Change Storage Class on Kubernetes on the Fly

Change Storage Class KubernetesPercona Kubernetes Operators support various options for storage: Persistent Volume (PV), hostPath, ephemeral storage, etc. In most of the cases, PVs are used, which are provisioned by the Operator through Storage Classes and Persistent Volume Claims.

Storage Classes define the underlying volume type that should be used (ex. AWS, EBS, gp2, or io1), file system (xfs, ext4), and permissions. In various cases, cluster administrators want to change the Storage Class for already existing volumes:

  • DB cluster is underutilized and it is a good cost-saving when switching from io1 to gp2
  • The other way – DB cluster is saturated on IO and it is required to upsize the volumes
  • Switch the file system for better performance (MongoDB is much better with xfs)

In this blog post, we will show what the best way is to change the Storage Class with Percona Operators and not introduce downtime to the database. We will cover the change in the Storage Class, but not the migration from PVC to other storage types, like hostPath.

Changing Storage Class on Kubernetes



  • Change the storage from pd-standard to pd-ssd without downtime for PXC.


The steps we are going to take are the following:

  1. Create a new Storage class for pd-ssd volumes
  2. Change the storageClassName in Custom Resource (CR) 
  3. Change the storageClassName in the StatefulSet
  4. Scale up the cluster (optional, to avoid performance degradation)
  5. Reprovision the Pods one by one to change the storage
  6. Scale down the cluster


Register for Percona Live ONLINE
A Virtual Event about Open Source Databases



Create the Storage Class

By default, standard Storage Class is already present in GKE, we need to create the new StorageClass for ssd:

The new Storage Class will be called ssd and will provision the volumes of type: pd-ssd.

Change the storageClassName in Custom Resource

We need to change the configuration for Persistent Volume Claims in our Custom Resource. The variable we look for is storageClassName and it is located under spec.pxc.volumeSpec.persistentVolumeClaim.

Now apply new cr.yaml:

Change the storageClassName in the StatefulSet

StatefulSets are almost immutable and when you try to edit the object you get the warning:

We will rely on the fact that the operator controls the StatefulSet. If we delete it, the Operator is going to recreate it with the last applied configuration. For us, it means – with the new storage class. But the deletion of the StatefulSet leads to Pods termination, but our goal is 0 downtime. To get there, we will delete the set, but keep the Pods running. It can be done with –cascade flag:

As a result, the Pods are up and the Operator recreated the StatefulSet with new storageClass:

Change Storage Class on Kubernetes

Scale up the Cluster (Optional)

Changing the storage type would require us to terminate the Pods, which decreases the computational power of the cluster and might cause performance issues. To improve performance during the operation we are going to changing the size of the cluster from 3 to 5 nodes:

As long as we have changed the StatefulSet already, new PXC Pods will be provisioned with the volumes backed by the new StorageClass:

Reprovision the Pods One by One to Change the Storage

This is the step where underlying storage is going to be changed for the database Pods.

Delete the PVC of the Pod that you are going to reprovision. Like for Pod cluster1-pxc-2 the PVC is called datadir-cluster1-pxc-2:

The PVC will not be deleted right away as there is a Pod using it. To proceed, delete the Pod:

The Pod will be deleted along with the PVCs. The StatefulSet controller will notice that the pod is gone and will recreate it along with the new PVC of a new Storage Class:

The STORAGECLASS column indicates that this PVC is of type ssd.

You might face the situation that the Pod is stuck in a pending state with the following error: