Plan an upgrade

This page provides information to help you plan an Cloud Service Mesh upgrade. We recommend that you also review the Istio upgrade notes.

About canary upgrades

We recommend that you upgrade Cloud Service Mesh by first running a canary deployment of the new control plane. With a canary upgrade, asmcli installs a new revision of the control plane alongside the old control plane. Both the old and new control planes are labeled with a revision label, which serves as an identifier for the control planes.

To migrate workloads to the new control plane:

  1. Set the new control plane's revision label on one of your namespaces.

  2. Perform a rolling restart. The restart re-injects the sidecar proxies in the Pods so that the proxies use the new control plane.

  3. Monitor the effect of the upgrade on the workloads. If needed to test your application, repeat the previous steps.

  4. After testing your application, you can migrate all traffic to the new control plane or rollback to the old control plane.

A canary upgrade is much safer than doing an in-place upgrade where the new control plane replaces the old control plane. For detailed steps, see Switch to the new control plane.

Customize the control plane

If you customized the previous installation, you need the same customizations when you upgrade Cloud Service Mesh. If you customized the installation by adding the --set values flag to istioctl install, you must add those settings to an IstioOperator YAML file, referred to as an overlay file. You specify the overlay file by using the --custom_overlay option with the filename when you run asmcli.

The asmcli directory in GitHub contains many overlay files. These files contain common customizations to the default configuration. You can use these files as they are, or you can make additional changes to them as needed. Some of the files are required to enable optional Cloud Service Mesh features. The anthos-service-mesh package is downloaded when you run asmcli to validate your project and cluster.

When you install Cloud Service Mesh using asmcli install, you can specify one or more overlay files with the --option or --custom_overlay. If you don't need to make any changes to the files in the anthos-service-mesh repository, you can use --option, and the script fetches the file from GitHub for you. Otherwise, you can make changes to the overlay file, and then use the --custom_overlay option to pass it to the asmcli.

Choose a certificate authority

If your current Cloud Service Mesh installation uses Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority as the certificate authority (CA) for issuing mutual TLS (mTLS) certificates, we recommend that you continue to use Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority for the following reasons:

  • Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority is a highly reliable and scalable service that is optimized for dynamically scaled workloads.
  • With Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority, Google manages the security and availability of the CA backend.
  • Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority lets you rely on a single root of trust across clusters.

If your current Cloud Service Mesh installation uses Istio CA (previously called "Citadel"), you can switch to Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority when you upgrade, but you need to schedule downtime. During the upgrade, mTLS traffic is interrupted until all workloads are switched to using the new control plane with Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority.

Certificates from Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority include the following data about your application's services:

  • The Google Cloud project ID
  • The GKE namespace
  • The GKE service account name

Identifying your CA

When you run asmcli install to upgrade, you specify the CA that asmcli should enable on the new control plane.

Changing CAs causes downtime when your deploy workloads to the new control plane. If you can't schedule downtime, make sure to specify that same CA for the new control plane that the old control plane uses. If you aren't sure which CA is enabled on your mesh, run the following commands:

  1. Get a list of Pods from one of your namespaces:

    kubectl get pods -n NAMESPACE
  2. Replace POD_NAME with the name of one of your Pods in the following command:

    kubectl get pod POD_NAME -n NAMESPACE -o yaml | grep CA_ADDR -A 1

    If Cloud Service Mesh certificate authority is enabled on the namespace, you see the following output:

    - name: CA_ADDR

Prepare gateway configuration

Cloud Service Mesh gives you the option to deploy and manage gateways as part of your service mesh. A gateway describes a load balancer operating at the edge of the mesh receiving incoming or outgoing HTTP/TCP connections. Gateways are Envoy proxies that provide you with fine-grained control over traffic entering and leaving the mesh.

asmcli doesn't install the istio-ingressgateway. We recommend that you deploy and manage the control plane and gateways separately. For more information, see Installing and upgrading gateways.

Upgrade your platform (optional)

As a best practice, you should upgrade Cloud Service Mesh to the latest supported version that also supports your current platform. Then, upgrade your environment so that it is within the range of supported platforms and Kubernetes versions. Lastly, if needed, upgrade to the latest supported version of Cloud Service Mesh.

What's next?