You can ensure your Windows nodes have the latest updates by upgrading the Windows Machine Config Operator (WMCO).

Windows Machine Config Operator upgrades

When a new version of the Windows Machine Config Operator (WMCO) is released that is compatible with the current cluster version, the Operator is upgraded based on the upgrade channel and subscription approval strategy it was installed with when using the Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM). The WMCO upgrade results in the Kubernetes components in the Windows machine being upgraded.

For a non-disruptive upgrade, the WMCO terminates the Windows machines configured by the previous version of the WMCO and recreates them using the current version. This is done by deleting the Machine object, which results in the drain and deletion of the Windows node. To facilitate an upgrade, the WMCO adds a version annotation to all the configured nodes. During an upgrade, a mismatch in version annotation results in the deletion and recreation of a Windows machine. To have minimal service disruptions during an upgrade, the WMCO only updates one Windows machine at a time.

The WMCO is only responsible for updating Kubernetes components, not for Windows operating system updates. You provide the Windows image when creating the VMs; therefore, you are responsible for providing an updated image. You can provide an updated Windows image by changing the image configuration in the MachineSet spec.

For more information on Operator upgrades using the Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM), see Upgrading installed Operators.