Custom Boot Disks

This page explains how to run a specific boot disk type in your Kubernetes Engine clusters and node pools.

Overview

When you create a Kubernetes Engine cluster or node pool, you can choose the type of persistent disk onto which the Kubernetes node filesystem is installed for each node. By default, Kubernetes Engine uses standard persistent disks. You can also specify an SSD persistent disk.

SSD persistent disks can improve the performance of your nodes for certain workloads. However, note that choosing an SSD persistent disk as your node boot disk incurs additional costs. For more information, see the storage options.

Benefits of using an SSD boot disk

Using an SSD persistent disk as a boot disk for your nodes offers some performance benefits:

  • Nodes have faster boot times.
  • Binaries and files served from containers are available to the node faster. This can increase performance for I/O-intensive workloads, such as web-serving applications that host static files or short-running, I/O-intensive batch jobs.
  • Files stored on the node's local media (exposed via hostPath or emptyDir volumes) can see improved I/O performance.

For additional information on how SSD persistent disks perform compared to, standard persistent disks, see the Block storage performance comparison.

Specifying a boot disk type

You can specify the boot disk type, standard or SSD, when you create a new cluster or node pool.

Console

To select the boot disk when creating your cluster with Google Cloud Platform Console, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Kubernetes Engine menu in GCP Console.

    Visit the Kubernetes Engine menu

  2. Click Create cluster.

  3. Configure your cluster as desired.
  4. From the Boot disk type drop-down menu, select Standard persistent disk or SSD persistent disk.
  5. Click Create. The cluster's default node pool uses the specified boot disk type.

To create a node pool with a custom boot disk:

  1. Visit the Kubernetes Engine menu in GCP Console.

    Visit the Kubernetes Engine menu

  2. Select the desired cluster.

  3. From the Node pools menu, click Add node pool.
  4. Configure your node pool as desired.
  5. From the Boot disk type drop-down menu, select Standard persistent disk or SSD persistent disk.
  6. Click Create.

gcloud

To create a cluster with a custom boot disk, run the following command.

[DISK-TYPE] can be either:

  • pd-standard, a standard persistent disk (the default)
  • pd-ssd, an SSD persistent disk

gcloud beta container clusters create [CLUSTER_NAME] --disk-type [DISK_TYPE]

To create a node pool in an existing cluster:

gcloud beta container node-pools create [POOL_NAME] --disk-type [DISK_TYPE]

For example, the following command creates a cluster, example-cluster, with the SSD persistent disk type, pd-ssd:

gcloud beta container clusters create example-cluster --disk-type pd-ssd

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