Install Portworx on OpenShift on vSphere

Follow the instructions on this page to install Portworx on vSphere.


  • Your cluster must be running OpenShift 4 or higher.
  • You must have an OpenShift cluster deployed on infrastructure that meets the minimum requirements for Portworx.
  • Ensure that any underlying nodes used for Portworx in OCP have Secure Boot disabled.
  • You must have supported disk types.

Install the Portworx Operator

Before you can install Portworx on your OpenShift cluster, you must first install the Portworx Operator. Perform the following steps to prepare your OpenShift cluster by installing the Operator.

  1. From your OpenShift UI, select OperatorHub in the left pane.

  2. On the OperatorHub page, search for Portworx and select either the Portworx Enterprise or Portworx Essentials Operator:

    search catalog

  3. Click Install to install Portworx Operator:

    select catalog

  4. The Portworx Operator begins to install and takes you to the Install Operator page. On this page, select A specific namespace on the cluster option for Installation mode. Choose the Create Project option from the Installed Namespace dropdown:

    Portworx namespace

  5. On the Create Project window, enter the name portworx and click Create to create a namespace called portworx.

  6. Click Install to deploy Portworx Operator in the portworx namespace.

Deploy Portworx

The Portworx Enterprise Operator takes a custom Kubernetes resource called StorageCluster as input. The StorageCluster is a representation of your Portworx cluster configuration. Once the StorageCluster object is created, the Operator will deploy a Portworx cluster corresponding to the specification in the StorageCluster object. The Operator will watch for changes on the StorageCluster and update your cluster according to the latest specifications.

For more information about the StorageCluster object and how the Operator manages changes, refer to the StorageCluster article.

Disable storage DRS configuration

Portworx does not support the movement of VMDK files from the datastores on which they were created. Do not move them manually or have any settings that would result in a movement of these files. To prevent Storage DRS from moving VMDK files, configure the Storage DRS settings as follows using your vSphere console.

From the Edit Storage DRS Settings window of your selected datastore cluster, edit the following settings:

  • For Storage DRS automation, choose the No Automation (Manual Mode) option, and set the same for other settings, as shown in the following screencapture:


  • For Runtime Settings, clear the Enable I/O metric for SDRS recommendations option.


  • For Advanced options, clear the Keep VMDKs together by default options.


Grant the required cloud permissions

Grant permissions Portworx requires by creating a secret with user credentials:

  1. Provide Portworx with a vCenter server user that has the following minimum vSphere privileges using your vSphere console:

    • Datastore
      • Allocate space
      • Browse datastore
      • Low level file operations
      • Remove file
    • Host
      • Local operations
      • Reconfigure virtual machine
    • Virtual machine
      • Change Configuration
      • Add existing disk
      • Add new disk
      • Add or remove device
      • Advanced configuration
      • Change Settings
      • Extend virtual disk
      • Modify device settings
      • Remove disk

    If you create a custom role as above, make sure to select Propagate to children when assigning the user to the role.

  2. Create a secret using the following template. Retrieve the credentials from your own environment and specify them under the data section:

    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Secret
        name: px-vsphere-secret
        namespace: portworx
    type: Opaque
        VSPHERE_USER: <your-vcenter-server-user>
        VSPHERE_PASSWORD: <your-vcenter-server-password>
    • VSPHERE_USER: to find your vSphere user, enter the following command:

      echo '<vcenter-server-user>' | base64
    • VSPHERE_PASSWORD: to find your vSphere password, enter the following command:

      echo '<vcenter-server-password>' | base64

    Once you’ve updated the template with your user and password, apply the spec:

    oc apply -f <your-spec-name>
  3. Ensure ports 17001-17020 on worker nodes are reachable from the control plane node and other worker nodes.

  4. If you’re running a Portworx Essentials cluster, then create the following secret with your Essential Entitlement ID:

    oc -n portworx create secret generic px-essential \
        --from-literal=px-essen-user-id=YOUR_ESSENTIAL_ENTITLEMENT_ID \

Generate the StorageCluster spec

To install Portworx with OpenShift, you must generate a StorageCluster spec that you will deploy in your cluster.

  1. Navigate to PX-Central and log in, or create an account.

  2. Select Portworx Enterprise from the Product Catalog page.

  3. On the Product Line page, choose any option depending on which license you intend to use, then click Continue to start the spec generator.

