Software Upgrade Best Practices

Summary

Upgrading software in a production environment should be handled with care. It is important to ensure that users are minimally affected by the upgrade.

In the case of upgrading Datameer, there are several components to take into consideration to ensure a seamless upgrade experience for the users. This article highlights best practices for Datameer Administrators to consider when planning an upgrade of their Datameer environment.

Secondary Environment Testing Recommended

In the context of enterprise software, each installed environment is unique. Different instances use different features and connect to differing auxiliary systems. It is strongly recommended to have a secondary environment that mimics as much of the production environment as possible. These are commonly known as "staging" or "development" environments. 

A secondary environment should connect to the same types of systems that the production environment connects to. Once established, the secondary environment can be used to test configuration changes or upgrades. Using a secondary environment to test the upgrade procedure allows administrators to validate that the upgraded environment. 

The rest of this article will be written assuming that a secondary environment is available. 

Phases of the Upgrade

Throughout the process of the upgrade, there are several phases that the upgrade will go through. 

  1. Initial Preparation
  2. Upgrading the Secondary Environment
  3. Validating the Secondary Environment
  4. User Acceptance Testing of Secondary Environment
  5. Production Upgrade Planning
  6. Upgrading the Production Environment
  7. Validating the Production Environment
  8. User Acceptance Testing of the Production Environment
  9. Production Upgrade Completion 

Preparation and Configuration Backup 

To prepare for an upgrade, here are the steps to verify that the environment can be upgraded quickly and is able to rollback the upgrade if required:

  • Ensure that the upgrade binary is downloaded to the Datameer server
  • Ensure that the <INSTALLDIR>/etc and <INSTALLDIR>/conf directories of the current version are regularly backed up.
  • Ensure that the Datameer database instance ("dap" by default) is regularly backed up.
  • Update the configuration files for the upgrade target before taking the current version offline

Validation of Recent Upgrade

Here are the important components to check following a recent upgrade to ensure that the environment remains operational.

Notifying End Users of a Completed Upgrade

Once the upgrade has been completed, the end-users should be notified that the upgrade has been completed.

End users should be reminded to clear their browser cache to ensure that any UI updates to do not lead to unexpected behaviors in Datameer.

End users should be provided a link to the Release Notes for the version that was upgraded to. Here is a link to the most recent New and Noteworthy documentation: https://documentation.datameer.com/documentation/current/New+and+Noteworthy

If a new feature is introduced that may require training for Analysts or Admins, the training should be scheduled as soon after the upgrade as possible.