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Basic Architecture

The objective of this section is to provide the user and evaluator of Mayastor with a topological view of the gross anatomy of a Mayastor deployment. A description will be made of the expected pod inventory of a correctly deployed cluster, the roles and functions of the constituent pods and related Kubernetes resource types, and of the high level interactions between them and the orchestration thereof.
More detailed guides to Mayastor's components, their design and internal structure, and instructions for building Mayastor from source, are maintained within the project's GitHub repository.

Dramatis Personae

Name
Resource Type
Function
Frequency in Cluster
Control Plane
core-agent
Pod
Principle control plane actor
Single
csi-controller
Pod
Hosts Mayastor's CSI controller implementation and CSI provisioner side car
Single
rest
Pod
Hosts the public API REST server
Single
rest
Service
Exposes the REST API server via NodePort
msp-operator
Pod
Hosts Mayastor's pool operator
Single
mayastor-csi
Pod
Hosts CSI Driver node plugin containers
All worker nodes
nats
Pod
Hosts NATS Server container
Single
nats
Service
Exposes NATS message bus end point
Single
nats-config
ConfigMap
NATS cluster configuration data
etcd
Pod
Hosts etcd Server container
Single
mayastor-etcd
Service
Exposes NATS message bus end point
Single
mayastor-etcd-headless
Service
Exposes NATS message bus end point
Single
Data Plane
mayastor
Pod
Hosts Mayastor I/O engine
User-selected nodes
k8s Resource Types
mayastorpools
CRD
Declares a Mayastor pool's desired state and reflects its current state
User-defined, one or many

Component Roles

Control Plane

A microservices patterned control plane, centered around a core agent with a publically exposed RESTful API. This is extended by a dedicated operator responsible for managing the life cycle of "Mayastor Pools" (an abstraction for devices supplying the cluster with persistent backing storage), and a CSI compliant external provisioner (controller). The source for the control plane components is located in its own repository
The control plane uses dedicated, clustered instances of etcd and NATS to persist configuration and state data, and as a message bus / transport for communcation with the data plane components, respectively.

Mayastor

The Mayastor pods of a deployment are its principle data plane actors, encapsulating the Mayastor containers which implement the I/O path from the block devices at the persistence layer, up to the relevant initiators on the worker nodes mounting volume claims.
The instance of the mayastor binary running inside the container performs four major classes of functions:
  • Present a gRPC interface to the control plane components, to allow the latter to orchestrate creation, configuration and deletion of Mayastor managed objects hosted by that instance
  • Create and manage storage pools hosted on that node
  • Create, export and manage nexus objects (and by extension, volumes) hosted on that node
  • Create and shares "replicas" from storage pools hosted on that node over NVMe-TCP
When a Mayastor pod starts running, an init container attempts to verify connectivity to the NATS message bus in the Mayastor namespace. If a connection can be established the Mayastor container is started, and the Mayastor instance performs registration with MOAC over the message bus. In this way, the core agent maintains a registry of nodes (specifically, running Mayastor instances) and their current state.
The scheduling of Mayastor pods is determined declaratively by using a DaemonSet specification. By default, a nodeSelector field is used within the pod spec to select all worker nodes to which the user has attached the label openebs.io/engine=mayastor as recipients of a Mayastor pod. It is in this way that the MayastorNode count and location is set appropriate to the hardware configuration of the worker nodes (i.e. which nodes host the block storage devices to be used), and the capacity and performance demands of the cluster.

Mayastor-CSI

The mayastor-csi pods within a cluster implement the node plugin component of Mayastor's CSI driver. As such, their function is to orchestrate the mounting of Maystor provisioned volumes on worker nodes on which application pods consuming those volumes are scheduled. By default a mayastor-csi pod is scheduled on every node in the target cluster, as determined by a DaemonSet resource of the same name. These pods each encapsulate two containers, mayastor-csi and csi-driver-registrar
It is not necessary for the node plugin to run on every worker node within a cluster and this behaviour can be modified if so desired through the application of appropriate node labeling and the addition of a corresponding nodeSelector entry within the pod spec of the mayastor-csi DaemonSet. It should be noted that if a node does not host a plugin pod, then it will not be possible to schedule pod on it which is configured to mount Mayastor volumes.
Further detail regarding the implementation of CSI driver components and their function can be found within the Kubernetes CSI Developer Documentation.

NATS

NATS is a high performance open source messaging system. It is used by Mayastor as the transport mechanism for registration messages passed between Mayastor I/O engine pods running in the cluster and the core agent component, which maintains an inventory of active Mayastor nodes. It is also used as the transport abstraction for inter data-plane / control-plane gRPC calls.

etcd

"etcd is a distributed reliable key-value store for the most critical data of a distributed system"
Mayastor uses etcd as a reliable persistent store for its configuration and state data.