Last Updated: 3-14-2017 | SolarWinds Upgrade Guide 1.0
Supports: VNQM 4.4 and earlier
This guide walks you through upgrading only your VNQM product. We include checklists to prepare and complete your upgrades, gotchas, and troubleshooting steps.
Upgrading multiple products? See our SolarWinds multiple products upgrade guide!
Important for VNQM 4.4: Use the Product Upgrade Advisor for your Upgrade Path. When downloading the installations, please use the Customer Portal. For details, see this article: Upgrade Adviser showing Orion Platform (Core) 2017 as Maintenance Expired.
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 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.
|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 Upgrade Product Advisor to build your upgrade path. If you have NPM, upgrade NPM first. If you have SAM but not NPM, upgrade SAM first. The Product Upgrade Advisor always provides the upgrade process in steps.
We recommend downloading a PDF of your upgrade path from the Product Upgrade Advisor tool. You can use it as a checklist as you complete upgrades.
|Run all Windows updates||Before upgrading, check for and run all Microsoft Windows Updates on your main poller, all additional pollers, 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.|
The time it takes to complete an upgrade depends on:
Since every configuration is different, we cannot predict exactly how long your upgrade will take. Coming soon, we are compiling feedback with the THWACK community about upgrade times to help give you a ballpark estimate. Through this guide, we include steps and tips to help reduce time for your 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:
|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.|
To upgrade a server pair in a SolarWinds High Availability (HA) pool, follow the instructions for upgrading your product with the following differences.
If you have enabled SolarWinds High Availability, you must disable HA before you can upgrade. All SolarWinds product versions must match on the primary and secondary servers before you can re-enable your HA pools.
These instructions assume you have an HA pool already created and enabled. For more information on SolarWinds HA, see this article.
|1. Disable the HA pool|| |
The HA pool must be disabled to begin upgrading. If you upgrade prior to disabling, the pool is automatically disabled.
Do not modify the VIP or IP settings for the servers.
|2. Upgrade the primary server||Follow the upgrade instructions in the next section for the primary server. If you need to upgrade multiple products in the upgrade path, complete those upgrades fully.|
|3. Upgrade the secondary server using Orion Scalability Engine Installer|| |
Download the Orion Scalability Engine Installer on the primary server and run it on the secondary server to upgrade:
|4. Enable the HA pool|| |
When the installer completes, enable the HA pool using the following instructions. You may need to recreate the HA pool. For details, see this article.
This checklist details the steps for upgrading only VNQM in your environment.
If you have an issue running the installer, check the following:
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 VNQM product installation file from your Customer Portal in the My Downloads area. Save this file to your systems.
If you are directly installing VNQM 4.4 or later, see step 2.
Depending on the version, you may have a smart bundle of all install files per system, separate files to download, or the standalone installer.
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.
2. Run the improved VNQM 4.4 installer
When you upgrade to VNQM 4.4 or later, you will use our improved standalone installer. To learn more about upgrading with the installer, see this article.
This installer runs a series of tests against the current environment and products:
Upgrade Additional Polling Engine and Additional Web Server
When you upgrade your additional polling engine (APE) and additional web server (AWS), you will use a new unified Orion Scalability Engines Installer.
This new lightweight installer is far faster for upgrading your APE and AWS than installing one module at a time!
|3. 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:
You can enable the option through Settings > All Settings > Agent Settings and click Define Global Agent Settings.
|4. Start the engines|| |
Start services in the Orion Service Manager on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.
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.
If you receive errors, try the following:
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 pollers and web servers.
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