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This is the documentation for HPE Cloud Volumes Plugin for Docker. It allows dynamic provisioning of Docker Volumes on standalone Docker Engine or Docker Swarm nodes.


  • Docker Engine 17.09 or greater
  • If using Docker Enterprise Edition 2.x, the plugin is only supported in swarmmode
  • Recent Red Hat, Debian or Ubuntu-based Linux distribution
  • US regions only
Plugin Release Notes
3.1.0 v3.1.0


Docker does not support certified and managed Docker Volume plugins with Docker EE Kubernetes. If you want to use Kubernetes on Docker EE with HPE Nimble Storage, please use the HPE Volume Driver for Kubernetes FlexVolume Plugin or the HPE CSI Driver for Kubernetes depending on your situation.


HPE Cloud Volumes provides a Docker certified plugin delivered through the Docker Store. Certain features and capabilities are not available through the managed plugin. Please understand these limitations before deploying either of these plugins.

The managed plugin does NOT provide:

  • Support for Docker's release of Kubernetes in Docker Enterprise Edition 2.x
  • Support for Windows Containers

The managed plugin does provide a simple way to manage HPE Cloud Volumes integration on your Docker instances using Docker's interface to install and manage the plugin.


Plugin privileges

In order to create connections, attach devices and mount file systems, the plugin requires more privileges than a standard application container. These privileges are enumerated during installation. These permissions need to be granted for the plugin to operate correctly.

Plugin "cvblock" is requesting the following privileges:
 - network: [host]
 - mount: [/dev]
 - mount: [/run/lock]
 - mount: [/sys]
 - mount: [/etc]
 - mount: [/var/lib]
 - mount: [/var/run/docker.sock]
 - mount: [/sbin/iscsiadm]
 - mount: [/lib/modules]
 - mount: [/usr/lib64]
 - allow-all-devices: [true]

Host configuration and installation

Setting up the plugin varies between Linux distributions.

These procedures requires root privileges on the cloud instance.

Red Hat 7.5+, CentOS 7.5+:

yum install -y iscsi-initiator-utils device-mapper-multipath
docker plugin install --disable --grant-all-permissions --alias cvblock store/hpestorage/cvblock:3.1.0
docker plugin set cv PROVIDER_IP=cloudvolumes.hpe.com PROVIDER_USERNAME=<access_key> PROVIDER_PASSWORD=<access_secret>
docker plugin enable cvblock
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable iscsid multipathd
systemctl start iscsid multipathd

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS:

apt-get install -y open-iscsi multipath-tools xfsprogs
modprobe xfs
sed -i"" -e "\$axfs" /etc/modules
docker plugin install --disable --grant-all-permissions --alias cvblock store/hpestorage/cvblock:3.1.0
docker plugin set cv PROVIDER_IP=cloudvolumes.hpe.com PROVIDER_USERNAME=<access_key> PROVIDER_PASSWORD=<access_secret> glibc_libs.source=/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
docker plugin enable cvblock
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart open-iscsi multipath-tools

Debian 9.x (stable):

apt-get install -y open-iscsi multipath-tools xfsprogs
modprobe xfs
sed -i"" -e "\$axfs" /etc/modules
docker plugin install --disable --grant-all-permissions --alias cvblock store/hpestorage/cvblock:3.1.0
docker plugin set cv PROVIDER_IP=cloudvolumes.hpe.com PROVIDER_USERNAME=<access_key> PROVIDER_PASSWORD=<access_secret> iscsiadm.source=/usr/bin/iscsiadm glibc_libs.source=/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
docker plugin enable cvblock
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart open-iscsi multipath-tools

Making changes

The docker plugin set command can only be used on the plugin if it is disabled. To disable the plugin, use the docker plugin disable command. For example:

docker plugin disable cvblock

List of parameters which are supported to be settable by the plugin

Parameter Description Default
PROVIDER_IP HPE Cloud Volumes portal ""
PROVIDER_USERNAME HPE Cloud Volumes username ""
PROVIDER_PASSWORD HPE Cloud Volumes password ""
PROVIDER_REMOVE Unassociate Plugin from HPE Cloud Volumes false
LOG_LEVEL Log level of the plugin (info, debug, or trace) debug
SCOPE Scope of the plugin (global or local) global

In the event of reassociating the plugin with a different HPE Cloud Volumes portal, certain procedures need to be followed:

Disable the plugin

docker plugin disable cvblock

Set new paramters

docker plugin set cvblock PROVIDER_REMOVE=true

Enable the plugin

docker plugin enable cvblock

Disable the plugin

docker plugin disable cvblock

The plugin is now ready for re-configuration

docker plugin set cvblock PROVIDER_IP=< New portal address > PROVIDER_USERNAME=admin PROVIDER_PASSWORD=admin PROVIDER_REMOVE=false


The PROVIDER_REMOVE=false parameter must be set if the plugin ever has been unassociated from a HPE Cloud Volumes portal.

