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CSI Volume Cloning

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.16 beta
This feature is currently in a beta state, meaning:

  • The version names contain beta (e.g. v2beta3).
  • Code is well tested. Enabling the feature is considered safe. Enabled by default.
  • Support for the overall feature will not be dropped, though details may change.
  • The schema and/or semantics of objects may change in incompatible ways in a subsequent beta or stable release. When this happens, we will provide instructions for migrating to the next version. This may require deleting, editing, and re-creating API objects. The editing process may require some thought. This may require downtime for applications that rely on the feature.
  • Recommended for only non-business-critical uses because of potential for incompatible changes in subsequent releases. If you have multiple clusters that can be upgraded independently, you may be able to relax this restriction.
  • Please do try our beta features and give feedback on them! After they exit beta, it may not be practical for us to make more changes.

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


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 PVC as a dataSource during new PVC creation. The source PVC must be bound and available (not in use).

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

  • Cloning support (VolumePVCDataSource) is only available for CSI drivers.
  • Cloning support is only available for dynamic provisioners.
  • CSI drivers may or may not have implemented the volume cloning functionality.
  • You can only clone a PVC when it exists in the same namespace as the destination PVC (source and destination must be in the same namespace).
  • Cloning is only supported within the same Storage Class.
    • Destination volume must be the same storage class as the source
    • Default storage class can be used and storageClassName omitted in the spec


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
  storageClassName: cloning
      storage: 5Gi
    kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    name: pvc-1
Note: You must specify a capacity value for, and the value you specify must be the same or larger than the capacity of the source volume.

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.