Software Upgrades

StarlingX upgrades enable you to move StarlingX software from one release of StarlingX to the next release of StarlingX.

StarlingX software upgrade is a multi-step rolling-upgrade process, where StarlingX hosts are upgraded one at time while continuing to provide its hosting services to its hosted applications. An upgrade can be performed manually or using Upgrade Orchestration, which automates much of the upgrade procedure, leaving a few manual steps to prevent operator oversight. For more information on manual upgrades, see Manual PLatform Components Upgrade. For more information on upgrade orchestration, see Orchestrated Platform Component Upgrade.

Warning

Do NOT use information in the StarlingX Updates and Upgrades guide for Distributed Cloud orchestrated software upgrades. If information in this document is used for a Distributed Cloud orchestrated upgrade, the upgrade will fail resulting in an outage. The Distributed Cloud Upgrade Orchestrator automates a recursive rolling upgrade of all subclouds and all hosts within the subclouds.

Before starting the upgrades process:

  • the system must be “patch current”

  • there must be no management-affecting alarms present on the system

  • ensure any certificates managed by cert manager will not be renewed during the upgrade process

  • the new software load must be imported, and

  • a valid license file for the new software release must be installed

The upgrade process starts by upgrading the controllers. The standby controller is upgraded first and involves loading the standby controller with the new release of software and migrating all the controller services’ databases for the new release of software. Activity is switched to the upgraded controller, running in a ‘compatibility’ mode where all inter-node messages are using message formats from the old release of software. Before upgrading the second controller, is the “point-of-no-return for an in-service abort” of the upgrades process. The second controller is loaded with the new release of software and becomes the new Standby controller. For more information on manual upgrades, see Manual Platform Components Upgrade .

If present, storage nodes are locked, upgraded and unlocked one at a time in order to respect the redundancy model of StarlingX storage nodes. Storage nodes can be upgraded in parallel if using upgrade orchestration.

Upgrade of worker nodes is the next step in the process. When locking a worker node the node is tainted, such that Kubernetes shuts down any pods on this worker node and restarts the pods on another worker node. When upgrading the worker node, the worker node network boots/installs the new software from the active controller. After unlocking the worker node, the worker services are running in a ‘compatibility’ mode where all inter-node messages are using message formats from the old release of software. Note that the worker nodes can only be upgraded in parallel if using upgrade orchestration.

The final step of the upgrade process is to activate and complete the upgrade. This involves disabling ‘compatibility’ modes on all hosts and clearing the Upgrade Alarm.

Rolling Back / Aborting an Upgrade

In general, any issues encountered during an upgrade should be addressed during the upgrade with the intention of completing the upgrade after the issues are resolved. Issues specific to a storage or worker host can be addressed by temporarily downgrading the host, addressing the issues and then upgrading the host again, or in some cases by replacing the node.

In extremely rare cases, it may be necessary to abort an upgrade. This is a last resort and should only be done if there is no other way to address the issue within the context of the upgrade. There are two cases for doing such an abort: