ArcGIS Enterprise

What is ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes

ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes has launched! In this blog, learn more about the cloud-native architecture now available to eligible ArcGIS Enterprise customers as part of the 10.9 release.

Esri has been sharing our vision of the emerging Geospatial Infrastructure, which describes how we see the world becoming more interconnected and collaborating more closely than ever on the many challenges and opportunities that affect us all. “Helping you see what others can’t” is one of the key advantages of ArcGIS, a comprehensive Geographic Information System that helps you with location mapping, analytics, and collaboration. ArcGIS is implemented through multiple patterns such as Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and desktop and server software. ArcGIS Enterprise helps you implement GIS in your own infrastructure, running on-premises or on the cloud. The latest release of ArcGIS Enterprise includes many new capabilities for ArcGIS Enterprise, as well as an important new way for you to deploy powerful GIS solutions: ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes.

Kubernetes Cloud Native Architecture
ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes: Cloud Native Architecture

ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes: What is it?

ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes is a new deployment option, which now accompanies Windows and Linux as supported operating systems for ArcGIS Enterprise, running in your managed environment. This is a complete architectural redesign based on microservices, with the software delivered via containers, and orchestrated by Kubernetes, a cloud-native technology being adopted rapidly around the world. With this ArcGIS 2021 release, ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9 now brings a Kubernetes deployment option to eligible ArcGIS Enterprise customers. For a deeper discussion of the technology and architecture, read Dev Summit 2021: Introducing ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes.

Despite the new architecture, you remain in full control of the environment and infrastructure. At launch, Esri will support ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes running in your environment on the cloud with AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) or Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), or on-premises with Red Hat OpenShift. Plans are underway to expand supported environments to include GCP Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and others.

Sounds cool. What’s in it for us?

Here are just a few reasons to get excited about the new cloud native architecture. It will help you handle unpredictable demand, which is the reality for many of our customers. Helping you right-size your infrastructure by making scaling as simple as possible is one of many benefits of the Kubernetes architecture.

Built-in high availability takes full advantage of the naturally resilient architecture based on microservices. We have integrated architecture profiles into the deployment experience to provide flexibility and help you balance hardware, redundancy, and usage requirements.

The streamlined deployment experience, executed from a single script, will help your team automate additional deployments using a saved properties file for silent installation. Gone is the need to run multiple setup files, to configure or network independent components such as ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Data Store, or Portal for ArcGIS. The software is installed via container images pulled as part of the scripted deployment process.

The streamlined upgrade experience, which can be started directly from ArcGIS Enterprise Manager or ArcGIS Enterprise Administrator API, reduces technical complexity and helps you concentrate on your organization’s readiness.

The open standard of Kubernetes has enabled a vibrant and rapidly growing network of vendors building tools to help you manage your Kubernetes environment, and avoid vendor lock-in.

To learn more about ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes, including demonstrations of the deployment and administration experience, watch this video from the Developer Summit 2021.

ArcGIS Enterprise Manager is a new administrative interface that gives you a single glance into the health of your deployment. You can view and interact with logs and tune service and system deployments to manage performance. Alternatively, you can run these workflows by using and scripting against the ArcGIS Enterprise Administrator API.

A sample screen of the new Enterprise Manager administrative interface

What’s in the initial launch?

To achieve our goals of scalability, resilience and manageability, and most importantly to meet our quality standards, we have had to make some scope tradeoffs. The initial release will include many familiar workflows and GIS capabilities. We will continue to prioritize capabilities based on feedback from our customers and partners. While we had to defer rearchitecting or supporting items that are available in ArcGIS Enterprise running on Windows or Linux, we are working hard to come to full parity across all three deployment options. The following table outlines capabilities available at launch, and items deferred to a later release. Please review the documentation for more information about using ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes.


