You can use PX-Developer to implement storage for Rancher. Portworx pools your servers’ capacity and is deployed as a container. This section, qualified using Rancher v1.5.5, Cattle v0.178.3, describes how to use Portworx within Rancher.

Watch the video

Here is a short video that shows how to configure and run Portworx with Rancher:

Step 1: Install Rancher

Follow the instructions for installing Rancher.

Step 2: Create/Configure PX-Ready Rancher Hosts

Note : Portworx requires that Rancher hosts have at least one non-root disk or partition to contribute.

For trial/demo purposes, Portworx has created “PX-ready” AMI images in AWS:

  • If deploying on AWS in US-East-2, then use this AMI : ami-c64a6da3
  • If deploying on AWS in US-West-2, then use this AMI : ami-767fe016

If not deploying in AWS, the customers must ensure that each host has at least one non-root disk or partition.

For the the AWS security group (SG), make sure the standard Rancher ports are open as per Rancher requirements. In addition, the following inbound TCP ports should be opened in the SG: 2379, 2380, 9001 - 9005, or for simplicity you could open up all TCP ports for the given SG.

In general, Portworx will require ports 2379, 2380, 9001-9005 to be open for inbound traffic.

When configuring the Rancher hosts using the provided AMI:

  • The number of instances should be min(3)
  • The type of instance should be min(t2.medium)
  • The root size should be min(128)
  • The ‘ssh’ user should be “ubuntu”

Step 3: Launch an ‘etcd’ stack

Launch an instance of the ‘etcd’ stack. Set “Enable Backups” and “Debug” to False. Look through the logs to note the published client URL, and make note of that. The client URL will have the following form:

etcdserver: published {Name:10-42-207-178 ClientURLs:[]} ...

Step 4: Launch Portworx

From the Library Catalog, select the Portworx volume plugin driver. Configure with the following parameters:

  • Volume Driver Name: pxd
  • Cluster ID: user-defined/arbitrary
  • Key-Value Database: of the form: “etcd://”, where the URL come from the above etcdserver
  • Use Disks: -s /dev/xvdb, for the referenced AMI images; otherwise see storage options from here
  • Headers Directory : /usr/src, for the referenced AMI images; /lib/modules if using with CoreOS

Step 5: Label hosts that run Portworx (optional)

If Portworx is only running on a subset of nodes in the cluster, then these nodes will require node labels, so that jobs requiring the Portworx driver will only run on nodes that have Portworx installed and running.

If new hosts are added through the GUI, be sure to create a label with the following key-value pair: fabric : px

As directed, copy from the clipboard and paste on to the new host. The form for the command follows. Use IP addresses that are appropriate for your environment.

sudo docker run -e CATTLE_AGENT_IP=""  \
                -e CATTLE_HOST_LABELS='pxfabric=px-cluster1'  \
                -d --privileged                    \ 
                -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock   \
                -v /var/lib/rancher:/var/lib/rancher           \

  • Notice the CATTLE_HOST_LABELS, which indicates that this node participates in a Portworx fabric called “px-cluster1”.

Step 4: Launch jobs, specifying host affinity

When launching new jobs, be sure to include a label, indicating the job’s affinity for running on a host (Ex: “px-fabric=px-cluster1)”.

The label clause should look like the following:

    io.rancher.scheduler.affinity:host_label: pxfabric=px-cluster1

Following is an example for starting Elasticsearch. The “docker-compose.yml” file is:

  image: elasticsearch:latest
  command: elasticsearch
    - "9200:9200"
    - "9300:9300"
  volume_driver: pxd
    - elasticsearch1:/usr/share/elasticsearch/data
      io.rancher.scheduler.affinity:host_label: pxfabric=px-cluster1
  • Notice the pxd volume driver as well as the volume itself (elasticsearch1). *The referenced volume can be a volume name, a volume ID, or a snapshot ID.
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