  4. Choose Portworx Version and select vSphere from the Platform dropdown.

  5. Specify your hostname or the IP address of the vSphere server in the vCenter endpoint field.

  6. Specify the datastore name(s) or datastore cluster name(s) available for Portworx in the vCenter datastore prefix field. To specify multiple datastore names or datastore cluster names, enter a generic prefix common to all the datastores or datastore clusters. For example, if you want Portworx to use three datastores named px-datastore-01, px-datastore-02, and px-datastore-03, specify px or px-datastore.

    Click Save Spec to generate the specs.

Apply the StorageCluster spec

  1. Once the Operator is installed successfully, create a StorageCluster object by clicking the Create StorageCluster button on the same page:

    Portworx Operator

  2. The spec displayed here represents a very basic default spec. Copy the spec you created with the spec generator and paste it over the default spec in the YAML view, and click Create:

    Portworx Operator

  3. Verify that Portworx has deployed successfully by navigating to the Storage Cluster tab of the Installed Operators page:

    Portworx Operator

    Once Portworx has fully deployed, the status will show as Online:

    Portworx Operator

Verify your Portworx installation

Once you’ve installed Portworx, you can perform the following tasks to verify that Portworx has installed correctly.

Verify if all pods are running

Enter the following oc get pods command to list and filter the results for Portworx pods:

oc get pods -n portworx -o wide | grep -e portworx -e px
portworx-api-774c2                                      1/1     Running   0                2m55s   username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
portworx-api-t4lf9                                      1/1     Running   0                2m55s    username-k8s1-node1    <none>           <none>
portworx-kvdb-94bpk                                     1/1     Running   0                4s   username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
portworx-operator-58967ddd6d-kmz6c                      1/1     Running   0                4m1s       username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
prometheus-px-prometheus-0                              2/2     Running   0                2m41s      username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
px-cluster-1c3edc42-4541-48fc-b173-3e9bf3cd834d-9gs79   2/2     Running   0                2m55s   username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
px-cluster-1c3edc42-4541-48fc-b173-3e9bf3cd834d-vpptx   1/2     Running   0                2m55s    username-k8s1-node1    <none>           <none>
px-csi-ext-868fcb9fc6-54bmc                             4/4     Running   0                3m5s      username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
px-csi-ext-868fcb9fc6-8tk79                             4/4     Running   0                3m5s      username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>
px-csi-ext-868fcb9fc6-vbqzk                             4/4     Running   0                3m5s      username-k8s1-node1    <none>           <none>
px-prometheus-operator-59b98b5897-9nwfv                 1/1     Running   0                3m3s      username-k8s1-node0    <none>           <none>

Note the name of one of your px-cluster pods. You’ll run pxctl commands from these pods in following steps.

Verify Portworx cluster status

You can find the status of the Portworx cluster by running pxctl status commands from a pod. Enter the following oc exec command, specifying the pod name you retrieved in the previous section:

oc exec px-cluster-1c3edc42-4541-48fc-b173-3e9bf3cd834d-vpptx -n portworx -- /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl status
Defaulted container "portworx" out of: portworx, csi-node-driver-registrar
Status: PX is operational
Telemetry: Disabled or Unhealthy
Metering: Disabled or Unhealthy
License: Trial (expires in 31 days)
Node ID: 788bf810-57c4-4df1-9a5a-70c31d0f478e
        Local Storage Pool: 1 pool
        0       HIGH            raid0           3.0 TiB 10 GiB  Online  default default
        Local Storage Devices: 3 devices
        Device  Path            Media Type              Size            Last-Scan
        0:1     /dev/vdb        STORAGE_MEDIUM_MAGNETIC 1.0 TiB         14 Jul 22 22:03 UTC
        0:2     /dev/vdc        STORAGE_MEDIUM_MAGNETIC 1.0 TiB         14 Jul 22 22:03 UTC
        0:3     /dev/vdd        STORAGE_MEDIUM_MAGNETIC 1.0 TiB         14 Jul 22 22:03 UTC
        * Internal kvdb on this node is sharing this storage device /dev/vdc  to store its data.
        total           -       3.0 TiB
        Cache Devices:
         * No cache devices
Cluster Summary
        Cluster ID: px-cluster-1c3edc42-4541-48fc-b173-3e9bf3cd834d
        Cluster UUID: 33a82fe9-d93b-435b-943e-6f3fd5522eae
        Scheduler: kubernetes
        Nodes: 2 node(s) with storage (2 online)
        IP              ID                                      SchedulerNodeName       Auth            StorageNode     Used    Capacity        Status  StorageStatus       Version         Kernel                  OS f6d87392-81f4-459a-b3d4-fad8c65b8edc    username-k8s1-node0      Disabled        Yes             10 GiB  3.0 TiB         Online  Up 2.11.0-81faacc   3.10.0-1127.el7.x86_64  CentOS Linux 7 (Core)  788bf810-57c4-4df1-9a5a-70c31d0f478e    username-k8s1-node1      Disabled        Yes             10 GiB  3.0 TiB         Online  Up (This node)      2.11.0-81faacc  3.10.0-1127.el7.x86_64  CentOS Linux 7 (Core)
Global Storage Pool
        Total Used      :  20 GiB
        Total Capacity  :  6.0 TiB

