7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2013 4:19 PM by RichardLetts

    FOE Upgrade

    jeffnorton

      I got notification from Solarwinds that FOE 6.7 was in General Availability.  I currently and running FOE 6.4.  I search all through the install packages documentation as well as all through the customer portal and there are not instructions about upgrading.  There are only instruction for installing it new.  Now my problem with this are many. If I have to install this like it's a new install, then it's probably going to blow away my Microsoft licenses as it did the first time I installed this horrible software, which will result in my entire system being dead in the water.  Unfortunatly, in our organization another group maintains the corporate licenses and it is big time pain to get it relicensed with Microsoft's kludgy license server.  There needs to be a way to upgrade this without going through the entire pain of a new install AND if there is then there needs to better listing of documentation.  Of course having said all this, this problem is added on top of the entire disaster of NPM 10.5 upgrades that many of us have been experienceing.  My position right now, is if there is not upgrade process for FOE and it truly is like a new install, then FOE is going to be dropped and we'll just live with a spare blank server and re-install every thing in the event of a failure.  Solarwinds needs to re-think the entire FOE concept

        • Re: FOE Upgrade
          jeffnorton

          Just as I feared, support just responded with the following:

           

          1. Uninstall FoE 6.4 (see steps below)
          2. Install FoE 6.7 using the pre-cloned option - install guides here, based on your Windows version:
          http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/failoverengine/FailoverEngineDoc.aspx


          Here are the steps to uninstall FoE:

          1. Shutdown the FoE Services on both (Primary & Secondary)
          2. Uninstall FoE on the Primary Server (from Add / Remove Programs)
          3. Foe uninstall requires a restart of the server, also you might get some notifications like (NFServer.exe was not completely removed) so simply ignore those notifications and reboot the server.
          4. Now go to the Secondary server and set all of the SolarWinds NPM (and other SW programs) services to Disabled (in services.msc)
          5. Uninstall Foe (from Add / Remove Programs) from the secondary server

          IMPORTANT: Just when it is asking you to reboot the machine so that the FoE uninstall can complete , please perform the below steps.
          5. Change the IP address of the Public Nic (the reason is that once the box will come back up again it will show as “IP address conflict” so very important to change the IP address of the “Public nic” before reboot of the server.
          6. Now as the Secondary server comes back up , after the restart , please make sure you change the hostname of the Secondary server.
          7. You can then uninstall NPM/etc. from the secondary server.

           

           

          This in effect makes this NOT and upgrade but a new install.  This will cause both the Primary and Secondary machines to loose their Microsoft license registration.  Our last experience with an install of this product kept us down for over a week while we tried to get the MS license to register.  It's not so much of a problem if you are dealing with a single license and don't have to go through an enterprise license registration server.

           

          So I guess what I'm going to have to do is contuney running with FOE 6.4 and when our maintenance runs out not renew it and uninstall FOE.  I'll then make the secondary machine a bare server with no Solarwinds files on it and have as a standby server.  In the event of a failure I will unregister the SW licenses and then reinstall on the standby server.  A real pain, but far less than dealing with FOE.

           

          Any one from SW who reads this need to get a clue this is bad product with a bad installation and upgrade path and I know I'm not the only one saying that because every time I deal with support on it they say the hear the same thin from other customers.

            • Re: FOE Upgrade
              jeffnorton

              Ok all, there is an upgrade path but had to get it from Dev.  Go to http://knowledgebase.solarwinds.com/kb/questions/1481/How+to+Upgrade+SolarWinds+Orion+Failover+Engine and this will give a step by step guide to upgrading without blowing away the MS server registration.  One thing to note, at step 12 the Primary server Never Fail Packet Filter on the network connection of the Primary server will drop the network link, so you need to either be performing this upgrade from the console port (direct or KVM) or you need to disable the packet filter on the nic connected to the network.  My thanks to Chris from SW for doing the legwork to find this. 

              • Re: FOE Upgrade
                RichardLetts

                I've done the upgrade on four pollers and a main server using the instructions provided in the knowledgebase article.

                I didn't loose any Microsoft license registrations... but then I admin downed the switch port the primary NIC was plugged into rather than unplugging it or changing the server IP address.

                 

                Pollers: did not correctly install the NIC or filesystem drivers. I figured it out myself during the 2 hours on hold for support. support should add that to the KB article.

                 

                App server: Licence file was corrupt on the secondary for some reason, and shutdown BOTH servers... boy does that annoy me in failure prevention software and then did a manual switch to the primary server. Support provided a workaround for this that I have yet to test.

                Enhancement request to only shutdown the secondary server on a license failure already submitted.

                 

                I like the FOE when it works, but it's a flaky as heck to setup and upgrade.