When you have a large population of systems you are responsible for managing, updates and upgrades typically do not happen quickly. With ELM Enterprise Manager you have the flexibility to perform upgrades with a multi-step process and depending on the number of systems involved, and this can be approached in stages. You’re not stuck with an “all or nothing” approach as may be the case with other software products. In this tech tip we’ll talk about upgrading ELM “a batch at a time” to minimize any stress and how to break it down into manageable phases.
In general, when upgrading ELM, running the MSI package on the ELM Server will upgrade the server components as well as the agent on the server (if applicable). To upgrade the ELM Agents, a reinstall is required. This is the part that can be completed in stages. Basically what is happening in the background when reinstalling a Service Agent involves:
- ELM copies binaries to the computer where the Agent is running. These are mostly .dll files, plus a couple .exe files.
- Stops the Agent service.
- Renames files so the old binaries are not “found” by the Agent, and the new binaries are found.
- Starts the Agent service.
- Deletes the old binaries
- ELM Agents run independent of the ELM Server and “old” Agents can still talk to “new” Servers. So while the ELM Server is being upgraded, and it stops and starts, event and performance data collection across your systems never stops.
To manage the ELM Agent upgrade process in a large environment it is a good idea to break down your population of systems into batches. This could be done by Agent Category, by location, name, function, whatever makes the most sense for your situation. In our example below, we have 20+ systems in our sales lab and we’re simply going to handle them 5 at a time in alpha-numeric order.
To begin we’ll group select the first five service agents, note we ignored the IP Virtual Agent.
Next we’ll right-click on this group, and choose All Tasks > Reinstall Agent.
This starts the wizard for Agent Reinstall and the upgrade process is automatic. Status indicators keep you informed of progress.
Once the upgrade process is complete the Install Summary will show a list of the systems that were upgraded and any errors encountered.
The next step would be to repeat this process on the next batch of 5 systems, and the next batch, and continue until upgrades are completed. If you get pulled away from the upgrade process or need a reminder where you last left things, a simple method to find your place again is to open the All Agents Container, then sort columns by Version. Save
As mentioned, don’t worry if you don’t get through upgrading all your systems all at once as “old” ELM Agents can still communicate with a “new” ELM Server.
We hope that you found this article on Upgrading in Batches informative and useful and wish you continued success with ELM.