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NPM 12.2 Upgrade Experience Feedback?

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Anyone have any upgrade experiences for the general release?

We are looking to upgrade our entire SW suite in addition to NPM and would like to hear any feedback.

Also, is the RC code the same as the GR code?

Thanks in advance

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Product Manager
Product Manager

This thread has been super helpful and given us many conversation points and feedback. However, the thread is now gotten unwieldy and hard to parse through the feedback. I'm locking this thread and for those of you who are participating in our RCs, invite you to come give additional feedback on my post  Orion Platform: Preparing for the Upgrade to 2018.2  in the NPM release candidate forum. Once we are out of RC, I'll be starting a new topic thread for upgrade feedback for NPM 12.3.

Thank you and for those of you with whom I have ongoing conversations, we'll find other avenues to move forward on those topics.

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I don't know the reason.  I suspect it's a pricing issue.  We don't have SAM and DPA due to the cost, and also due to the SA's and DBA's relying on the free version of NAGIOS and their own best-of-breed tools specially built for their systems, which don't integrate into any enterprise single pane-of-glass.  If licensing (and resource requirements) for NAM included SAM and DPA, I'd have it everywhere.  As it is, we have enough SQL and Oracle servers and databases that the licenses for SAM and DPA to manage all of them would cost my organization in excess of $1M.  That just MIGHT be why NAM doesn't include them . . .

I could be wrong . . .

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Hi @rschroeder

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Hello.

May I help you?

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This is why even though I don't like being last to upgrade it often keeps me clear of some "issues with upgrades."

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Like many customers, with a mission critical application, caution is definitely appreciated! On the flip side, we have had so many customers successfully upgrade to the latest that it's clear that the risk is smaller and smaller. Just think of all the great things our teams have spent countless hours building for you that is just one upgrade away

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Serena, though from a marketing perspective that sounds nice, but due to the complexity and lack of Professional Service offerings from Solarwinds, they have a ton of room to grow.  Back in the Orion 8 days the simplistic THWACK related support model made sense for upgrades and implementation.  Today the Solarwinds tool as a solution is more complex, integrated, flexible and dynamic.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the capabilities and flexibility of Solarwinds TS.

As an example of how painful of an impact this has had, we have a funny sticker in our office we post as the running joke when call Solarwinds Tech Support "Have you considered upgrading?".  This became the standard answer to just about every phone call to the Solarwinds TS queue, not a good support model, almost like it is a scripted response.  Don't get me wrong, I find the Solarwinds toolset second to none, but I cannot say the same for the support, it needs drastic improvement to support large organizations, corporations and government agencies.

Time to revisit the support model, maybe implement higher level "gold support", escalated access for the Professional Services Partners, ADIT and Loop One or just build a separate Professional Service division themselves.

#TS LOTS OF ROOM TO GROW

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I believe these items are related to the residual effects of outsourcing IT support to foreign lands.

I've seen it so many times: your core group of people cannot hand hold every client and customer for years on end. So, to offset the burnout of core folks, companies outsource to offshore entities hoping to deflect the difficult nature of supporting complex, needy companies. (Needy in a factually technical way, not in an snide, offensive way).

The offshore entities will always be a step behind the core folks in the USA (Austin). When you call Microsoft, you get offshore for non crit-sit. For crit-sit you get the guys in North Carolina.

The reason why "Have you upgraded" is so not so funny is because its completely relevant. Techs in the Philippines do not have anywhere near the level of expertise that Austin has. And they never will. This is by non-natural design.

I appreciate the complexities of the product, and how things can go so wrong. The upgrade process is a few moons away from perfection as we can all see. I think this is mostly due to the basic complexities of each module as a stand alone entity. Throwing in 6 other modules makes it even worse. i cannot imagine being the developers in charge of solving this problem. They get my sympathy for sure.

It would be awesome if upgrading SolarWinds multi-module, multi-APE deployments was as easy as upgrading Microsoft Office. Many moons away, but I'm hopeful its possible.

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I think the single big offline installer for all the modules is a big step in the right direction... this didn't really even begin to flesh out until 12.2 NPM so it's a recent development.  At least with the single installer all the required ordering of upgrade is on the installer and SW instead of us having to figure it out.

I usually wait until the next new version is about to be released.  I let two systems get too far behind.  They were 11.5.3 or something and had to be brought all the way up to 12.2.  That was rough... you can see earlier in this thread how many steps it took.

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Sort of like VMware - we're slow to upgrade and have never regretted it.

how many versions behind do you like to remain to keep that safety buffer zone?

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Thank You rschroeder

Hi bobmarley I have done upgrades previously from 12.0.1 to 12.2 using the new 12.2 Falcon installer. I believe 12.0 is as far back is it will go.

- David Smith

rschroeder  wrote:

Sadly I'm dealing with Server 2008 issues, so until I get the new VM licensing for 2012 resolved, I'm on hold for 12.2.

This will put my upgrade on hold as well, except in my case I also have FoE, Pysical servers, and an unsupported database server version 😞

/RjL

Wow! That's makes me weep a bit.

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I brought a server on NPM 12.0.1, SAM 6.3.0, NCM 7.5.1, UDT 3.2.4, and SRM 6.3.0 directly to the current releases with the new installer without any issues.  There is no need to take an interim step of going to 12.1.  One word of warning, the installer will check for incompatibilities with existing modules and will refuse to proceed if any are found.  In this case, the client had installed a version of the Patch Manager Orion module that was not compatible with their other existing modules and the new installer wouldn't proceed with it installed.  Once the PM module was uninstalled, the upgrade went through without issue.

That's very encouraging, blsanner​ 

My Product Upgrade Advisor says it doesn't handle NPM 12.2-only 12.1.  I think this might have been why it was suggested I upgrade from 12.01. to 12.1--that perhaps the PUA could handle going from 12.1 to 12.2, but not from 12.0.1 to 12.2.

Was this new installer something you had to download separately?

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No, if you look at the downloads for NPM 12.2, it's an all in one installer.  They have both an online one, which is real small (~11 MB), and an offline one which is over 2 GB.  This installer will install/upgrade all Orion modules at once, which means only one run through of the Configuration Wizard.  I looked at the extracted installers while it was running and it included the last 2 - 3 versions of each module, apparently in case an interim upgrade was needed.  Note that was for the offline installer which is what I had to use because the client's servers didn't have Internet access.  The online installer will download whatever installers it needs.

That's exactly what I was waiting for in NPM 12.2.  I participated in a UX session about this before 12.2 was released, and today I was confused by the conflicting reports about how to actually upgrade.

Thank you for this reassuring news.

Richard, would you be interested in participating in a dev assisted upgrade? I know you were in our UX session, while we were brainstorming about it, so I'm curious of your feedback with the real thing Of course after you're not on 2008

"......would you be interested in participating in a dev assisted upgrade?"

Hello Serena,

Is this offer open to anyone? We are running 12.0.1 on 2008 and plan on installing a fresh copy of NPM 12.2 on a new VM 2016. The support I was offered was in the form of links to guides and helpful tips, I had already reviewed. I haven't worked in SolarWinds much or enough to feel comfortable and I am new to networking covering for people who decided to leave our company. I received awesome assistance the first time I submitted a call ticket for another issue, this time is definitely different. We have a big organization and I don't feel comfortable doing to this major task without professional support and guidance. Our most important concern is backing up and restoring the old data so we don't have to start from scratch.

Thank you for being so helpful,

Christina

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