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Version: 3.1

Prepare your Portworx cluster

In a Synchronous DR deployment setup, install a single Portworx cluster that spans across your source and destination clusters using the instructions on this page.

Install Portworx

To enable a single Portworx cluster to span across both your source and destination clusters, you should ensure that the Portworx clusters on both sides are configured with identical KVDB endpoints and cluster names. This setup allows both clusters to share the same Portworx storage fabric.

Generate a Portworx spec

Follow these steps to generate the Portworx specifications and then apply them to both your source and destination clusters:

  1. Navigate to Portworx Central to log in or create an account.

  2. Select Portworx Enterprise from the product catalog and click Continue.

  3. On the Product Line page, choose the appropriate license option, then click Continue.

  4. For Platform, choose your cloud provider, then click Customize at the bottom of the Summary section.

  5. On the Basic page, select the Your etcd details option and enter your external KVDB endpoints, one at a time using the + symbol, then click Next. Here's an example for a three-node etcd cluster:

    • http://<your-etcd-endpoint1>:2379
    • http://<your-etcd-endpoint2>:2379
    • http://<your-etcd-endpoint3>:2379

    Portworx does not support internal KVDB with Synchronous DR. You need to set up an external three-node cluster for Portworx. Each data center should host one active etcd node, and one node should be operational on the witness node.

  6. On the Storage page, select cloud as your environment and choose your cloud provider and click Next.

  7. Choose your network and click Next.

  8. From the Customize page, specify your cluster name prefix in Advanced Settings. Click Finish to generate the spec.

  9. After generating the spec file, copy it to the source and destination clusters.

Specify domain names and apply the specs

Cluster domain is a logical or virtual region name that represents the cluster as a whole. Each Kubernetes cluster, along with its associated nodes, constitutes its own distinct cluster domain. You can define the cluster domain for Portworx cluster in the StorageCluster spec. It defines a subset of nodes within the extended Portworx cluster that belong to a cluster domain.

A cluster domain and its corresponding set of nodes are linked to one of the following statuses:

  • Active State: Nodes from an active cluster domain participate in the cluster activities. Applications can be scheduled on the nodes which are a part of an active cluster domain.
  • Inactive State: Nodes from an inactive cluster domain do not participate in the cluster activities. Applications cannot be scheduled on such nodes.

You need to provide a distinct domain names for each cluster. You can use several methods to specify a domain name for your clusters, such as your cloud providers' zone names (for example, us-east-1a and us-east-1b) or the datacenter names (for example, datacenter1 and datacenter2) that your clusters are using.

Before applying the Portworx specs to you clusters, ensure that both the spec files have the same and KVDB endpoints, but different domain names.


Deploying a Synchronous DR setup with cloud drive on TKGS clusters requires labeling your drives. For instructions, see the Tanzu cluster installation page.

Apply the spec on your source cluster

Edit the spec to add the source cluster domain name.

  1. Specify a domain name using the annotation with the -cluster_domain argument. The following example shows how you can specify your source cluster domain name using your cloud providers' zone name (for example, us-east-1a):

    kind: StorageCluster
    annotations: "-cluster_domain us-east-1a"
  2. Apply the edited spec:

    kubectl apply -f <your-px-source-spec>.yaml

Apply the spec on your destination cluster

Similarly, edit the spec to reflect the destination cluster domain name.

  1. Specify the domains using the -cluster_domain argument with the annotation. You should use the same method as your source cluster for specifying the domain name of your destination cluster. The following example shows how you can specify the domain name using us-east-1b:

    kind: StorageCluster
    annotations: "-cluster_domain us-east-1b"
  2. Apply the edited spec:

    kubectl apply -f <your-px-destination-spec>.yaml

    A single Portworx cluster will be spanning across both Kubernetes clusters since the and KVDB endpoints are the same.

(Optional) Synchronize secrets for PX-Security

If you set up Metro DR and enable PX-Security, you need to synchronize the system secrets between the two Kubernetes clusters. The system secrets are stored under the px-system-secret kubernetes secret in the namespace where Portworx is installed. This secret is used by Portworx nodes for generating system tokens, and these tokens are used for node to node communication.