The Portworx status will display PX is operational if your cluster is running as intended.

Verify pxctl cluster provision status

  • Find the storage cluster, the status should show as Online:

    oc -n portworx get storagecluster
    NAME                                              CLUSTER UUID                           STATUS   VERSION   AGE
    px-cluster-1c3edc42-4541-48fc-b173-3e9bf3cd834d   33a82fe9-d93b-435b-943e-6f3fd5522eae   Online   2.11.0    10m
  • Find the storage nodes, the statuses should show as Online:

    oc -n portworx get storagenodes
    NAME                  ID                                     STATUS   VERSION          AGE
    username-k8s1-node0   f6d87392-81f4-459a-b3d4-fad8c65b8edc   Online   2.11.0-81faacc   11m
    username-k8s1-node1   788bf810-57c4-4df1-9a5a-70c31d0f478e   Online   2.11.0-81faacc   11m
  • Verify the Portworx cluster provision status . Enter the following oc exec command, specifying the pod name you retrieved in the previous section:

    oc exec px-cluster-1c3edc42-4541-48fc-b173-3e9bf3cd834d-vpptx -n portworx -- /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl cluster provision-status
    Defaulted container "portworx" out of: portworx, csi-node-driver-registrar
    NODE                                    NODE STATUS     POOL                                            POOL STATUS     IO_PRIORITY     SIZE    AVAILABLE  USED     PROVISIONED     ZONE    REGION  RACK
    788bf810-57c4-4df1-9a5a-70c31d0f478e    Up              0 ( 96e7ff01-fcff-4715-b61b-4d74ecc7e159 )      Online          HIGH            3.0 TiB 3.0 TiB    10 GiB   0 B             default default default
    f6d87392-81f4-459a-b3d4-fad8c65b8edc    Up              0 ( e06386e7-b769-4ce0-b674-97e4359e57c0 )      Online          HIGH            3.0 TiB 3.0 TiB    10 GiB   0 B             default default default

Create your first PVC

For your apps to use persistent volumes powered by Portworx, you must use a StorageClass that references Portworx as the provisioner. Portworx includes a number of default StorageClasses, which you can reference with PersistentVolumeClaims (PVCs) you create. For a more general overview of how storage works within Kubernetes, refer to the Persistent Volumes section of the Kubernetes documentation.

Perform the following steps to create a PVC:

  1. Create a PVC referencing the px-csi-db default StorageClass and save the file:

    kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    apiVersion: v1
        name: px-check-pvc
        storageClassName: px-csi-db
            - ReadWriteOnce
                storage: 2Gi
  2. Run the oc apply command to create a PVC:

    oc apply -f <your-pvc-name>.yaml
    persistentvolumeclaim/example-pvc created

Verify your StorageClass and PVC

  1. Enter the following oc get storageclass command, specify the name of the StorageClass you created in the steps above:

    oc get storageclass <your-storageclass-name>
    example-storageclass   Delete          Immediate           false                  24m

    oc will return details about your storageClass if it was created correctly. Verify the configuration details appear as you intended.

  2. Enter the oc get pvc command, if this is the only StorageClass and PVC you’ve created, you should see only one entry in the output:

    oc get pvc <your-pvc-name>
    NAME          STATUS   VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS           AGE
    example-pvc   Bound    pvc-dce346e8-ff02-4dfb-935c-2377767c8ce0   2Gi        RWO            example-storageclass   3m7s

    oc will return details about your PVC if it was created correctly. Verify the configuration details appear as you intended.

Last edited: Monday, Jul 17, 2023