basic.yaml

You should now see a basic storage class in both Kubernetes and Trident, and Trident should have discovered the pools on the backend.

kubectl get sc basic

./tridentctl -n trident get storageclass basic -o json
  "items": [
      "Config": {
        "version": "1",
        "name": "basic",
        "attributes": {
          "backendType": "ontap-nas"
      "storage": {
        "ontapnas_10.0.0.1": [

7: Provision your first volume

Now you’re ready to dynamically provision your first volume. How exciting! This is done by creating a Kubernetes persistent volume claim (PVC) object, and this is exactly how your users will do it too.

Create a persistent volume claim (PVC) for a volume that uses the storage class that you just created.

See sample-input/pvc-basic.yaml for an example. Make sure the storage class name matches the one that you created in 6.

kubectl create -f sample-input/pvc-basic.yaml

# The '-aw' argument lets you watch the pvc get provisioned
kubectl get pvc -aw
basic     Pending                                       basic          1s
basic     Pending   default-basic-6cb59   0                   basic     5s
basic     Bound     default-basic-6cb59   1Gi       RWO       basic     5s

8: Mount the volume in a pod

Now that you have a volume, let’s mount it. We’ll launch an nginx pod that mounts the PV under /usr/share/nginx/html.

cat << EOF > task-pv-pod.yaml
kind: Pod
apiVersion: v1
  name: task-pv-pod
    - name: task-pv-storage
       claimName: basic
    - name: task-pv-container
      image: nginx
        - containerPort: 80
          name: "http-server"
        - mountPath: "/usr/share/nginx/html"
          name: task-pv-storage
kubectl create -f task-pv-pod.yaml
# Wait for the pod to start
kubectl get pod -aw

# Verify that the volume is mounted on /usr/share/nginx/html
kubectl exec -it task-pv-pod -- df -h /usr/share/nginx/html
Filesystem                                      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on  973M  192K  973M   1% /usr/share/nginx/html

# Delete the pod
kubectl delete pod task-pv-pod

At this point the pod (application) no longer exists but the volume is still there. You could use it from another pod if you wanted to.

To delete the volume, simply delete the claim:

kubectl delete pvc basic

Check you out! You did it! Now you’re dynamically provisioning Kubernetes volumes like a boss.