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ferrashoo
Level 12

Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

We currently run NPM 12.2 and have separate hardware for db (sql 2016) and netflow 4.2.

When running the offline upgrade to version 12.3 and netflow 4.3 we got an error stating there was a beta installed.

Up to this point, we have not run into any issues upgrading from previous versions of NPM, SAM or Netflow (we started at version 11 or so).

So I ask, would it make sense to bypass the beta bug? Or at least identify what product was the beta install.

Personally, I don't like installing beta's on my production systems, unless there is a really good reason.

I'm curious to know if you have had this issue and what you did to resolve it.

Support is telling me to:

(a) uninstall the existing software and reinstall, this may or may not resolve the beta product error.

(b) rebuild the system from scratch (discover hosts, setup device interfaces and rebuild the 100+ maps)   :-(

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13 Replies
nickzourdos
Level 14

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

The beta usually has a website on hostname:8787, I would try navigating to that site to see what product beta is installed

serena Product Manager
Product Manager

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

ferrashoo  wrote:

We currently run NPM 12.2 and have separate hardware for db (sql 2016) and netflow 4.2.

When running the offline upgrade to version 12.3 and netflow 4.3 we got an error stating there was a beta installed.

Up to this point, we have not run into any issues upgrading from previous versions of NPM, SAM or Netflow (we started at version 11 or so).

So I ask, would it make sense to bypass the beta bug? Or at least identify what product was the beta install.

Personally, I don't like installing beta's on my production systems, unless there is a really good reason.

I'm curious to know if you have had this issue and what you did to resolve it.

Support is telling me to:

(a) uninstall the existing software and reinstall, this may or may not resolve the beta product error.

(b) rebuild the system from scratch (discover hosts, setup device interfaces and rebuild the 100+ maps)   :-(

I would absolutely advise against installing betas on your production systems. What reasons have you seen to do so?

1. betas are not supported (This is a standard message that we put along side any beta announcements)

2. upgrades from betas to production versions are also not supported

To avoid having to uninstall and do the workflow recommended by support in the future, I would definitely recommend not installing betas on production.

hoppingubu
Level 11

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

My experience with beta software....

Even though I had installed it on a non-production server, because I wanted to use the current data I was hosed when I went to install the production release of the NPM/NCM versions at the time. I couldn't even use the database backup that I had. My only alternative because my actual production system had lost control of the database was to do what support had recommended in choice b that you listed. Once you remove your current versions and install a clean one and that means a new database too! I know it is probably not what you wanted it to do, but it is the only way that I know of to get rid of the error stating there was a beta installed. Not an easy way to go, but the best option.

Lesson learned: Don't install beta versions unless you have a testing environment to do it in. If you can great, otherwise, let others do the beta testing to find the major bugs.

Hope my experience helps.

rschroeder
Level 21

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

I've had the same experience several times, and a well-working solution (for me) is to:

  1. Build a test VM specifically for Beta installs, and install them ONLY on this server--never on my production SolarWinds servers
  2. When done testing the Beta, completely delete the VM and build another in its place for testing other Beta versions

Anything else has just been an exercise in wasted time.

It would be simpler and faster if SolarWinds provided a complete "Beta Uninstaller" that wiped all references of the Beta off of the VM server; that would prevent me from having to engage my System Admins to do the deletion and recreation of the server, along with all the Change Management (electronic) paperwork and approval.  That part is the real time-consumer!

But until such a wonderful "Beta Complete Uninstaller Button" is provided, I'm stuck removing and creating servers for my Beta's.

df112
Level 13

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

I'm with rschroeder​ - I just got done with a beta (DPA) and had it running in parallel against real (i.e. production systems) but without changing anything on my production DPA box. That way I could compare them side by side to see differences as well as have a baseline as a sanity check.  When the GA release came out I nuked the beta and did the upgrade in production (after a snapshot of the old one in case I had to revert).

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Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

I am looking at trying to beta test down the road and was wondering about the server setups.  Do you just setup one VM and load all things Solarwinds - modules and DB on the same server?  Then use this as a beta test box then when done then blow them away?  Or do you setup SQL back end and Orion front end?  Thanks!!

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nickzourdos
Level 14

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

Yes, the betas typically use a local database since the instance (probably) won't get large enough to warrant a dedicated SQL server. You do have the option of installing a beta with a dedicated database, though. Just blow away the beta VM when you're done.

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oiram
Level 12

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

If installer claims there was beta it may be worth checking:

FILE

2018-09-17 10:17:15,181 [17] INFO  (null) SolarWinds.Administration.SystemInfoCollector.Detectors.InstalledProductsDetector.IsBetaInstalledDetector - Checking if beta is installed

2018-09-17 10:17:15,182 [17] INFO  (null) SolarWinds.Administration.SystemInfoCollector.Detectors.InstalledProductsDetector.IsBetaInstalledDetector - Checking if beta.txt exists in installation directory

2018-09-17 10:17:15,182 [17] DEBUG (null) SolarWinds.Administration.Utils.RegistryReader - Reading key: LocalMachine\Software\Wow6432Node\SolarWinds\Orion\Core\InstallPath with result: C:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion\

2018-09-17 10:17:15,293 [17] INFO  (null) SolarWinds.Administration.SystemInfoCollector.Detectors.InstalledProductsDetector.IsBetaInstalledDetector - Is beta.txt present: False

DATABASE

2018-09-17 10:17:15,294 [17] INFO  (null) SolarWinds.Administration.SystemInfoCollector.Detectors.InstalledProductsDetector.IsBetaInstalledDetector - Checking if beta flag is in DB

2018-09-17 10:17:15,297 [17] INFO  (null) SolarWinds.Administration.SystemInfoCollector.Detectors.InstalledProductsDetector.IsBetaInstalledDetector - Is beta flag presentin db: False

2018-09-17 10:17:15,297 [17] INFO  (null) SolarWinds.Administration.SystemInfoCollector.Detectors.InstalledProductsDetector.IsBetaInstalledDetector - Is beta installed: False

Select 1 from Settings where (RTRIM(SettingID) = 'Database-Beta-Blocker' AND CurrentValue = 1)

And if any of these are returning positive result I would consider serena's response.

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rschroeder
Level 21

Re: Solarwinds Beta Upgrade to Production

I'm accustomed to Beta's coming with their own local SQL version.  Everything needed to operate the Beta is included, and runs on the server hosting the Beta.

I appreciate this, and think it's a great solution.  No one needs to have a beta causing questions or confusion (or worse) in a production environment.  Having everything for the Beta self-contained also makes clean-up simpler.

I just set up one server and use it for one Beta.  Sometimes (not always!) Beta's can be stacked on each other, as with the present NPM 12.4 and IPAM's latest Beta.  They get along fine.  But before I'd install two Beta's on the same server I always check with SW Support to verify they are compatible.  Sometimes they're not, and would require either two Beta servers, or to be finished with the first Beta, remove it (or blow the server away), and then install the second Beta.

I never set up a SQL back end and Orion front end.  Just use the built-in SQL with the Beta and then blow it all away when you've finished with it.