15 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2018 3:46 AM by David Smith

    Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016

    gidem

      Hi,

       

      We have 4 physical servers in PROD for 5 of our SolarWinds modules (NPM, NCM, SAM, IPAM, NTA):

      1 main poller

      1 APE

      1 NTA storage database

      1 MS SQL server for Orion database.

      All 4 boxes are running 2008 OS which needs to be in-place upgraded to 2016 so I can install the latest versions of these modules.

      I only have one physical to test this upgrade,  hence I want to install a VMware on it and demo PROD environment as close as possible.

      Does anyone have a suggestion/link/video to help guide me create this test environ on a VM? I have searched but can't find a link/video

       

      Thanks

       

      Glory

        • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers from 2008 to 2016
          bdufresne

          Glory,


          Are you trying to simulate the 4 physical boxes you have to make sure your configuration works?  If so, you have a few option: VMWare Player, Oracle Virtualbox, or Windows Hyper-V.  The only issue you may face with VMWare player is there may be some inter-VM connectivity issues, however, take that with a grain of salt, as I haven't used VMWare player in some time.  You could also go the path of configuring an ESXi server on the one physical box you have to test, but that's a bit more in-depth.  You could find the configurations for that on Youtube, as some folks have done guides on how to install/configure ESXi.

           

          I hope that helps,

          Bryan

          • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers from 2008 to 2016
            David Smith

            Hi gidem a few questions:

             

            What software versions are your existing modules?

            What version of SQL are you running now, and what will you be migrating to on the new machine (or will you stay the same)

            Do you want to test everything in lab first, or are you looking for a production upgrade using the spare machine as a rolling redundancy?

              • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers from 2008 to 2016
                gidem

                Hi David,

                 

                Thanks for your response. See my answers below:

                 

                What software versions are your existing modules?: NPM 12.1, NCM7.6, IPAM 4.3.2, SAM 6.4.0, NTA 4.2.2

                 

                What version of SQL are you running now: SQL 2008 R2 Enterprise which will also be upgraded to SQL 2016 Std.

                 

                and what will you be migrating to on the new machine (or will you stay the same): I will be staying in the same machine, so it will be an in-place upgrade

                 

                Do you want to test everything in lab first, or are you looking for a production upgrade using the spare machine as a rolling redundancy?: I want to lab first using the spare machine before upgrading PROD. The spare machine will not be used as redundant one.

                  • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                    lynchnigel

                    HI

                    A link from another thread regarding the upgrade experience NPM 12.2 Upgrade Experience Feedback?

                     

                    There is also reference to an upgrade document from the success centre if that helps Migrate SolarWinds products to a new server using the same IP and hostname - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support

                     

                    Is the test environment about the whole upgrade experience from your perspective?

                     

                    We are about to have a new main poller which I will prepare beforehand and then just change the IP and install the software afresh

                    for the Addition Poller the software can be 'sucked' from the main poller once installed in your case.

                     

                    Hope that helps you once you are ready to install.

                      • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                        gidem

                        Thanks, Lynchnigel for the links. The NPM 12.2 Upgrade Experience Feedback was helpful though my case isn't about the experience as I was able to reach out to someone that upgraded from 2008 to 2016 - waiting for his response. I am doing an in-place upgrade, not side-side which is easier and better. We don't have a separate hardware for this upgrade - same box instead. The test environment is about what to expect during the OS and SQL plus products upgrades. It is to address possible unforeseen issues that might impact upgrade in PROD thereby minimizing downtime.

                         

                        I am nervous cause I have zero knowledge of SQL and don't know what to expect. Been watching tons of youtube videos on it and gaining some confidence a bit.

                        Plus, I don't know if I can move directly or straight from 2008 to 2016 without issues - again I've read I cannot, but also have read success stories of people that did. So, my greatest challenge is the OS/SQL upgrades. Products upgrade is usually easy and very successful for me in the past.

                         

                        SolarWinds sent someone over to set up our environment for us 5 years ago.

