Microsoft AKS updates 2023 - Q3

Within this blog, I want to give an overview of all the feature in Q3 2023 that becomes available in General Availability, Technical Preview or End of Support by Microsoft. This information can be found at Microsoft Azure Updates.

Features are now supported by Microsoft (GA):

  • [General available] Vertical Pod Autoscaling add-on for AKS
    The Vertical Pod Autoscaling (VPA) add-on for AKS is now generally available. Vertical Pod Autoscaling is a Kubernetes open-source project which aims to help right size your workloads by setting up to date resource requests and limits for the containers in your pods based on past usage, ensuring stability, cost-efficiency, and improved cluster utilization for your workloads. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] AKS image cleaner
    AKS image cleaner feature is now generally available.With image cleaner, all the unused, vulnerable images are detected and removed from the AKS nodes automatically. This allows you to save time by no longer needing to manually remove unused images. It also minimized security risks by removing unused and potentially vulnerable images from your AKS clusters. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] Dedicated table support for AKS diagnostics logs
    Dedicated table support for AKS diagnostic logs is now generally available. This feature makes it easier and faster to query your logs, while also optimizing costs and enhancing query performance. You can send your AKS diagnostic logs to resource-specific tables in Log Analytics, which allows you to take advantage of dedicated schemas that support the “Basic Log” plan. This plan offers reduced data ingestion costs and retention periods, so you can save costs while still getting the insights you need. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] Node OS patching - NodeImage feature in AKS
    Node OS patching – NodeImage feature is now generally available for AKS. This feature provides an exclusive channel to control OS security updates for your nodes. With this feature, you can have a flexible and customized strategy for node-level OS security updates and a separate plan for cluster-level Kubernetes version auto-upgrades auto-upgrade. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] Auto-upgrade scheduled maintenance for AKS
    AKS cluster has regular maintenance performed on it automatically. By default, this work can happen at any time. Planned Maintenance allows you to schedule weekly maintenance windows to perform updates and minimize workload impact. Once scheduled, upgrades occur only during the window you selected. This gives you better control and scheduling capability for auto upgrade and Node OS upgrade schedule as part of planned maintenance configuration. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] Kubernetes 1.27 support in AKS
    AKS support for Kubernetes 1.27 is now generally available.
    Kubernetes 1.27 contains over 50 features and enhancements focused on improving security, scalability, reliability, and performance of cloud native applications. With the general availability of 1.27 support, you can now take advantage of these capabilities in production. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] Private Link service integration
    AKS now facilitates Private Link Service (PLS) creation for Kubernetes services through annotations, simplifying PLS setup. You can add the necessary PLS annotation to the service manifest file with an 'azure-load-balancer-internal' annotation and LoadBalancer service type. This eliminates searching for Azure Load Balancer IP configuration for PLS creation, as AKS will handle PLS provisioning with the Kubernetes service. You can also establish a PLS resource by adding the PLS annotation to the manifest file after service provisioning. Click here to learn more.
  • [General available] Event Grid upgrade enhancements for AKS
    Azure Event Grid integration with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) enables you to subscribe to Event Grid notifications and get important event notifications. You can now receive and programmatically handle AKS generated upgrade events in Event Grid to minimize unexpected issues and improve how you handle such activities. Event Grid enhancements add new events for the integration at GA to facilitate additional capabilities include:
    • Upgrade completed/ canceled/ failed notification;
    • Cluster going out of support;
    • Cluster out of support notices. Click here to learn more.

Features are not yet supported by Microsoft (GA)