Available Deferred
Deployment and Upgrading
Deploy an ArcGIS Enterprise organization in interactive or silent modes
Configure an ArcGIS Enterprise organization using a setup wizard or script
Upgrade or update the deployment using ArcGIS Enterprise Manager or Administrator API
Select from several architecture profiles to optimize resources for high availability
Support multiple deployments in the same cluster
Support for fully disconnected environments
Available Deferred
Monitor log messages
Check health of system-managed stores
Monitor system and utility service pod status
Scale service and system deployments using ArcGIS Enterprise Manager or Administrator API
Create and administer web hooks
Obtain service usage statistics
Backup and restore the ArcGIS Enterprise organization
Available Deferred
Configure SAML and OpenID Connect
Configure LDAP and Windows Active Directory
Configure enterprise groups and users
Configure web-tier authentication including IWA+PKI
Data Management
Register SQL Server and PostgreSQL as databases
Register your own data sources including folders and enterprise geodatabases
Support for bulk publishing with an enterprise geodatabase
Support for distributed collaboration
Support for two-way editing with distributed collaboration
Support for Oracle, SAP Hana, others
Available Deferred
Creating and Sharing Content
Publish map, feature, and geocode services
Publish map, tile, and scene tile packages
Publish hosted feature layers
Conduct spatial analysis
Routing capabilities when using a federated server
Publish from ArcGIS Pro 2.8 and higher
Consume services from ArcGIS Pro 2.7 and higher
Publish scene services with associated feature layers
Support for ArcGIS Utility Network user type extension
Support for ArcGIS Parcel Fabric user type extension
Support for ArcGIS Workflow Manager user type extension
Available Deferred
Server Federation Capabilities
Federate an ArcGIS GIS Server
Federate an ArcGIS Image Server (note: raster analytics capabilities are deferred)
Federate an ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server
Federate an ArcGIS GeoEvent Server
Federate an ArcGIS Notebook Server
Federate an ArcGIS Workflow Manager Server
Available Deferred
ArcGIS CityEngine web viewer
ArcGIS Dashboard
ArcGIS Enterprise Sites
ArcGIS Experience Builder
ArcGIS Field Maps
ArcGIS QuickCapture
ArcGIS StoryMaps
ArcGIS Web AppBuilder
ArcGIS Workforce
ArcGIS Business Analyst Enterprise
ArcGIS Indoors and Space Planner
ArcGIS Insights
ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
ArcGIS Mission
ArcGIS Ortho Maker
ArcGIS Tracker
ArcGIS Workflow Manager

Regarding publishing and consuming services on desktop tools, there are also certain support limitations. ArcGIS Pro 2.7 or higher is required to consume services. ArcGIS Pro 2.8 or higher is required to publish services. It may be supported to use earlier versions of ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap to consume services, when using a federated server, but please talk with your Esri representative about your specific circumstances.

Despite these exclusions, we are confident many of our customers will be happy with the functionality that are available at launch and will appreciate the portal experience and support for GIS analysis, collaboration, and publishing that are part of a base ArcGIS Enterprise deployment. The focus of this deployment option is on the administrators responsible for deploying and maintaining ArcGIS Enterprise. There is no unique GIS capability being added to this deployment option, that isn’t available to GIS users on the Linux or Windows deployment options.

ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes focuses on the administrative experience

Is Kubernetes right for me?

To learn more, see Determine whether Kubernetes is right for you. Keep in mind that Kubernetes is not for everyone – in fact we expect many of Esri’s customers to remain perfectly happy with ArcGIS Enterprise running on Linux or Windows. Early adopters are likely to be eligible ArcGIS Enterprise customers that are dealing with large and unpredictable demand, have specific scalability challenges, manage complex ArcGIS Enterprise deployments, and have developed skills with installing and managing Kubernetes.

You should think about Kubernetes as you would about a new operating system such as Linux or Windows. Esri will continue offering training opportunities for ArcGIS Enterprise, but it is important to note that your organization will need an understanding of how to deploy and manage Kubernetes. We want to help you reach the best decision about whether this new technology is right for you.

If you think Kubernetes might be right for you, please talk with your Esri representative about ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes.

About the author

Trevor Seaton is a product manager for ArcGIS Enterprise, and part of the team working on Esri’s cloud-native deployment option for ArcGIS Enterprise, based on Kubernetes. Reach Trevor at


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