Compute, Storage, and Networking Extensions
This section covers extensions to your cluster that do not come as part as Kubernetes itself. You can use these extensions to enhance the nodes in your cluster, or to provide the network fabric that links Pods together.
Container Storage Interface (CSI) plugins provide a way to extend Kubernetes with supports for new kinds of volumes. The volumes can be backed by durable external storage, or provide ephemeral storage, or they might offer a read-only interface to information using a filesystem paradigm.
Kubernetes also includes support for FlexVolume plugins, which are deprecated since Kubernetes v1.23 (in favour of CSI).
FlexVolume plugins allow users to mount volume types that aren't natively supported by Kubernetes. When you run a Pod that relies on FlexVolume storage, the kubelet calls a binary plugin to mount the volume. The archived FlexVolume design proposal has more detail on this approach.
The Kubernetes Volume Plugin FAQ for Storage Vendors includes general information on storage plugins.
Device plugins allow a node to discover new Node facilities (in addition to the built-in node resources such as
memory), and provide these custom node-local facilities to Pods that request them.
A network plugin allow Kubernetes to work with different networking topologies and technologies. Your Kubernetes cluster needs a network plugin in order to have a working Pod network and to support other aspects of the Kubernetes network model.
Kubernetes 1.29 is compatible with CNI network plugins.