  • [Public Preview] Azure Functions extension for Dapr
    Azure Functions extension for Dapr is now in public preview. You can use Dapr’s powerful cloud native building block APIs (e.g. Service Invoke with service discovery & mTLS, PubSub, Bindings, Secrets and Actors) and a large array of ecosystem components in the native and friendly Azure Functions triggers & bindings programming model. The extension is available to run on AKS and ACA services. Click here to learn more.
  • [Public Preview] AKS support for Kubernetes version 1.28
    AKS now supports Kubernetes version 1.28 in public preview. Among other enhancements, this latest Kubernetes version provides the following:
    • Node components for the oldest supported minor version now work with control plane components for the newest supported minor version;
    • Improvements to CustomResourceDefinition validation rules
    • Recovery from non-graceful node shutdown
    • Match conditions for admission webhooks Click here to learn more.
  • [Public Preview] Azure Container Storage Updates: Expanded regions and performance options
    With Azure Container Storage in preview, you can easily use block storage volumes for production-scale stateful container applications on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Azure Container Storage provides rapid scale out of volumes, reduced pod failover time, reduced total cost of ownership, and consistent access to local & remote storage. Based on feedback from Azure customers, we have included the following capabilities in the preview update:
    • Expansion to Brazil South, Canada Central, Canada East, Central India, Central US, East Asia, Japan East, Korea Central, North Central US, South Africa North, Switzerland North, UAE North, West Central US. West US, East US 2, South Central US, Southeast Asia, Australia East, North Europe, UK South, Sweden Central, and France Central in addition to East US, West Europe, West US 2, West US 3;
    • Simplified installation via script here with automated upgrade via Arc Extensions;
    • Storage pool support for additional Azure Disk types including Premium SSD v2, Standard SSD and Ultra Disk along with Premium SSD;
    • Scale up by resizing volumes backed by Azure Disk and NVMe storage pools;
    • Ability to clone volumes within a storage pool. Click here to learn more.
  • [Public Preview] Bring your own key on Ephemeral OS disk for AKS
    AKS now supports the ability to create clusters with BYOK enabled for nodes using ephemeral OS disk if the chosen VM SKU supports ephemeral. BYOK support provides you the option to use your own customer managed keys (CMK) to encrypt your ephemeral OS Disks, providing you increased control over your encryption keys. Click here to learn more.
  • [Public Preview] Network observability add-on for AKS
    The new network observability add-on for AKS, now in public preview, provides complete observability into the network health and connectivity of your AKS cluster.Key benefits:
    • Get access to cluster level network metrics like packet drops, connections stats and more;
    • (GA) Access to pod-level metrics and network debuggability features;
    • Support for all Azure CNIs - AzureCNI and AzureCNI (Powered by Cilium);
    • Support for all AKS node types - Linux and Windows;
    • Easy deployment using native Azure tools - AKS CLI, ARM templates, PowerShell, etc.;
    • Seamless integration with the Azure managed Prometheus and Azure-managed Grafana offerings. Click here or read the blog to learn more.

Features that are retired

  • [Retired] Azure Monitor for AKS-Engine will not be supported on 14 September 2026
    On 14 September 2026, AKS-Engine will be retired. With this retirement, Azure Monitor users will no longer have access to the UX support, portal experience, or monitoring agent for any applications hosted on AKS-Engine. Required action : To avoid monitoring disruption, please enable Azure Monitor when you migrate to AKS before 14 September 2026.
  • [Retired] HTTP application routing add-on (preview) for AKS will retire 03/03/2025
    HTTP application routing add-on (preview) for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) will be retired on 03 March 2025. Please transition your ingresses to the Web Application Routing add-on by that date.
    The HTTP Application Routing add-on is only supported up to Kubernetes version 1.22 which has already reached end of life, according to the Azure Kubernetes Service support policy. Transition your ingresses to use the Web Application Routing add-on for a better experience. The Web Application Routing add-on provides monitoring through Prometheus metrics, Azure DNS zone management, and SSL termination through certificates stored in Azure Key Vault. We encourage you to transition your ingresses to the Web Application Routing add-on prior to the retirement date.
    Required action : To avoid service disruptions, please follow our instructions to migrate to replacement product by March 3, 2025. Click here for instructions to migrate.
  • [Retired] Kubernetes 1.24 support in AKS
    Kubernetes version 1.24 support in AKS is now deprecated. With this deprecation, AKS will no longer support 1.24 and the version is moving to platform support. If you are currently using version 1.24, you should migrate to Kubernetes version 1.25 or higher. Click here to learn more.
    Required action : for more information about the features that are coming out, please refer to the public roadmap of Microsoft AKS team.