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Upgrade to 7.3

Makarije
Techie
Posts: 6
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Hello

i am running a pair of IB-1410 in Grid configuration (at one location) as well as one IB-1410 at secondary, remote location, all are currently running OS 7.2.4-307692. Planning to upgrade to 7.3.7-340185

 

I am new to this great appliances and have not been upgrading OS on them so would appreciate if you guys share your "rule-of-thumbs" and "from the trenches stories" as well as URL link to admin guide for this release. I found a release notes for this OS version but have hard time locating an admin guide. 

 

appreciate your responses. 

 

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

Adviser
Posts: 213
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The Admin Guide can be downloaded directly from the support site in the same area that you download the new code from. There’s no “direct URL” link that will work for you for that. There is online help as well but since you’re asking more about the upgrade process, I’d suggest grabbing a full copy of the Admin Guide.

I’ll leave the rest of your questions for others to answer.

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

Adviser
Posts: 132
14255     0

@Makarije wrote:

I am new to this great appliances and have not been upgrading OS on them so would appreciate if you guys share your "rule-of-thumbs" and "from the trenches stories" as well as URL link to admin guide for this release. I found a release notes for this OS version but have hard time locating an admin guide.  


Here are some thoughts from me:

 

1. You're OK going from 7.2.4 to 7.3.7, because it's a supported upgrade path. For future use, note that you generally cannot upgrade between two NIOS releases released at the same time. For example, 7.2.11 is the latest 7.2.x release, from early September, and per the 7.3.7 release notes you cannot upgrade to 7.3.7 from 7.2.11. That may affect your upgrade planning in future, in the sense that there's a tradeoff between having the latest security patches and other critical fixes in your current minor release upgrade path, vs. being able to take advantage of new features in the next minor release.

 

2. Upgrading NIOS on an Infoblox grid, especially for relatively close releases like 7.2 vs. 7.3, is relatively straightforward and trouble-free. Unless you have HA pairs you will take some downtime, typically a few minutes per appliance as they reboot into the new version of NIOS. (Recall that during the distribution step of an upgrade the new version gets distributed into an alternative disk partitition of the affected appliances while the appliances continue to run the older version from its own partition.) If you have appliances that you cannot afford to have down at the same time (e.g., the only two nameservers for a particular zone) then you should read the documentation in the Admin Guide on how to set up and use upgrade groups.

 

3. Speaking of HA, my experience has been that the real value of HA pairs is much more than just protecting against hardware failures. A major pay-off is making both software and hardware upgrades (of both physical and virtual appliances) much simpler and easier to do while keeping planned downtime to an absolute minimum. If you do have an HA pair, you'll see that the passive node in the pair will get upgraded first, then failover will be forced so that the (now upgraded) passive node will become active, and then the formerly active node (now passive) will be upgraded. Actual downtime for services should be minimal. (A couple of times I've sat with customers during upgrades and have run a shell script to do a dig or nslookup on one of their DNS nameservers every 5 seconds while the upgrade is ongoing. For an HA pair I've seen only one or at most two times that dig/nslookup will fail to return a response, at the point where the HA failover occurs.)

 

4. Make sure all grid members, and all nodes of HA pairs, are online and showing green before starting the upgrade. You want all appliances to be upgraded together if at all possible, with none offline; among other things, this simplifies doing a revert to a prior release should that ever be necessary (because all appliances will have the same older version of NIOS on their alternate partitions).

 

5. If you're doing an upgrade "live" (i.e., not scheduled) then things will probably take just a bit longer than you think they will, including the distribution step, the appliance reboot step, and final synchronization when the appliance comes back on the grid. Just have patience. If you schedule upgrades and stagger the upgrade times for the different upgrade groups, be sure and allow more time between the groups than you think you might need.  (For example, I set this to 15 minutes one time, when I really should have set it to a half hour or hour.)

 

6. Remember that when the Grid Master upgrades itself you will lose your web connection to it and you will have to reconnect to the GM web server. I know this sounds obvious, but I myself have stared at an upgrade screen for several minutes wondering why nothing was happening, when it was just that the GM had gone offline and the web page wasn't being refreshed.

 

7. Don't get too worried if you see red error or yellow warning messages in UI for particular grid members during the upgrade. Almost always these are transient messages caused by the GM seeing the grid member in a transition state of some sort. In particular don't worry too much about warning messages regarding NTP synchronization; sometimes they take a while to go away, but they will go away eventually unless there's something messed up with your NTP configuration.

 

8. When you do a scheduled upgrade, if you look at the grid right after the upgrade you will be told that the upgrade is not yet complete and you will not be able to make changes. This is a feature, not a bug: NIOS imposes a 24-hour "lockout" period after scheduled upgrades (but not after manual/"live" upgrades). If you really really don't want to wait 24 hours, there is a CLI command "set grid_upgrade" you can use to force an end to the upgrade period. I suggest talking to Infoblox support before you use it, especially if you haven't done an upgrade before.

 

9. Once the upgrade is really and fully complete the new version will be running on all the appliances and the alternate partitions on the appliances will contain the older version, ready in the event you should need to revert to it. My advice is never to attempt a revert to an earlier version unless you talk to Infoblox support first and get a firm recommendation from them to do so. It can be done, but it's best to avoid doing so unless it's really necessary.

 

10. If you are concerned about going through this first upgrade, note that Infoblox does have a "remote professional services" offering that offers live support during the upgrade process, so that any questions can be addressed immediately and Infoblox support personnel can be brought in as quickly as possible in the event of a problem. It's not a very expensive service, and I recommend customers consider it. Your Infoblox sales rep can provide a quote for it.

