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Home > Success Center > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) > Upgrade a Single SolarWinds Product

Upgrade a Single SolarWinds Product

Last Updated: 3-16-2017 | SolarWinds Upgrade Guide

Supports: all Orion products

This guide walks you through upgrading a single SolarWinds product in your environment. We include checklists to prepare and complete your upgrades, gotchas, and troubleshooting steps.

Upgrading multiple products? See our SolarWinds multiple product upgrade guide!

My upgrade plan checklist

This preflight checklist details a number of important steps to help plan and prep for your upgrade.

Review release notes

Review product release notes and available documentation in our Success Center.

Review product release notes in our Success Center.

Review system requirements

Make sure your environment has all of the required hardware and software needs for your installations. You can verify the requirements for products and multi-module environments guidelines.

Product requirements include:

You may need to also check the administrator guide for your product to locate the requirements.

For all port requirements, see Port Requirements for all SolarWinds products.

See URLs used by the Orion Platform for a list of URLs to add as exceptions to your firewall. 

Review licenses Review your current product licenses and determine if you need to make any changes. You can download any updated license keys for your upgrade through your Customer Portal. Verify any license upgrades and needs with your SolarWinds account manager or contact SolarWinds.
Do you need to migrate?

You may need to migrate products and databases to new dedicated servers or to shared servers. Check if you need to migrate by reviewing new requirements, your products, and your current environment.

Migrating adds time to your upgrade, but you have the best opportunity to update to new servers during an upgrade.

Gather credentials Make sure you have all account credentials, SQL database credentials, your SolarWinds account, and local admin server credentials.
Build your upgrade path

Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to build your upgrade path. Even with older product versions, you can use the Orion Installer to build a detailed, accurate upgrade path.

The Product Upgrade Advisor is still available, but it does not include all product versions. For this reason, SolarWinds recommends using the Orion installer. 

Run all Windows updates Before upgrading, check for and run all Microsoft Windows Updates on your main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all additional web servers. As you upgrade, if a Windows update runs, your system may reboot as needed by Windows.
Schedule the upgrade Set up the maintenance window, preferably off-peak hours. Depending on the number of products, size of database(s), and size of environment, you may need hours to complete your upgrade.

Upgrades will require polling engines and SolarWinds services to be offline for a length of time, causing you to lose a portion of polling data.

Notify your company Send a message to your company of the upgrade schedule and maintenance window. If you need additional help, contact and allocate specific staff to be available.

How long does an upgrade take?

The time it takes to complete an upgrade depends on:

  • Hardware
  • Database server performance and database size
  • Number of additional polling engines
  • Number of additional web servers
  • Environment performance
  • Number of modules being upgraded
  • Number of devices being polled

Since every configuration is different, we cannot predict exactly how long your upgrade will take. Through this guide, we include steps and tips to help reduce time for your upgrade.

