Extensions management for Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes

This article contains key design considerations and best practices for managing extensions of Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes deployments.

Before you read this article, be sure you understand governance principles and review Enterprise-scale for AKS so you understand the relevant concepts for using Azure landing zones in a container environment.


You can think of extensions for Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes as being split into two categories: extensions for Azure Arc-enabled infrastructure services and extensions for Azure Arc-enabled services. This distinction isn't explicit in individual extension names.

Keep these two categories in mind as you design your deployment of Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes. For example, think of the Microsoft Defender for Cloud extension as an extension for Azure Arc-enabled infrastructure services, but consider the Azure App Service for Azure Arc extension as an Azure Arc-enabled services extension.

The following diagram illustrates overall integration for extensions for Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters.

A diagram showing overall integration for extensions in an Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes cluster.

Design considerations

  • Extension Installation

  • Update extensions

    • Consider how to ensure extensions stay up-to-date over the lifespan of your cluster.

Design recommendations

  • Extension installation

    • Standardize the way extensions are installed, whether through the Portal, Azure Policy, CLI, ARM templates, or another mechanism. Verify that extensions have been properly installed after every installation.
  • Update extensions

    • Extensions must be periodically updated. Use the --auto-upgrade-minor-version flag to automatically upgrade minor versions of extensions, as described in Usage of Cluster Extensions. Refer to each extension's documentation to learn which settings can be configured during creation and update.

Next steps

For more information about your hybrid and multicloud cloud journey, see the following articles.