Tutorial: Upgrade Kubernetes in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

An Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster can be upgraded using the Azure CLI. To minimize disruption to running applications, Kubernetes nodes are carefully cordoned and drained during the upgrade process.

In this tutorial, part seven of seven, a Kubernetes cluster is upgraded. Tasks that you complete include:

  • Identify current and available Kubernetes versions
  • Upgrade the Kubernetes nodes
  • Validate a successful upgrade

Before you begin

In previous tutorials, an application was packaged into a container image, this image uploaded to Azure Container Registry, and a Kubernetes cluster created. The application was then run on the Kubernetes cluster.

If you have not done these steps, and would like to follow along, return to the Tutorial 1 – Create container images.

Get cluster versions

Before upgrading a cluster, use the az aks get-upgrades command to check which Kubernetes releases are available for upgrade.

az aks get-upgrades --name myAKSCluster --resource-group myResourceGroup --output table

In the following example, the current node version is 1.9.6, and the available versions are shown under the Upgrades column.

Name     ResourceGroup    MasterVersion    NodePoolVersion    Upgrades
-------  ---------------  ---------------  -----------------  ----------
default  myResourceGroup  1.9.6            1.9.6              1.10.3

Upgrade cluster

Use the az aks upgrade command to upgrade the cluster nodes. The following example updates the cluster to version 1.10.3.

az aks upgrade --name myAKSCluster --resource-group myResourceGroup --kubernetes-version 1.10.3

The following condensed example output shows the kubernetesVersion now reports 1.10.3:

  "agentPoolProfiles": [
      "count": 3,
      "maxPods": 110,
      "name": "nodepool1",
      "osType": "Linux",
      "storageProfile": "ManagedDisks",
      "vmSize": "Standard_DS1_v2",
  "dnsPrefix": "myAKSClust-myResourceGroup-19da35",
  "enableRbac": false,
  "fqdn": "myaksclust-myresourcegroup-19da35-bd54a4be.hcp.eastus.azmk8s.io",
  "id": "/subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourcegroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.ContainerService/managedClusters/myAKSCluster",
  "kubernetesVersion": "1.10.3",
  "location": "eastus",
  "name": "myAKSCluster",
  "type": "Microsoft.ContainerService/ManagedClusters"

Validate upgrade

Confirm that the upgrade was successful with the az aks show command.

az aks show --name myAKSCluster --resource-group myResourceGroup --output table


Name          Location    ResourceGroup    KubernetesVersion    ProvisioningState    Fqdn
------------  ----------  ---------------  -------------------  -------------------  ----------------------------------------------------------------
myAKSCluster  eastus      myResourceGroup  1.10.3               Succeeded            myaksclust-myresourcegroup-19da35-bd54a4be.hcp.eastus.azmk8s.io

Next steps

In this tutorial, you upgraded Kubernetes in an AKS cluster. The following tasks were completed:

  • Identify current and available Kubernetes versions
  • Upgrade the Kubernetes nodes
  • Validate a successful upgrade

Follow this link to learn more about AKS.