Release channels and updates

Managed Service for Kubernetes provides updates through release channels.

The service supports three Kubernetes versions. Master and node group versions are independent, and you can specify different Kubernetes versions available within a single release channel when creating them.


  • If you need to upgrade both the master node and the node group, upgrade the master first.
  • If the master is running on Kubernetes 1.14 and node groups are on Kubernetes 1.13, compatibility issues will affect CSI operation. For correct operation, upgrade the node groups to Kubernetes 1.14.

Release channels

When creating a Kubernetes cluster, you specify one of three release channels. You can't change the channel once the Kubernetes cluster is created, you can only recreate the Kubernetes cluster and specify a new release channel.

The table below describes release channels and contains up-to-date information about supported Kubernetes versions.

Channel Kubernetes versions Automatic updates Channel description
rapid 1.14, 1.15, 1.16 Can't disable automatic updates. Can specify a time period for automatic updates. Contains the latest versions of Kubernetes. Minor updates with new functions and improvements are often added.
regular 1.13, 1.14, 1.15 Can disable automatic updates. Contains different versions of Kubernetes. New functions and improvements are added in chunks shortly after they appear on rapid.
stable 1.13, 1.14, 1.15 Can disable automatic updates. Contains the stable Kubernetes versions. Only updates related to bug fixes or security improvements are added.


When an update appears on a release channel, the corresponding information is displayed in the management console. You can install updates automatically or manually.

  • Automatic updates are installed in the specified period of time with no interaction from the user.

    Updates are triggered and should be completed within the specified period. In some cases, when updating a node group, an update may continue beyond such period.

    Automatic updates include: new Managed Service for Kubernetes functions, improvements, and fixes, as well as Kubernetes component fixes.


    If Kubernetes version support ends, minor Kubernetes versions get updated as well.

  • Manual updates can be initiated by the user at any time.

    These include Kubernetes minor version updates.

Read more about Kubernetes version support termination and the cluster component update Kubernetes process.

Version support termination Kubernetes

When an old Kubernetes versions is no longer supported after an update:

  • The master is automatically updated even if automatic updates are disabled.
  • Node groups are automatically updated if automatic updates are enabled. If automatic updates are disabled, the old Kubernetes versions remains on the node groups. In this case, the user is fully responsible for solving problems related to the node group, since the old Kubernetes versions is deprecated.

Updating cluster components in Kubernetes

The update process is different for masters and node groups.


Depending on the type of master, it may or may not be available during an update:

  • Zonal masters are unavailable during updates.
  • Regional masters remain available during updates.

Node groups

You can update node groups with additional resources by creating nodes with a new configuration.


For an update to be successful, you need enough quotas to create a new node with additional resources.

Update process:

  1. An updated node is created with the configuration specified for the entire node group.

  2. All pods are moved from one of the old nodes, which is then deleted.


    A pod can only be moved if it was created by one of the application replication controllers: ReplicaSet, Deployment, or StatefulSet. If a pod is created without a controller, it's lost during the update.

  3. The process is repeated until all nodes in the node group are updated.

This ensures that the number of nodes in the node group never falls below the number specified when the group is created.