Now is as good a time as ever to move to the latest Trident release. The team is committed to delivering four releases in every calendar year. Each release builds on top of the previous one, providing improved feature support and enhanced capabilities that aim to make better use of your NetApp storage systems and services. To ensure sustained full support and a reliable end-user experience, you are encouraged to upgrade to the latest and greatest of what Trident has to offer. At a minimum, upgrade once a year to stay in that support window. Trident's support and upgrade policy is designed to help you evaluate upgrades and outline Trident's release cadence.

Why upgrade?


For users working with 18.xx and other releases prior to 19.07, there’s a lot you are missing out on: 

  1. CSI Trident, the default mode of deploying Trident on Kubernetes versions 1.14 and above has been introduced with Trident 19.07. Subsequent releases have all seen enhancements to the CSI frontend, such as snapshot creation, auto-export policy generation, and so on.
  2. Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) to store Trident’s metadata. First delivered in 19.07, Trident now uses CRDs to maintain state and keep related information native to the Kubernetes cluster.
  3. Drivers, drivers and more drivers. With new drivers for Azure NetApp Files, CVS on GCP as well as on-prem ONTAP drivers (ontap-san-economy), Trident meets your persistent storage requirements no matter where you choose to run Kubernetes.
  4. CSI features galore: Expanding iSCSI and NFS volumes, raw-block iSCSI volume creation and multi-attachment, CSI cloning with PVCs as a source, CSI volume snapshots. There’s more where that came from.
  5. Prometheus metrics for monitoring and visibility.
  6. The Trident Operator automatically manages Trident installs and proactively self-heals itself.
  7. Auto-export policy management for ONTAP NAS backends and bidirectional CHAP authentication for ONTAP SAN backends.


This list continues to grow. The 20.07 release of Trident provides a whole host of new features, all of which are cataloged in the Trident release blog and the release notes.


What does it take to upgrade?


Not much really. If you are working with a non-operator install, it’s as simple as:


tridentctl uninstall -n trident
tridentctl install -n trident


As part of the upgrade: 

  1. Trident does not touch any volume that has already been provisioned. Volumes continue to be accessible and can be written to/read from. 
  2. New requests for volumes are not dropped. All requests associated with the volumes it manages are handled once Trident is installed again. 
  3. If you are moving from <=19.04 to a newer release, Trident will migrate its metadata own from the dedicated etcd volume to CRDs automatically for you as part of the installation. This is a one-time process that runs until completion. 

Trident upgrades that fall within the [YY.MM, YY+1.MM] range can be handled directly. In other words, if you are looking to upgrade from 18.04, you can upgrade to a release that’s within the [18.07,19.04] range directly. Jumping beyond this (18.04 to 20.04) will require a multi-step upgrade.


Evaluate your upgrades today! 


Get started on planning your upgrade today. The Trident documentation for your respective release is the best place to look at for version-specific upgrades. You can always reach out on the Slack channel to ask questions! 

About Bala RameshBabu

Bala is a Technical Marketing Engineer who focuses on Trident, NetApp's dynamic storage provisioner for Kubernetes and Docker. With a background in OpenStack, he focuses on open-source solutions and DevOps workflows. When not at work, you can find him in a soccer field or reading biographies

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