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CSI Volume Cloning

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.15 alpha
This feature is currently in a alpha state, meaning:

  • The version names contain alpha (e.g. v1alpha1).
  • Might be buggy. Enabling the feature may expose bugs. Disabled by default.
  • Support for feature may be dropped at any time without notice.
  • The API may change in incompatible ways in a later software release without notice.
  • Recommended for use only in short-lived testing clusters, due to increased risk of bugs and lack of long-term support.

This document describes the concept of cloning existing CSI Volumes in Kubernetes. Familiarity with Volumes is suggested.

This feature requires VolumePVCDataSource feature gate to be enabled:



The CSIThe Container Storage Interface (CSI) defines a standard interface to expose storage systems to containers. Volume Cloning feature adds support for specifying existing PVCClaims storage resources defined in a PersistentVolume so that it can be mounted as a volume in a container. s in the dataSource field to indicate a user would like to clone a VolumeA directory containing data, accessible to the containers in a pod. .

A Clone is defined as a duplicate of an existing Kubernetes Volume that can be consumed as any standard Volume would be. The only difference is that upon provisioning, rather than creating a “new” empty Volume, the back end device creates an exact duplicate of the specified Volume.

The implementation of cloning, from the perspective of the Kubernetes API simply adds the ability to specify an existing unbound PVC as a dataSource during new pvc creation.

Users need to be aware of the following when using this feature:


Clones are provisioned just like any other PVC with the exception of adding a dataSource that references an existing PVC in the same namespace.

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    name: clone-of-pvc-1
    namespace: myns
  - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 5Gi
    kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    name: pvc-1

The result is a new PVC with the name clone-of-pvc-1 that has the exact same content as the specified source pvc-1.


Upon availability of the new PVC, the cloned PVC is consumed the same as other PVC. It’s also expected at this point that the newly created PVC is an independent object. It can be consumed, cloned, snapshotted, or deleted independently and without consideration for it’s original dataSource PVC. This also implies that the source is not linked in any way to the newly created clone, it may also be modified or deleted without affecting the newly created clone.