Project Karavi is Dell’s way to extend Kubernetes CSI

Dell has unveiled Project Karavi, an initiative to add enterprise storage features to the Kubernetes CSI interface.

K8s CSI is being used by enterprises for mission-critical workloads such as databases, notes Itzik Reich, Dell EMC veep, in a blog post. These users want more from CSI than storage provisioning and basic data protection. They want enterprise-class features such as encryption, replication (disaster recovery), etc. “to be offered for Kubernetes, even if the Container Storage Interface does remain ignorant of such capabilities.” 

The objective of Karavi, says Reich is “is to expose enterprise storage features to Kubernetes users.” It “aims at improving the observability, usability and data mobility for stateful applications with Dell Technologies Storage portfolio.” 


The initial part is all about observability. Karavi Observability collects capacity and performance metrics and basic storage topology info by pulling the data from the storage array and the CSI drivers and sending it to the open source tools Grafana and Prometheus.

There are two parts to Karavi Observability. Karavi Topology provides Kubernetes administrators with the topology data related to containerised storage provisioned by a CSI driver for Dell EMC storage products.

Karavi Metrics for PowerFlex captures telemetry data about Kubernetes storage usage and performance obtained through the CSI driver for Dell EMC PowerFlex.

This is all very well but surely CSI needs a set of functions that can be abstracted across multi-vendors’ kit rather than just a Dell EMC-specific set of extensions?

Bootnote. Karavi is an uninhabited islet off the north east coast of Crete, near to the Kyriamadi peninsula.