General Upgrade Guidelines

Table of contents

Upgrade Planning

Before kicking off an upgrade, there is a set of guidelines to ensure the best outcome. Below you may find the fundamental steps to prepare for an upgrade.


This is not an exhaustive list, so you should consider your organization’s specific needs and incorporate any additional steps or considerations that are relevant to your environment.

Acknowledge breaking changes

Review the release notes and documentation for the target version to understand any potential impact on existing functionality. Ensure to review the intermediate versions’ documentation also. For example, when upgrading from 4.8 to 5.3, besides reviewing 5.3 release notes, check for version 5.0, 5.1, and so on.

Set up a test environment

Create a test environment that closely resembles your production environment, including the same CrateDB version, hardware, and network configuration. Populate the test environment with representative data and perform thorough testing to ensure compatibility and functionality, including functional and non-functional testing.

Back up and plan recovery

Perform a cluster-wide backup of your production CrateDB and ensure you have a reliable recovery mechanism in place. Read more in the snapshots documentation.

For the newly written records, you should consider using a mechanism to queue them (e.g. message queue), so these messages can be replayed if needed.


Before starting the upgrade process, ensure no backup processes are triggered, so disable any scheduled backup.

Define a rollback plan

The rollback plan may vary depending on the specific infrastructure and upgrade process in use. It is also essential to adapt this outline to your organization’s specific needs and incorporate any additional steps or considerations that are relevant to your environment. A set of steps to serve as an example is listed below:

  • Identify the issue: Determine the specific problem that occurred during the upgrade. This could be related to data corruption, performance degradation, application errors, or any other issue that affects the normal functioning of CrateDB. Identify if there are any potential risks to the system’s stability, security, or performance.

  • Communicate the situation: Notify all relevant stakeholders, including individuals involved in the upgrade process. Clearly explain the problem and the decision to initiate a rollback.

  • Execute the rollback: The rollback process may differ depending on the version jump. If upgrading from one patch release to another and there is no data corruption, only a performance issue, a simple in-place downgrade to the previous patch release is sufficient. For major/minor version jumps or in case of data corruption, restoring from a backup is required.

  • Perform data validation: Conduct a thorough data validation process to ensure the integrity of the CrateDB Cluster. Verify that all critical data is intact and accurate. If needed, replay the messages from the message queue.

  • Share insights: Communicate any findings and the defined plan to retry the upgrade.

Upgrade Execution

Choose the upgrade strategy below that works best for your scenario.