Use the autoscaler profile to configure cluster autoscaling in Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server

You can use the parameters in the autoscaler profile object to define scale events. The cluster autoscaler profile affects all node pools that use the cluster autoscaler. You can't set an autoscaler profile per node pool.

The profiles have the following attributes:

  • Autoscaler profiles will apply to all node pools in a cluster.
  • Profiles are global deployment level objects.
  • There can be multiple profiles available in an AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server deployment.
  • Only one profile is assigned to a given cluster. The profile is used for all node pools in the cluster.
  • Changes to the profile are applied to all node pools, which have the autoscaler function enabled.


Cluster autoscaler is currently in PREVIEW. See the Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews for legal terms that apply to Azure features that are in beta, preview, or otherwise not yet released into general availability.

Profile settings

The default profile consists of the below default values. You can update the following settings:

Setting Description Default value
min-node-Count The minimum node count the node pool this profile is assigned can scale down to. 0
max-node-Count The maximum node count the node pool this profile is assigned to can scale up to. 1
scan-interval How often cluster is reevaluated for scale up or down. 10 seconds
scale-downdelay-afteradd How long after scale up that scale down evaluation resumes. 10 minutes
scale-downdelay-afterdelete How long after node deletion that scale down evaluation resumes. scaninterval
scale-downdelay-afterfailure How long after scale down failure that scale down evaluation resumes. 3 minutes
scale-downunneededtime How long a node should be unneeded before it's eligible for scale down. 10 minutes
scale-downunreadytime How long an unready node should be unneeded before it's eligible for scale down. 20 minutes
scale-downutilizationthreshold Node utilization level, defined as sum of requested resources divided by capacity, below which a node can be considered for scale down. 0.5
max-gracefulterminationsec Maximum number of seconds the cluster autoscaler waits for pod termination when trying to scale down a node. 600 seconds
balancesimilarnodegroups Detects similar node pools and balances the number of nodes between them. false
expander Type of node pool expander to be used in scale up. Possible values: most-pods, random, least-waste, priority. random
skip-nodeswith-localstorage If true cluster autoscaler will never delete nodes with pods with local storage, for example, EmptyDir or HostPath. true
skip-nodeswithsystempods If true cluster autoscaler will never delete nodes with pods from kube-system (except for DaemonSet or mirror pods). true
max-emptybulk-delete Maximum number of empty nodes that can be deleted at the same time. 10 nodes
new-podscale-updelay For scenarios like burst/batch scale where you don't want CA to act before the kubernetes scheduler could schedule all the pods, you can tell CA to ignore unscheduled pods before they're a certain age. 0 seconds
max-totalunreadypercentage Maximum percentage of unready nodes in the cluster. After this percentage is exceeded, CA halts operations. 45%
max-nodeprovisiontime Maximum time the autoscaler waits for a node to be provisioned. 15 minutes

Notes on configuration the autoscaler

You can change settings in the cluster autoscaler profile using the cmdlet Set-AksHciAutoScalerConfig.

The cluster autoscaler makes scaling decisions based on the minimum and maximum counts set on each node pool, but it doesn't enforce them after updating the min or max counts. For example, setting a min count of five when the current node count is three won't immediately scale the pool up to five.

If the minimum count on the node pool has a value higher than the current number of nodes, the new min or max settings will be respected when there are enough unschedulable pods present that would require two new additional nodes and trigger an autoscaler event. After the scale event, the new count limits are respected.

You can also configure more granular details of the cluster autoscaler by changing the default values in the cluster-wide autoscaler profile. For example, a scale down event happens after nodes are under-utilized after 10 minutes. If you had workloads that ran every 15 minutes, you may want to change the autoscaler profile to scale down under utilized nodes after 15 or 20 minutes. When you enable the cluster autoscaler, a default profile is used unless you specify different settings.

Save and load the autoscaler profile

You can save and store your autoscaler profile in a profile definition as a yaml file. You can manually edit the yaml file from a text editor. And you can load saved definitions.

Save your profile definition

You save a copy of the profile using kvactl as a yaml file. After you've defined your profile, run the following commands:

kvactl.exe autoscalerprofile get --name default --kubeconfig (Get-AksHciConfig).Kva.kubeconfig --outputformat=yaml > def.yaml

Edit your profile definition

You can edit the profile definition in the yaml file. For example, you can open def.yaml in notepad, Visual Studio Code, or other text editors.

Load your profile definition

You can load the profile definition using kvactl from the saved yaml file. Run the following commands:

kvactl.exe autoscalerprofile create --profileconfig .\def-new.yaml --kubeconfig (Get-AksHciConfig).Kva.kubeconfig

Next steps