Upgrading Vertica on Kubernetes

The operator automates Vertica server version upgrades for a custom resource (CR).

The operator automates Vertica server version upgrades for a custom resource (CR). Use the upgradePolicy setting in the CR to determine whether your cluster remains online or is taken offline during the version upgrade.


Before you begin, complete the following:

Setting the policy

The upgradePolicy CR parameter setting determines how the operator upgrades Vertica server versions. It provides the following options:

Setting Description

The operator shuts down the cluster to prevent multiple versions from running simultaneously.

The operator performs all server version upgrades using the Offline setting in the following circumstances:

  • You have only one subcluster

  • You are upgrading from a Vertica server version prior to version 11.1.0


The cluster continues to operate during an online upgrade. The data is in read-only mode while the operator upgrades the image for the primary subcluster.


The default setting. The operator selects either Offline or Online depending on the configuration. The operator performs an Online upgrade if all of the following are true:

  • A license Secret exists

  • K-Safety is 1

  • The cluster is currently running a Vertica version 11.1.0 or higher

If the current configuration does not meet all of the previous requirements, the operator performs an Offline upgrade.

Reconcile loop iteration time

During an upgrade, the operator runs the reconcile loop to compare the actual state of the objects to the desired state defined in the CR. The operator requeues any unfinished work, and the reconcile loop compares states with a set period of time between each reconcile iteration.

Routing client traffic during an online upgrade

During an online upgrade, the operator begins by upgrading the Vertica server version in the primary subcluster to form a cluster with the new version. When the operator restarts the primary nodes, it places the secondary subclusters in read-only mode. Next, the operator upgrades any secondary subclusters one at a time. During the upgrade for any subcluster, all client connections are drained, and traffic is rerouted to either an existing subcluster or a temporary subcluster.

Online upgrades require more than one subcluster so that the operator can reroute client traffic for the subcluster while it is upgrading. By default, the operator selects which subcluster receives the rerouted traffic using the following rules:

  • When rerouting traffic for the primary subcluster, the operator selects the first secondary subcluster defined in the CR.

  • When restarting the first secondary subcluster after the upgrade, the operator selects the first subcluster that is defined in the CR that is up.

  • If no secondary subclusters exist, you cannot perform an online upgrade. The operator selects the first primary subcluster defined in the CR and performs an offline upgrade.

Route to an existing subcluster

You might want to control which subclusters handle rerouted client traffic due to subcluster capacity or licensing limitations. You can set the temporarySubclusterRouting.names parameter to specify an existing subcluster to receive the rerouted traffic:

      - subcluster-2
      - subcluster-1

In the previous example, subcluster-2 accepts traffic when the other subcluster-1 is offline. When subcluster-2 is down, subcluster-1 accepts its traffic.

Route to a temporary subcluster

To create a temporary subcluster that exists for the duration of the upgrade process, use the temporarySubclusterRouting.template parameter to provide a name and size for the temporary subcluster:

      name: transient
      size: 3

If you choose to upgrade with a temporary subcluster, ensure that you have the necessary resources.

Migrating deployment types

Beginning with Vertica server version 24.1.0, the operator manages deployments with vclusterops, a Go library that uses a high-level REST interface to perform database operations with the Node Management Agent (NMA) and HTTPS service. The vclusterops library replaces Administration tools (admintools), a traditional command-line interface that executes administrator commands through STDIN and required SSH keys for internal node communications. The vclusterops deployment is more efficient in containerized environments than the admintools deployment.

Because version 24.1.0 does not include admintools, you must migrate to the vcluster deployment type when you upgrade from an earlier server version.

Migrate the VerticaDB CR

Before you can migrate deployment types, you must upgrade the VerticaDB operator to version 2.0.0.

To migrate deployment types, update the manifest and apply it:

  1. Update the manifest to a vcluster deployment. The following sample manifest includes all fields that are required to migrate to a vclusterops deployment:

    apiVersion: vertica.com/v1
    kind: VerticaDB
      name: cr-name
        vertica.com/vcluster-ops: "true"
        vertica.com/run-nma-in-sidecar: "false"
      image: "vertica/vertica-k8s:24.1.0-0"

    This manifest sets the following parameters:

    • apiVersion: By default, v1 supports vcluster deployments. Deprecated API version v1beta1 also supports vcluster, but Vertica recommends that you change to v1.
    • vertica.com/vcluster-ops: Set to true. With API version v1, this field and setting are optional. If you use the deprecated v1beta1, this setting is required or the migration fails.
    • vertica.com/run-nma-in-sidecar: You must set this to false for vcluster deployments. For additional details, see VerticaDB custom resource definition.
    • spec.image: Set this to a 24.1.0 image version. For a list images, see Vertica images.
  2. Apply the updated manifest to complete the migration:

    $ kubectl apply -f migration.yaml

Upgrade the Vertica server version

After you select your upgrade policy and optionally configure temporary subcluster routing, use the kubectl command line tool to perform the upgrade and monitor its progress. The following steps demonstrate an online upgrade:

  1. Set the upgrade policy to Online:

    $ kubectl patch verticadb cluster-name --type=merge --patch '{"spec": {"upgradePolicy": "Online"}}'
  2. Update the image setting in the CR:

    $ kubectl patch verticadb cluster-name --type=merge --patch '{"spec": {"image": "vertica/vertica-k8s:new-version"}}'
  3. Use kubectl wait to wait until the operator leaves upgrade mode:

    $ kubectl wait --for=condition=UpgradeInProgress=False vdb/cluster-name --timeout=800s

View the upgrade process

To view the current phase of the upgrade process, use kubectl get to inspect the upgradeStatus status field:

$ kubectl get vdb -n namespacedatabase-name -o jsonpath='{.status.upgradeStatus}{"\n"}'
Restarting cluster with new image

To view the entire upgrade process, use kubectl describe to list the events the operator generated during the upgrade:

$ kubectl describe vdb cluster-name

  Type    Reason                   Age    From                Message
  ----    ------                   ----   ----                -------
  Normal  UpgradeStart             5m10s  verticadb-operator  Vertica server upgrade has started.  New image is 'vertica-k8s:new-version'
  Normal  ClusterShutdownStarted   5m12s  verticadb-operator  Calling 'admintools -t stop_db'
  Normal  ClusterShutdownSucceeded 4m08s  verticadb-operator  Successfully called 'admintools -t stop_db' and it took 56.22132s
  Normal  ClusterRestartStarted    4m25s  verticadb-operator  Calling 'admintools -t start_db' to restart the cluster
  Normal  ClusterRestartSucceeded  25s    verticadb-operator  Successfully called 'admintools -t start_db' and it took 240s
  Normal  UpgradeSucceeded         5s     verticadb-operator  Vertica server upgrade has completed successfully