                      • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                        David Smith

                        Hi gidem thanks for the reply.

                         

                        I can't help with the In-Place Upgrade as I've never had to do that particular scenario, but I could potentially try and lab it out for you with some time. Depends on how much of a rush you are in.

                         

                        Personally, I would do the following (depending on the allotted amount of downtime your allowed):

                         

                        Use Server 5 to install Server 2016 - Migrate your Main Poller to this machine.

                        Rebuild Server 1 to Server 2016 - Use this to replace your APE

                        Rebuild Server 2 to Server 2016 - Use this to replace your NTA FlowStore (Although watch this space is the new version of NTA might be coming back to SQL)

                        Rebuild Server 3 to Server 2016 - Use this to replace your SQL Server

                         

                        I appreciate this isn't as straightforward as it reads, but it will leave you with a much cleaner environment that you can then upgrade to 12.2 and beyond. In-Place upgrades will leave your machines a mess. Sorry if that's not the answer you wanted, but always good to get a few different perspectives.

                         

                        If I get some time to lab test the in-place upgrade option I will, but can't promise any timescales I'm afraid.

                          • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                            gidem

                            Thanks a lot David. I will sure try out your suggested ideas. I have until the end of June to complete upgrade in PROD. Now, I'm gathering as much info and suggestions as possible. Next Thursday, I will begin test upgrade.

                              • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                                grantallenby

                                Whats the level of down time you're allowed?

                                 

                                Personally I would follow the method above. I have limited SQL knowledge but Solarwinds installer does almost all for you after the upgrade to a newer SQL.

                                 

                                If you're allowed I would just stop all services and do in place upgrades. The chance of major issues is slim and if they do occur just have solid back ups to roll back too.

                                 

                                I did just this on an environment that could be taken up and down(not everyone has this), and it was painless to be honest.

                                 

                                Upgrade all the servers apart from your SQL box first get them on 2016 and working. Then in the next window upgrade your SQL server.

                                  • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                                    gidem

                                    Thanks Grant for your response. I re-read Microsoft doc on SQL upgrade and found I can go from 2008 R2 SP3/SP4 directly to SQL2016. So, on the SQL side, I believe I only need to install the SP3 or SP4 on the machine then in-place upgrade to 2016 - Our current SQL edition is 2008 R2 Enterprise SP1. Right? On the Window Server side, I've been wanting to know if I can use my 2016 license and upgrade from 2008 to 2012 and same license from 2012 to 2016.

                                      • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                                        grantallenby

                                        For SQL they do often have an upgrade path so I think you're quite right with that, however this will be well documented.

                                         

                                        From my understanding Windows server you can go from 2008 directly to 2016. The 2016 licence wont have 2012 built in.

                                         

                                        Basically they try and make it as pain free as possible.

                                         

                                        Make sure you have usable back ups/a roll back plan and go right ahead. I would just do the upgrade in stages, servers then the SQL server after. if any problems manifest at least you can then narrow it down and its spreads risk

                            • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                              HerrDoktor

                              KMSigma put together some excellent Powershell Scripts on his blog at Building My Orion Server Step 3 [Updated] – Kevin's Ramblings

                              check it out and have your test Servers up an running in minutes.

                              • Re: Upgrade Solarwinds servers and SQL from 2008 to 2016
                                gidem

                                Thank you all responders. I successfully completed this project in our PRODUCTION environment today. I did DEMO/pilot lab with two retired servers.

                                 

                                One server hosted the Orion database; the other server Main Poller. I did an in-place upgrade from Win server 2008 to 2012, then upgrade SQL from 2008 R2 SP3 to 2016 SP1. Tested databases OK. Upgraded OS from 2012 to 2016 and then upgraded all my Orion platform using the all-in-one NPM 12.2 installer. This installer is super awesome and saves huge time. installer checked my system and upgraded all 5 module in one click. Thank you, SolarWinds for your hard work on this. Main Poller upgraded first, then APE. All went well with no errors.