Understanding updates and upgrades

Once you've deployed ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes, you can update or upgrade the software to provide your organization with the latest available ArcGIS Enterprise enhancements and features, ensuring its security, reliability, and performance.

The following describes the differences between updates and upgrades:

  • An update is narrowly focused and may address performance, security, or functionality issues and bugs. Updates do not introduce new functionality or change the look and feel of the software. For example, an update moves the software from version to version
  • An upgrade is a new version of the software, with new features, improved functionality, and sometimes a different look and feel. For example, an upgrade moves the software from version 10.9.0 to version 10.9.1.

Required update

A required update is one that includes functional requirements and must be applied before upgrading to a new software release. If you proceed with an upgrade to a new software release and a required update is available, you will be prompted to apply it first.

Apply or remove an update

An administrator can apply updates and upgrades using ArcGIS Enterprise Manager or ArcGIS Enterprise Administrator API. In ArcGIS Enterprise Manager, this is done from the Software updates page.

  • When a new version of ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes is released, the option to upgrade appears at the top of the page.
  • When software updates are available, they appear on the lower part of the page.

The Software updates page contains the following tabs that represent the status of new updates, those that have been applied, and the history of those that have been applied or rolled back:

  • Updates—Newly available updates that aren't yet applied to your organization.
  • Applied—Updates your organization has applied. You can manually remove an update on this tab.
  • History—Software update opportunities your organization has taken, including applied or rolled-back patches and applied upgrades.

Read-only mode

When an update or upgrade is in progress, ArcGIS Enterprise is automatically set to read-only mode. In this mode, your organization members can view content, users and groups, and settings but cannot modify them. During this time, a notification appears in the top banner of ArcGIS Enterprise Manager to inform the organization.

When an upgrade or update is complete, read-only mode is turned off and normal operations can resume in the organization.

Update and upgrade processes

The update and upgrade processes are integrated into the software. You can access enhancements and new features without installing additional software. Administrators can use ArcGIS Enterprise Manager or ArcGIS Enterprise Administrator API to determine when an update or upgrade is available.

When an update is available, it is represented as a new container image or set of images and is pushed to the container registry host (for example, docker.io). ArcGIS Enterprise Administrator API uses a well-known URL to identify an Esri published version manifest document to determine whether an update is available. By identifying the manifest, an upgrade strategy is developed and the option to update or upgrade becomes available.

Updates and upgrades generally follow the two patterns described below.


When applicable, new Kubernetes deployments are started using the new container images to upgrade and migrate the underlying data. Secondary data store instances or other replicas are then added to the data store. Once the new data store is deemed healthy, the old data store is shut down, leaving only a healthy instance of the new data store. An example of when this strategy might be used is updating hosted data stores.


As new pods that are enabled by new container images are deployed, the old pods are shut down in a rolling manner. This process minimizes downtime. An example of when this strategy might be used is updating GIS services.