Configuration files and options

The configuration directory for the plugin is /etc/hpe-storage on the host. Files in this directory are preserved between plugin upgrades. The /etc/hpe-storage/volume-driver.json file contains three sections, global, defaults and overrides. The global options are plugin runtime parameters and doesn't have any end-user configurable keys at this time.

The defaults map allows the docker host administrator to set default options during volume creation. The docker user may override these default options with their own values for a specific option.

The overrides map allows the docker host administrator to enforce a certain option for every volume creation. The docker user may not override the option and any attempt to do so will be silently ignored.


defaults and overrides are dynamically read during runtime while global changes require a plugin restart.

Example config file in /etc/hpe-storage/volume-driver.json:

  "global": {
            "snapPrefix": "BaseFor",
            "initiators": ["eth0"],
            "automatedConnection": true,
            "existingCloudSubnet": "",
            "region": "us-east-1",
            "privateCloud": "vpc-data",
            "cloudComputeProvider": "Amazon AWS"
  "defaults": {
            "limitIOPS": 1000,
            "fsOwner": "0:0",
            "fsMode": "600",
            "description": "Volume provisioned by the HPE Volume Driver for Kubernetes FlexVolume Plugin",
            "perfPolicy": "Other",
            "protectionTemplate": "twicedaily:4",
            "encryption": true,
            "volumeType": "PF",
            "destroyOnRm": true
  "overrides": {

For an exhaustive list of options use the help option from the docker CLI:

$ docker volume create -d cvblock -o help

Node fencing

If you are considering using any Docker clustering technologies for your Docker deployment, it is important to understand the fencing mechanism used to protect data. Attaching the same Docker Volume to multiple containers on the same host is fully supported. Mounting the same volume on multiple hosts is not supported.

Docker does not provide a fencing mechanism for nodes that have become disconnected from the Docker Swarm. This results in the isolated nodes continuing to run their containers. When the containers are rescheduled on a surviving node, the Docker Engine will request that the Docker Volume(s) be mounted. In order to prevent data corruption, the Docker Volume Plugin will stop serving the Docker Volume to the original node before mounting it on the newly requested node.

During a mount request, the Docker Volume Plugin inspects the ACR (Access Control Record) on the volume. If the ACR does not match the initiator requesting to mount the volume, the ACR is removed and the volume taken offline. The volume is now fenced off and other nodes are unable to access any data in the volume.

The volume then receives a new ACR matching the requesting initiator, and it is mounted for the container requesting the volume. This is done because the volumes are formatted with XFS, which is not a clustered filesystem and can be corrupted if the same volume is mounted to multiple hosts.

The side effect of a fenced node is that I/O hangs indefinitely, and the initiator is rejected during login. If the fenced node rejoins the Docker Swarm using Docker SwarmKit, the swarm tries to shut down the services that were rescheduled elsewhere to maintain the desired replica set for the service. This operation will also hang indefinitely waiting for I/O.

We recommend running a dedicated Docker host that does not host any other critical applications besides the Docker Engine. Doing this supports a safe way to reboot a node after a grace period and have it start cleanly when a hung task is detected. Otherwise, the node can remain in the hung state indefinitely.

The following kernel parameters control the system behavior when a hung task is detected:

# Reset after these many seconds after a panic
kernel.panic = 5

# I do consider hung tasks reason enough to panic
kernel.hung_task_panic = 1

# To not panic in vain, I'll wait these many seconds before I declare a hung task
kernel.hung_task_timeout_secs = 150

Add these parameters to the /etc/sysctl.d/99-hung_task_timeout.conf file and reboot the system.


Docker SwarmKit declares a node as failed after five (5) seconds. Services are then rescheduled and up and running again in less than ten (10) seconds. The parameters noted above provide the system a way to manage other tasks that may appear to be hung and avoid a system panic.


