On disk files in a Container are ephemeral by default, which presents the following issues:
- When a Container crashes, kubelet will restart it, but the files will be lost.
- When running Containers together in a Pod it is often necessary to share files between those Containers.
configMap resource provides a way to inject configuration data into Pods. The data stored in a ConfigMap object can be referenced in a volume of type
configMap and then consumed by containerized applications running in a Pod.
emptyDir volume is first created when a Pod is assigned to a Node, and exists as long as that Pod is running on that node. As the name says, it is initially empty. Containers in the Pod can all read and write the same files in the
emptyDir volume. When a Pod is removed from a node for any reason, the data in the
emptyDir is deleted forever.
hostPath volume mounts a file or directory from the host node’s filesystem into your Pod. This is not something that most Pods will need, but it offers a powerful escape hatch for some applications.
For example, some uses for a hostPath are:
- Running a Container that needs access to Docker internals; use a hostPath of
- Running cAdvisor in a Container; use a hostPath of
secret volume is used to pass sensitive information, such as passwords, to Pods. You can store secrets in the Kubernetes API and mount them as files for use by Pods without coupling to Kubernetes directly.
secret volumes are backed by tmpfs (a RAM-backed filesystem) so they are never written to non-volatile storage.
awsElasticBlockStore volume mounts an Amazon Web Services (AWS) EBS Volume into your Pod. Unlike
emptyDir, which is erased when a Pod is removed, the contents of an EBS volume are preserved and the volume is merely unmounted. This means that an EBS volume can be pre-populated with data, and that data can be “handed off” between Pods.
There are some restrictions when using an awsElasticBlockStore volume:
- The nodes on which Pods are running must be AWS EC2 instances.
- Those instances need to be in the same region and availability-zone as the EBS volume.
- EBS only supports a single EC2 instance mounting a volume.
nfs volume allows an existing NFS (Network File System) share to be mounted into your Pod. Unlike emptyDir, which is erased when a Pod is removed, the contents of an
nfs volume are preserved and the volume is merely unmounted. This means that an NFS volume can be pre-populated with data, and that data can be “handed off” between Pods. NFS can be mounted by multiple writers simultaneously.
local volume represents a mounted local storage device such as a disk, partition or directory.
Local volumes can only be used as a statically created PersistentVolume. Dynamic provisioning is not supported yet.
hostPath volumes, local volumes can be used in a durable and portable manner without manually scheduling Pods to nodes, as the system is aware of the volume’s node constraints by looking at the node affinity on the PersistentVolume.
However, local volumes are still subject to the availability of the underlying node and are not suitable for all applications. If a node becomes unhealthy, then the local volume will also become inaccessible, and a Pod using it will not be able to run. Applications using local volumes must be able to tolerate this reduced availability, as well as potential data loss, depending on the durability characteristics of the underlying disk.