Gotchas you should review

  • Orion Platform 2017.3 products no longer support any version of Windows SQL 2008.
  • When upgrading to 2017.1 with custom menus, you cannot see the Performance Dashboard link in the menu. See this article.
  • When upgrading Orion 2016.2 products with Dell Carbon Black installed, we recommend stopping or removing Carbon Black. This security product causes issues with MSMQ starting. For details, please see this article.
  • If your Orion Platform 2016.1 product and DPA are installed on the same server, follow this article before upgrading the Orion Platform product. 
  • Orion Platform 2016.1and later  products have new port requirements: 5671 (Rabbit MQ messaging), 17791 (agent communication to 2008 R2 SP1), and 17778 (SW Information Service, agent communication to 2012).
  • Orion Platform 2016.1 products no longer support Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008 SP1, or 2008 R2 without SP1.
  • If you edited resource properties, the All Groups resource may be empty after upgrading Orion Platform 2016.1 products. This includes NPM 12 and SAM 6.2.4.
  • When upgrading Orion Platform 2016.1 products, using the group by feature for custom properties may return no results, and the data loading may hang or not complete. All regular functionality is unaffected by the issue. All regular functionality is unaffected by the issue. Orion Platform 2017.1 products resolve this issue.
  • If you wrote your own code, by changing SolarWinds .css files or adding .js files, or were directed to make changes by SolarWinds Support, the code may be overwritten during the upgrade. See Upgrading if you have custom code.
  • Always check that you have enough hard drive space for zipped and unzipped installers. One unzipped installer can consume several GBs of space.
  • During your upgrade, use the Scalability Engine Installer. If you use downloaded installers or the installer bundle, you must install one product and version at a time. The versions must match between the main and additional polling engines or you will receive a Database Configuration Failure Error.
  • If upgrading from a very early or End of Life SolarWinds product version, you may want to install a new product instead of performing an upgrade or migrating data. SolarWinds Support can provide the best advice for these upgrade scenarios.
  • If you enabled SolarWinds High Availability, you must disable High Availability before you can upgrade. You must have the same versions of SolarWinds products on your primary and secondary servers before you can re-enable your HA pools. See Upgrade with HA.

Prepare your environment to upgrade

When you are ready to upgrade, complete these steps. They include the common actions you need to complete before upgrading products.

If you have a test or staging environment, we highly recommend testing the upgrade first. You cannot roll back an installation once completed.

1. Back up the DB

Snapshot your VMs

Back up your SolarWinds SQL database. If you need help, please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.

If you have your database on a VM, create a snapshot or copy of your VM.

You cannot roll back an upgrade. Always create a database backup.

2. Back up custom code (Optional)

(Optional) Back up your custom code. When upgrading, any custom additions or changes to the interface will be saved over.

3. Back up Report Writer reports (Optional)

Upgrading to an Orion Platform 2016.1 or later product? You can skip this step.

If you use Report Writer reports (NPM 10.5 and earlier) or still have legacy reports, back up the reports folder to save your custom reports:

  • 64-bit OS: C:\Program Files x86\Solarwinds\Orion\Reportsx86\Solarwinds\Orion\Reports
  • 32-bit OS: C:\Program Files\Solarwinds\Orion
4. Exclude files on anti-virus software

To ensure the best performance on your server host and provide full file access, exclude specific file paths and directories from anti-virus software scans. See this article for details.

You can also place your systems behind a firewall to completely disable your anti-virus software during an upgrade.

5. Stop services Stop services in the Orion Service Manager on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.
6. Disable alert actions

To prevent false alert storms during upgrades, SolarWinds recommends disabling alert actions:

  1. Go to Alerts & Activity.
  2. Click More.
  3. Select Pause actions of all alerts.

Upgrade with SolarWinds HA

Upgrade a single product

This checklist includes the common steps for upgrading a single product in your environment. You may only own one product, or may only need to upgrade a single product in a multi-module environment.

Upgrade Tip! If you upgrade multiple versions of the same product, skip the website optimization step in the Configuration Wizard. Only run this step with the last installation to save time.

1. Installation step using the upgrade path (Repeatable)

Following the upgrade path, download the product installation file from your Customer Portal in the My Downloads area. Save this file to your systems.

Depending on the version, you may have a smart bundle of all install files per system, separate files to download, or the standalone installer.

If you have an issue running the installer, check the following:

  • Verify the installer is not blocked. Right-click the installer file, select Properties. Check is Unblock is available and select.
  • Right-click the installer file and select Run as Administrator.
  1. Main Poller: Unzip, upgrade, and run the Configuration Wizard.
  2. Each Additional Polling Engine: Download and run the Additional Polling Engine installer, and run the Configuration Wizard. For Orion 2016.2 and later products, use the Orion Scalability Engine Installer.
  3. Each Additional Web Server: Download and run the Additional Web Server installer, and run the Configuration Wizard. For Orion 2016.2 and later products, use the Orion Scalability Engine Installer.