When deployed with Operator, each operator instance creates its own unique system secret. To synchronize this secret between the two clusters, use the following steps:

  1. Create a copy of the px-system-secret from the source cluster by running the following command:

    kubectl -n <px-namespace> get secret px-system-secrets -oyaml > px-system-secret.source
  2. On the destination cluster, delete the existing px-system-secret with the following command:

    kubectl -n <px-namespace> delete secret px-system-secrets
  3. On the destination cluster, run the following command:

    kubectl -n <px-namespace> apply -f px-system-secret.source
  4. Bounce Portworx pods one node at a time in a rolling update fashion on the DR cluster. This can be done by adding a placeholder env variable to the StorageCluster spec. That will trigger a rolling bounce of all the Portworx pods in the DR cluster.

Install storkctl

Stork is Portworx's storage scheduler for Kubernetes, offering seamless integration between Portworx and Kubernetes. It allows you to co-locate pods with their data, provides seamless migration of pods in case of storage issues and makes it easier to create and restore snapshots of Portworx volumes. storkctl is a command-line tool for interacting with Stork. Install storkctl on both clusters after installing Portworx.


Always use the latest storkctl binary tool by downloading it from the current running Stork container.

Perform the following steps to download storkctl from the Stork pod:

  • Linux:

    STORK_POD=$(kubectl get pods -n <namespace> -l name=stork -o jsonpath='{.items[0]}') &&
    kubectl cp -n <px-namespace> $STORK_POD:/storkctl/linux/storkctl ./storkctl
    sudo mv storkctl /usr/local/bin &&
    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/storkctl
  • OS X:

    STORK_POD=$(kubectl get pods -n <namespace> -l name=stork -o jsonpath='{.items[0]}') &&
    kubectl cp -n <px-namespace> $STORK_POD:/storkctl/darwin/storkctl ./storkctl
    sudo mv storkctl /usr/local/bin &&
    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/storkctl
  • Windows:

    1. Copy storkctl.exe from the stork pod:

      STORK_POD=$(kubectl get pods -n <px-namespace> -l name=stork -o jsonpath='{.items[0]}') &&
      kubectl cp -n <px-namespace> $STORK_POD:/storkctl/windows/storkctl.exe ./storkctl.exe
    2. Move storkctl.exe to a directory in your PATH.

Check the cluster domain status

When Stork is deployed, it automatically creates a ClusterDomainStatus object on your source and destination Kubernetes clusters.

  1. Run the following commands on each of your Kubernetes clusters to get the current status of the ClusterDomainStatus object:

    storkctl get clusterdomainsstatus
    NAME                            LOCAL-DOMAIN   ACTIVE                                     INACTIVE   CREATED
    px-dr-cluster us-east-1a us-east-1a (InSync), us-east-1b (InSync) 29 Nov 22 22:09 UTC
  2. Run the following command to get details of the ClusterDomainStatus object:

    kubectl describe clusterdomainsstatus
    Name:         px-dr-cluster
    Labels: <none>
    Annotations: <none>
    API Version:
    Kind: ClusterDomainsStatus
    Creation Timestamp: 2022-11-28T23:13:32Z
    Generation: 3
    Managed Fields:
    API Version:
    Fields Type: FieldsV1
    Manager: stork
    Operation: Update
    Time: 2022-11-28T23:13:32Z
    Resource Version: 3383
    UID: xxxxxxxx-2e81-4cbf-b4da-4b9c261793fd
    Cluster Domain Infos:
    Name: us-east-1b
    State: Active
    Sync Status: InSync
    Name: us-east-1a
    State: Active
    Sync Status: InSync
    Local Domain: us-east-1a
    Events: <none>

    You can see that the Status field shows that your Portworx stretched cluster is installed and active.


By default, Portworx places volumes and their replicas across two cluster domains. This behavior is controlled by the Metro DR domain protection flag, which is enabled by default.

  • When upgrading Portworx from version 2.13 or earlier, where domain protection was unavailable, the Metro DR domain protection flag can only be applied to new volumes. As a result, the domain protection will not be honored for older volumes during pool rebalancing operations.
  • Volume creation might fail if an existing VPS rule in your Portworx cluster places replicas of the repl 2 volumes on the same cluster domain due to the Metro DR domain protection flag. This flag takes precedence and places replicas across domains, overriding VPS and causing volume creation failures. For replica volumes to be placed on different cluster domains and to prevent volume creation failures, Portworx by Pure Storage recommends deleting such conflicting VPS rules.

For placing replicas of a particular volume within the same cluster domain, see how to place replicas on the same cluster domain.

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