These are some basic examples on how to use the HPE Cloud Volumes Plugin for Docker.

Create a Docker Volume

Using docker volume create.


The plugin applies a set of default options when you create new volumes unless you override them using the volume create -o key=value option flags.

Create a Docker volume with a custom description:

docker volume create -d cvblock -o description="My volume description" --name myvol1 

(Optional) Inspect the new volume:

docker volume inspect myvol1

(Optional) Attach the volume to an interactive container.

docker run -it --rm -v myvol1:/data bash

The volume is mounted inside the container on /data.

Clone a Docker Volume

Use the docker volume create command with the cloneOf option to clone a Docker volume to a new Docker volume.

Clone the Docker volume named myvol1 to a new Docker volume named myvol1-clone.

docker volume create -d cvblock -o cloneOf=myvol1 --name=myvol1-clone

(Optional) Select a snapshot on which to base the clone.

docker volume create -d cvblock -o snapshot=mysnap1 -o cloneOf=myvol1 --name=myvol2-clone

Provisioning Docker Volumes

There are several ways to provision a Docker volume depending on what tools are used:

  • Docker Engine (CLI)
  • Docker Compose file with either Docker UCP or Docker Engine

The Docker Volume plugin leverages the existing Docker CLI and APIs, therefor all native Docker tools may be used to provision a volume.


The plugin applies a set of default volume create options. Unless you override the default options using the volume option flags, the defaults are applied when you create volumes. For example, the default volume size is 10GiB.

Config file volume-driver.json, which is stored at /etc/hpe-storage/volume-driver.json:

    "global":   {},
    "defaults": {
                 "perfPolicy": "DockerDefault",

Import a Volume to Docker

Take the volume you want to import offline before importing it. For information about how to take a volume offline, refer to the HPE Cloud Volumes documentation. Use the create command with the importVol option to import an HPE Cloud Volume to Docker and name it.

Import the HPE Cloud Volume named mycloudvol as a Docker volume named myvol3-imported.

docker volume create –d cvblock -o importVol=mycloudvol --name=myvol3-imported

Import a volume snapshot to Docker

Use the create command with the importVolAsClone option to import a HPE Cloud Volume snapshot as a Docker volume. Optionally, specify a particular snapshot on the HPE Cloud Volume using the snapshot option.

Import the HPE Cloud Volumes snapshot aSnapshot on the volume importMe as a Docker volume named importedSnap.

docker volume create -d cvblock -o importVolAsClone=mycloudvol -o snapshot=mysnap1 --name=myvol4-clone


If no snapshot is specified, the latest snapshot on the volume is imported.

Restore an offline Docker Volume with specified snapshot

It's important that the volume to be restored is in an offline state on the array.

If the volume snapshot is not specified, the last volume snapshot is used.

docker volume create -d cvblock -o importVol=myvol1.docker -o forceImport -o restore -o snapshot=mysnap1 --name=myvol1-restored

List volumes

List Docker volumes.

docker volume ls
DRIVER                     VOLUME NAME
cvblock:latest              myvol1
cvblock:latest              myvol1-clone

Remove a Docker Volume

When you remove volumes from Docker control they are set to the offline state on the array. Access to the volumes and related snapshots using the Docker Volume plugin can be reestablished.


To delete volumes from the HPE Cloud Volumes portal using the remove command, the volume should have been created with a -o destroyOnRm flag.

Important: Be aware that when this option is set to true, volumes and all related snapshots are deleted from the group, and can no longer be accessed by the Docker Volume plugin.

Remove the volume named myvol1.

docker volume rm myvol1


The plugin can be removed using the docker plugin rm command. This command will not remove the configuration directory (/etc/hpe-storage/).

docker plugin rm cvblock


The config directory is at /etc/hpe-storage/. When a plugin is installed and enabled, the HPE Cloud Volumes certificates are created in the config directory.

ls -l /etc/hpe-storage/
total 16
-r-------- 1 root root 1159 Aug  2 00:20 container_provider_host.cert
-r-------- 1 root root 1671 Aug  2 00:20 container_provider_host.key
-r-------- 1 root root 1521 Aug  2 00:20 container_provider_server.cert

Additionally there is a config file volume-driver.json present at the same location. This file can be edited to set default parameters for create volumes for docker.

Log file location

The docker plugin logs are located at /var/log/hpe-docker-plugin.log