    During an additional web server upgrade, you can point users to the website of the main polling engine, or to any web server that is already upgraded.

After installing this product and version on your entire environment, check the product and version as done on your downloaded Upgrade Path PDF or list. If you have additional versions to install, repeat this step.

 

Recommendations: Orion Scalability Engine Installer

When you upgrade your additional polling engine (APE) and additional web server (AWS), use the unified Scalability Engine Installer if available. This new lightweight installer is far faster for upgrading your APE and AWS than installing one module at a time!

  1. Install your modules on the Main Poller. When complete, you will need to upgrade your additional polling engines and additional web servers.
  2. Download this installer through the Orion Web Console.
    • For the APE installer, click Settings > All Settings > Polling Engines.
    • For the AWS installer, click Settings > All Settings > Web Console Settings. 
  3. Copy the installer to your APE or AWS.
  4. Run the appropriate installer on your APE and AWS. This single installer will upgrade all Orion modules on each of these servers. If you are upgrading one or more modules, all modules are upgraded.
2. Upgrade Orion Agents

If you have the Global Agent Setting to Allow automatic updates (enabled by default), the Orion Agents automatically upgrade in the background. Agents are tied to their release version. You can skip manually upgrading agents if the option is enabled.

The upgrades take a bit of time to complete, but will not require any actions. Agents update at a throttled number of 10 to limit the impact on the polling engine. As soon as one agent completes upgrading, another agent takes its place so there are always 10 active threads until all agents are upgraded.

If automatic upgrades are disabled, upgrade the Orion Agents:

  1. Open the Manage Agents page. Orion Agents requiring upgrades display Update Required.
  2. Select all agents needing updates and click More Actions > Update. The agents upgrade in the background.

You can enable the option through Settings > All Settings > Agent Settings and click Define Global Agent Settings.

3. Start the engines

Start services in the Orion Service Manager on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.

4. Re-enable alert actions
  1. Go to Alerts & Activity.
  2. Click More.
  3. De-select Pause actions of all alerts.

If you have alerts configured to notify you when certain entities haven't been polled for "X" number of minutes or similar, ensure that you have waited at least two polling intervals before re-enabling alert actions so that polling has caught completely up, which prevents false alerts.

After the upgrade check your system

All product versions should be installed properly. Open the application and verify the versions displayed in the footer of the Web Console. Try current and new features with your system to check performance and expected functionality. If you run into issues, check the troubleshooting tips.

Troubleshooting

If you receive errors, try the following:

  • If you experience issues and are not on the latest product versions, we recommend completing a full upgrade. Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to create the upgrade path. Many of these updates solve issues you may experience part way through your upgrade.
  • Check our Success Center for troubleshooting. We recommend searching the name of the product, the version number, any error codes or messages displayed, and the general issue you found.
  • Check your Customer Portal for any new hot fixes.
  • If you receive a (500) internal server error after an upgrade, use the Orion permission checker to make sure your Group Policy is not locked. See this article for full details.
  • If your views do not load when first opening the console, run the Configuration Wizard again.

If an issue occurs you need additional help with, contact Support. We recommend gathering diagnostics, a screenshot of the issue, and any error codes you receive. Attach and add this information to your ticket.  You may also want to gather additional diagnostics on your additional polling engines and web servers.

Legal notices

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This document may not be reproduced by any means nor modified, decompiled, disassembled, published or distributed, in whole or in part, or translated to any electronic medium or other means without the prior written consent of SolarWinds. All right, title, and interest in and to the software and documentation are and shall remain the exclusive property of SolarWinds and its respective licensors.

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The SolarWinds and other SolarWinds marks, identified on the SolarWinds website, as updated from SolarWinds from time to time and incorporated herein, are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other SolarWinds trademarks may be common law marks or registered or pending registration in the United States or in other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks contained and/or mentioned herein are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

 
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