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Hi All,


 


Last month we launched AKS on Azure Stack HCI.  Since then we have been busily working with folk who have been trying it out and getting started on deploying their containerized applications on top of AKS on Azure Stack HCI.  At the same time we have been busily working on the first update to AKS on Azure Stack HCI – which is now available!  You can evaluate AKS-HCI by registering here: https://aka.ms/AKS-HCI-Evaluate.


 


With this update – we are bringing in the following changes:


 


Seamless update of Kubernetes clusters


 


One of the biggest items that we have been working on is ensuring that this update is completely seamless for our users.  You can update our PowerShell, Windows Admin Center extension and the AKS on Azure Stack HCI host with zero impact to your running workloads.  You can then decide when to update individual Kubernetes clusters. 


 


As you update your Kubernetes clusters – we ensure that this is as low impact as possible by following a process where, for each worker node in the cluster we:



  1. Provision a new worker node that is based on the June update

  2. Join the new worker node to the Kubernetes cluster

  3. Drain the existing worker node

  4. Decommission the existing worker node


Note – all of this is handled seamlessly for you.  You just say “Update”!


 


Prometheus now included


 


Monitoring the health, performance, and resource usage of the control plane and worker nodes of your AKS-HCI workload cluster is crucial in production environment. Prometheus, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation project, is an open-source toolkit that is particularly popular for monitoring Kubernetes. Prometheus works with different types of collectors and agents to collect metrics and store them in a database where you can query the data and view reports. While it has been available for use with AKS on Azure Stack HCI, in this latest version we have made the deployment of Prometheus even simpler. You can now deploy Prometheus when creating new workload cluster by passing -enableMonitoring parameter to New-AksHciCluster cmdlet. Or, you can deploy it on an existing workload cluster by using Install-AksHciMonitoring cmdlet.


 


Once deployed, Prometheus can be used as a data source for rich queries and visualization in Grafana. Please refer to our technical docs for more details.


 


Security and Stability improvements


 


A key part of this update is that we have included pertinent security updates that have been released for Windows, Linux, Kubernetes and all the OSS components that are included in AKS on Azure Stack HCI.  At the same time we have been continuing to do security and stability testing on  AKS on Azure Stack HCI ourselves – and this update includes fixes to address any issues that we have discovered.


 


Once you have downloaded and installed the AKS on Azure Stack HCI June 2021 Update – you can report any issues you encounter, and track future feature work on our GitHub Project at https://github.com/Azure/aks-hci. And, if you do not have the hardware handy to evaluate AKS on Azure Stack HCI you can follow our guide for evaluating AKS-HCI inside an Azure VM: https://aka.ms/aks-hci-evalonazure.



I look forward to hearing from you all!



Cheers,
Ben


 

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