 

11. Continuing on that theme: Sometimes in order to get upgrades approved by a internal change control board you'll need more detailed documentation of the upgrade steps. If that's true in your case, ask your Infoblox account team (sales rep and systems engineer) if they can provide sample documents that you can use as a base to create your own upgrade plan. I've helped create a couple of these for my own customers for hardware upgrades, and other folks in Infoblox may have documents for software upgrades that they can share.

 

That's all I can think of for now; other folks may be able to offer additional thoughts, or expand or correct on those above. Good luck with the upgrade!

 

Frank

 

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

Makarije
Techie
Posts: 6
14255     0

thanks for your advice

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

Makarije
Techie
Posts: 6
14255     0

Frank, thanks for taking time and provde usefull amount of details. Apprecaite your prompt responses.

I think i am convinced to do a live upgrade, now just waiting for change controll to apporve it :-)

 

thanks again. 

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

Adviser
Posts: 132
14255     0

@Makarije wrote:

Frank, thanks for taking time and provde usefull amount of details. Apprecaite your prompt responses.

 

You're welcome, I'm glad I could help.

 

Frank

 

P.S. If my original response answered your question, could you please mark it as an "accepted solution", so others can find it more easily? Thanks!

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

[ Edited ]
drizzt
Techie
Posts: 3
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Re: Upgrade to 7.3

[ Edited ]
drizzt
Techie
Posts: 3
14255     0

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

drizzt
Techie
Posts: 3
14255     0

@FHecker wrote:

1. You're OK going from 7.2.4 to 7.3.7, because it's a supported upgrade path. For future use, note that you generally cannot upgrade between two NIOS releases released at the same time. For example, 7.2.11 is the latest 7.2.x release, from early September, and per the 7.3.7 release notes you cannot upgrade to 7.3.7 from 7.2.11. That may affect your upgrade planning in future, in the sense that there's a tradeoff between having the latest security patches and other critical fixes in your current minor release upgrade path, vs. being able to take advantage of new features in the next minor release.


 

Hi and sorry for digging up this old thread.

 

What is the reason behind this limitation?

 

We wanted to upgrade an IB-1410 from 7.3.14 to 8.1.3 and learned from the release notes that you can only upgrade from 7.3.12 and below. So 7.3.14, whis is about two months old, is still considered to be released at the same time as 8.1.3 which is only about a week old? And the only way to ever upgrade to 8.x is to skip patches and releases until there is a valid upgrade path?

 

Regards

 

Jens

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

Adviser
Posts: 132
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@drizzt wrote:

@FHecker wrote:

1. You're OK going from 7.2.4 to 7.3.7, because it's a supported upgrade path. For future use, note that you generally cannot upgrade between two NIOS releases released at the same time.

<snip> 

What is the reason behind this limitation?

I don't work in engineering or QA, so I can't give a definitive answer to this question. My understanding has always been that it has to do with the work involved in testing upgrade paths and the planning that goes into that testing: that if two releases, say 7.3.x and 8.1.y, come out at roughly the same time then there is not sufficient time to test upgrading from 7.3.x to 8.1.y, so the testing done is for earlier releases of 7.3 to 8.1.x.

We wanted to upgrade an IB-1410 from 7.3.14 to 8.1.3 and learned from the release notes that you can only upgrade from 7.3.12 and below. So 7.3.14, whis is about two months old, is still considered to be released at the same time as 8.1.3 which is only about a week old?

I'm not sure what's going on with this. I can only guess that it may have to do with scheduling of time for testing, and the distinction between regularly scheduled patch releases and patch releases done for security vulnerabilities.

And the only way to ever upgrade to 8.x is to skip patches and releases until there is a valid upgrade path?

That's what I've done for my own grid. Not all patch releases are critical from my point of view --- for example, they may fix issues in areas of the product I don't use, or address security vulnerabilities that are not relevant to my configuration. So I don't install each and every patch release.

Re: Upgrade to 7.3

TTiscareno Community Manager
Community Manager
Posts: 322
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To help clear things up here, it may be best to explain how the release structure works.

 

'Major' versions of NIOS are released sequentially, meaning that NIOS version 7.3.0 is newer than NIOS version 7.2.0 and each major revision is its own branch of code which is maintained separately from other branches. Major versions are released on a somewhat consistent schedule (i.e. every 6 months), are considered major updates to NIOS and are geared towards providing new features or major enhancements to NIOS.

 

            7

      /      |      \

7.1      7.2     7.3

 

Within each branch are 'minor' versions (the third number in the version string: 7.2.3, ...). Updates provided in minor version releases are geared more towards things such as bug fixes and other critical updates and can be released at any time. As the updates being made might apply to multiple branches of code, over time, you will frequently see an overlap between versions of NIOS in different branches as updates are released.

 

While I'm not using real-world examples here- this means that it is quite possible for minor versions such as 7.3.14 and 8.1.3 to be released at or around the same time. Conversely, 7.3.14 could be 'newer' release date wise than 8.1.2.

 

Upgrade paths are programmed into each release and correspond to all of the different versions that have been tested and are officially supported to complete the upgrade. If you find that you are not able to upgrade to a different version of NIOS due to it not being in your upgrade path, you may need to wait until the next release for that version becomes available as that should include an upgrade path which supports your current version. Alternatively, check with Infoblox Support and see if any other options may be available to you.

 

Hope this helps clear up this process a little bit.

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