Upgrading management and workload clusters
Supported versions of Kubernetes
If you are upgrading the version of Kubernetes for a cluster managed by Cluster API, check that the running version of Cluster API on the Management Cluster supports the target Kubernetes version.
You may need to upgrade the version of Cluster API in order to support the target Kubernetes version.
In addition, you must always upgrade between Kubernetes minor versions in sequence, e.g. if you need to upgrade from Kubernetes v1.17 to v1.19, you must first upgrade to v1.18.
For kubeadm based clusters, infrastructure providers require a “machine image” containing pre-installed, matching
kubelet, ensure that relevant infrastructure machine templates reference the appropriate
image for the Kubernetes version.
Upgrading using Cluster API
The high level steps to fully upgrading a cluster are to first upgrade the control plane and then upgrade the worker machines.
Upgrading the control plane machines
How to upgrade the underlying machine image
To upgrade the control plane machines underlying machine images, the
MachineTemplate resource referenced by the
KubeadmControlPlane must be changed. Since
MachineTemplate resources are immutable, the recommended approach is to
- Copy the existing
- Modify the values that need changing, such as instance type or image ID.
- Create the new
MachineTemplateon the management cluster.
- Modify the existing
KubeadmControlPlaneresource to reference the new
MachineTemplateresource in the
The next step will trigger a rolling update of the control plane using the new values found in the new
How to upgrade the Kubernetes control plane version
To upgrade the Kubernetes control plane version make a modification to the
Spec.Version field. This will trigger a rolling upgrade of the control plane and, depending on the provider, also upgrade the underlying machine image.
Some infrastructure providers, such as AWS, require
that if a specific machine image is specified, it has to match the Kubernetes version specified in the
KubeadmControlPlane spec. In order to only trigger a single upgrade, the new
MachineTemplate should be created first
and then both the
InfrastructureTemplate should be modified in a single transaction.
How to schedule a machine rollout
MachineDepoyment resources have a field
RolloutAfter that can be
set to a timestamp (RFC-3339) after which a rollout should be triggered regardless of whether there
were any changes to
MachineDeployment.Spec.Template or not. This would
roll out replacement nodes which can be useful e.g. to perform certificate rotation, reflect changes
to machine templates, move to new machines, etc.
Note that this field can only be used for triggering a rollout, not for delaying one. Specifically,
a rollout can also happen before the time specified in
RolloutAfter if any changes are made to
the spec before that time.
The rollout can be triggered by running the following command:
# Trigger a KubeadmControlPlane rollout. clusterctl alpha rollout restart kubeadmcontrolplane/my-kcp # Trigger a MachineDeployment rollout. clusterctl alpha rollout restart machinedeployment/my-md-0
Upgrading machines managed by a
Upgrades are not limited to just the control plane. This section is not related to Kubeadm control plane specifically, but is the final step in fully upgrading a Cluster API managed cluster.
It is recommended to manage machines with one or more
Machines to allow for a seamless scaling experience. A modification to the
MachineDeployments spec will begin a rolling update of the machines. Follow
these instructions for changing the
template for an existing
MachineDeployments support different strategies for rolling out changes to
Changes are rolled out by honouring
Only values allowed are of type Int or Strings with an integer and percentage symbol e.g “5%”.
Changes are rolled out driven by the user or any entity deleting the old
Machines. Only when a
Machine is fully deleted a new one will come up.
For a more in-depth look at how
MachineDeployments manage scaling events, take a look at the
controller documentation and the