How to Upgrade Your High Availability OS

January 7, 2016 High Availability Blog Articles

As your business evolves, so does your IT environment. Whether it’s to gain all of the new features of a new operating system (OS) or to fix the bugs in your old one, OS upgrades are a necessity – and when it comes to your high availability (HA) environment, this isn’t any different. Your HA solutions are keeping your company resilient against disasters and downtime, so ensuring that the upgrade process goes smoothly is critical. Here are best practices to follow when upgrading your OS in an HA environment to ensure that the upgrade happens smoothly, seamlessly, and without affecting your critical HA setup.

Strategize

Before your upgrade begins, have experienced engineers comb through the structural framework of your current system for any weak points. It is imperative to reevaluate your current IT infrastructure, if you encounter any problems after the upgrade, you won’t know if these were preexisting or due to the upgrade itself. Pre-existing system errors can cause problems both during the upgrade process and after it is complete. Also consider what networking features are required (for example, certain routing protocols such as MPLS or IPv6), and whether or not your hardware can handle the change, with the correct firmware, memory and processing power.

Target First

Upgrading the secondary appliance first ensures that the upgrade process can be completed without any issues that will affect your production system. This gives you the opportunity to perform and test the OS upgrade process itself in case of any possible unforeseen issues, as well as providing an estimated timing of how long the OS and PTF upgrade will take, thus providing a base timeline to be used for the production system. It also enables custom and 3rd party software to be tested and verified on the target system to reveal any potential issues between the application software and the new OS.

Test

When it comes to your data, it’s never worth any risk. Once the upgrade is complete, test your system. Testing ensures that everything is running as it should be, and nothing slipped through the cracks. If there are any bugs or glitches, these should be uncovered in the testing process. Make sure you have a backup of your pre-upgrade system configuration; although it’s unlikely, if something does go wrong in the upgrade process, it’s always comforting to know that you can switch things back to a system that you know will work for you while the problems are fixed. This includes backing up your configuration information in addition to current files (for instance, your System State and system and boot partitions). Here at Baseline, we can test your system for you in our sandbox environment to ensure that everything will run even better than it did before. If something goes wrong, reloading your functional pre-upgrade state is simple for us to do while we fix any problems.

Implement

Being diligent before the upgrade makes upgrade implementation simple. After backing up your previous system and successfully testing on the target, your new OS should be ready to for implementation on your production system. Here at Baseline Data Services, we ensure that the entire upgrade process goes smoothly and simply. By working with our engineers with years of experience in multiple platforms, you can gain peace of mind in knowing that best practices will be upheld and the implementation of your upgraded OS with be seamless. We optimize your current HA environment without interrupting your normal operations.

If you need to upgrade your OS in an HA environment and want experienced engineers to help build your strategy and implement your new system, contact us today at (317) 707-3941.



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