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Installation Docs

Find the official installation docs for v2.23 at

If you have any issues, please be sure to report it on the slack community — (Edit: temporarily, the inviter is down! Please bear with us until it's resolved...), or report them on the issue tracker on GitHub.

  Feb 15, 2019     Team Hephy     announcements  UPDATE: Mar 4, 2024

Rollback: v2.20.1 to v2.20.0 solves Controller/GKE bug

rollback 2019

The issue was confirmed and triaged by users on our Slack channel on February 15, one day after v2.20.1 was released in the wild. Read more in this post for details about how this issue can be mitigated and recovered from.

If you have not upgraded yet, and wish to avoid this issue and wait for the next release, simply use Helm to install the previous version, v2.20.0 – which works, and does not suffer from any (known) GKE compatibility issues.

helm install hephy/workflow -n hephy --namespace deis -f values.yaml --version v2.20.0

The GKE Issue

If you are not using GKE, there may be no need for you to roll back your workflow Controller release from controller-v2.20.1 to controller-v2.20.0. You can upgrade to v2.20.1 and everything is fine for you.

If you are using the platform database on-cluster, and have already upgraded, then rolling back the entire workflow release to v2.20.0 wholesale, may no longer be possible.

Caveat emptor, or if you have already hit this issue, please keep reading to understand everything before running any further upgrade or rollback commands:

The Rollback Issue

helm upgrade hephy hephy/workflow --version v2.20.0 -f values.yaml

Above, is the cleanest and simplest way to revert and resolve this kind of issue at once, in this case it will work only if your cluster uses an off-cluster, or external, postgres database. We always assume throughout documentation that you’ve installed into a release named hephy.

If your cluster uses an on-cluster postgres, then rolling back the workflow chart to v2.20.0 is not recommended, and will not work. This is where things get complicated, and we’re sorry to all GKE users with clusters that may be impacted.

Please join us in #support on the slack to talk to a person. We will gladly try and help you get sorted, in case this post is unclear or confusing.

Roll back the deis-controller deployment only instead, to mitigate the GKE issue. Read on to learn how. We will release a new v2.20.2 workflow as soon as possible so that GKE users can avoid this minor calamity in the future.

Preserve Chart values.yaml data

Before you take action, please take care to understand the confluence of issues at play. Remember to preserve, and always provide values data when upgrading, in workflow/values.yaml when doing helm upgrade commands with Hephy charts. Do this in order to keep the same settings from before. An excerpt from the helm upgrade #synopsis anchor in the Helm docs:

If no chart value arguments are provided on the command line, any existing customized values are carried forward.

While this is true in general, some users may be upgrading from previous versions of Deis Workflow, and so this “carry forward” behavior can be unreliable. Provide a values.yaml for extra safety; otherwise, the defaults in values.yaml may be used (and that probably isn’t what you want to happen.)

The Amazing New Fully-Auto Platform Database Upgrades

Astonishingly, for clusters that are using an on-cluster postgres database, and regardless of your Minikube or any Cloud/Kubernetes vendor hosting arrangement, if you have already upgraded to database-v2.7.2 and your database is healthy, then your database and backups are at Postgres v11.1 now.

Amazed? We hope that feature worked well for all of our users, and that it was so easy you didn’t even need to notice that it happened.

The automatic upgrade was first merged and contributed in database-v2.7.1, but it was judged not ready yet, so was held back until now. In workflow-v2.20.1 and database-v2.7.2, automated postgres upgrades have been implemented, tested, and released. Unfortunately there is some risk associated with the change, so take care and please test upgrading in a staging environment before upgrading any important or Production clusters to v2.20.1.

Additional testing has been performed, and Team Hephy believes this feature is now ready for prime-time, so it has finally been released!

The Fallout from Automatic Upgrading of Platform Database

Unfortunately these changes mean that database upgrades cannot easily be un-done (rolled back or reverted) to the previous release anymore (unless you have previously taken a snapshot of the database bucket prior to upgrading.)

An effort is underway to update the documentation with best-practices advice around database backups, taking snapshots, and upgrading safely.

So the above helm rollback strategy will not always work, for clusters with the postgres platform database hosted on-cluster, since database-v2.7.2 included this non-reversible upgrade that has converted your database to Postgres 11.1; without the ability to restore an older database backup, you will simply have to forge ahead from now.

Cluster administrators will need full Kubernetes API access and permission to edit the manifests and make kubectl rollout undo API calls in order to resolve the situation after a failed upgrade.

A strategy that you can try instead of helm, rolling back your controller only:

kubectl --namespace=deis rollout undo deployment deis-controller --to-revision=5

To determine the correct revision to use for roll-back, you must use kubectl to describe the deployment of deis-controller (here I have alias kd='kubectl -n deis'):

$ kd describe deployment deis-database
Name:               deis-database
Namespace:          deis
CreationTimestamp:  Sat, 18 Aug 2018 11:49:20 -0400
Labels:             heritage=deis
Annotations: v2.7.2
Selector:           app=deis-database

$ kd describe deployment deis-controller
Name:                   deis-controller
Namespace:              deis
CreationTimestamp:      Sat, 18 Aug 2018 11:49:20 -0400
Labels:                 heritage=deis
Annotations:   v2.20.1
Selector:               app=deis-controller

On my upgraded cluster, you can see the now-broken v2.20.1 controller is at revision 5, so I would use kubectl --namespace=deis rollout undo deployment deis-controller --to-revision=4 to get back to the previously installed revision.

If you use helm ls and helm history hephy at this point, you will see that rollout undo does not create any new revision in helm, as you might have expected. Our apologies for that. Instead, you must use kubectl --namespace=deis rollout history deployments to inspect the history of ReplicaSet revisions for the deis-controller component’s Deployment object.

$ kd rollout history deployments deis-controller
3         <none>
6         <none>
7         <none>

In my case, I am not using GKE, but I have performed the rollback in order to document this process for information. The v2.20.1 controller is fine for me, so after I rolled-back from Revision 5 to 4, I rolled forward again to 5. The revision 4 becomes 6. Above, I have already rolled-forward again:

kubectl --namespace=deis rollout undo deployment deis-controller --to-revision=5

Revision 4 and 5 no longer appears in rollout history, with the normal behavior of rollout undo in the Kube API, they are renumbered to appear as revision 6 and 7. Your revision numbers will likely not match mine, so take care.