Alpha Clusters

This page provides an overview of Kubernetes alpha features, and how to use them with Kubernetes Engine alpha clusters.

Overview

You can experiment with Kubernetes alpha features by creating an alpha cluster. Alpha clusters are short-lived clusters that run stable Kubernetes releases with all Kubernetes APIs and features enabled. Alpha clusters are designed for advanced users and early adopters to experiment with workloads that take advantage of new features before those features are production-ready.

Alpha clusters cannot be upgraded and are automatically deleted after 30 days. You can use Alpha clusters just like normal Kubernetes Engine clusters.

Alpha clusters are not covered by the Kubernetes Engine SLA.

To learn how to create an alpha cluster, refer to Create an Alpha cluster.

Latest Kubernetes alpha features

Most Kubernetes releases contain new Alpha features that you can test in alpha clusters. For a full list of Kubernetes releases and the features they include, see the Kubernetes changelog.

About feature stages

New Kubernetes features are introduced in four stages: early development, alpha, beta, and stable.

To ensure stability and production quality, normal Kubernetes Engine clusters only enable features that are beta or higher. Alpha features are not enabled on normal clusters because they are not production-ready or upgradeable.

Since Kubernetes Engine automatically upgrades the Kubernetes control plane, enabling alpha features in production could jeopardize the reliability of the cluster if there are breaking changes in a new version.

To learn more about the stages of Kubernetes features, see Alpha, Beta, and Stable Versions in the Kubernetes community documentation.

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