How to: Upgrading a Northern Storage Suite Installation

Introduction

This article describes the correct procedure for performing an upgrade of Northern Storage Suite. It also offers best practice for backup of settings to ensure smooth transition between versions and roll-back possibilities. It is of course advisable to perform upgrades in a controlled manner; lab testing, upgrading a single production server and proving your common use cases, etc. Also, do not hesitate to contact Northern Technical Support if you require assistance in completing change control documents.

Check Version Compatibility
Before proceeding with an upgrade it is necessary to confirm that a standard upgrade (using the NSS install package) is possible and that the client of the new version can successfully manage the servers of the older version (i.e. the versions can co-exist without the need for multiple clients). The rule of thumb is that the currently installed version should be no older than one major version back.

Standard Upgrade: Northern Storage Suite's software installer will automatically upgrade any currently installed version of the same and the previous major version branch (i.e. a version 9.3 installation package will upgrade a version 9.0 and a version 8.0 installation).

Backwards compatibility: the client component of a new version of NSS will be able to manage the servers of any previous version within the same major and the previous major version branch (i.e. the 9.3 client will be able to manage version 9.0 and version 8.0 servers).

Contact Northern Technical Support if you are uncertain of the compatibility and/or 'upgradability' of your currently installed version(s).

Download Software Package
The current public version of the software can be downloaded from the community pages of Northern's web site http://northern.net. Log-in using your Serial Number and navigate to Technical > Download Software. You will be asked to provide the name of your organization's point of contact for the solution before being given access to download the software package.

Reboot Requirement
Where the NSS server to be upgraded is managing local resources (DAS and SAN) a reboot will be required to complete the upgrade. Where the NSS server is managing remote devices (NAS) a reboot can be deferred.

Backup of Existing Settings

Export Quota Configurations
Quota policies and settings should be backed up in two ways. The first method is to create a full backup of all quotas managed by the server(s) to be upgraded using the command-line tool QSEXPORT.

Instructions on the use of this tool can be found in KB - 2823. Follow the steps described in this KB article and perform an export of the quotas managed by the host to be upgraded. Save the export file to a location outside of the NSS installation folder, c:\ for example, it is also recommended to name the export "servername_quotaexport.csv" for easy identification.

Backup Quota Settings
The second method for safeguarding quota settings is achieved by copying the Registry Keys associated with Quota Server on the machine that is being upgraded. This method also includes a backup of the configuration of the Quota Server server itself; SMTP configuration, Storage Portal integration, etc. 

Run Regedit and export as a .REG file the registry keys:

Windows server stand alone:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\NORTHERN or,
HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NORTHERN

Windows server cluster:
(export from each node)

HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NORTHERN,
HKLM\Cluster\SOFTWARE\NORTHERN

 

NOTE: the exported REG file is confirmed valid only for the current version running. The primary goal of this backup is to allow secure roll-back- It will not be possible to import these registry keys, unedited, in the new version of the software as method of importing previous settings.

Backup of Report Configuration
Host scans and scheduled reports should be backed up by making a copy of certain configuration files held in the NSS installation directory. There are two sets of files to be copied:

  1. Make a copy of all files and sub-folders in the path "NORTHERN\Storage Suite\Database", for standalone server the default path is "c:\Program Files (x86)" or "c:\Program Files", for MSCS Cluster the path will be the data path as defined when the NSS Cluster Resource was configured.
  2. Make a copy of the files 'NSS_DBSettings.xml' and 'NSS Server Settings.xml' from the installation path.

The copies of these files should be placed outside of the NSS installation directory on the server, they should not be renamed.

Backup Storage Portal Customizations
If changes have been made to the Storage Portal pages or display settings (KB - 2825) it is advisable to make copies of the edited files to ensure changes are not lost during upgrade.

  1. If changes have been made to the way in which Storage Portal displays reports make a copy of the file "i_Settings.txt" in the NSS installation path '..\Storage Suite\MyStorage\Include\en-us\'.
  2. If changes have been made to the texts shown in the Storage Portal pages make a copy of the file "i_Texts.txt" in the NSS installation path '..\Storage Suite\MyStorage\Include\en-us\'.

Upgrade of Stand Alone Server

The upgrade process is straightforward. The installation package will identify the existing installation of NSS and propose an upgrade.

  1. Extract the installation files from the ZIP archive.
  2. Ensure all Northern Storage Suite client windows are closed.
  3. If upgrading a Windows Server 2008 R2 server, right-click the setup.exe file and choose 'Run as Administrator' from the context menu, for other operating systems simply double-click the setup.exe file.
  4. The upgrade procedure will begin. The preparation phase may take a few minutes.
  5. Click 'Next' to confirm that you wish to upgrade.
  6. At the end of the upgrade proedure you may be prompted to reboot the server. A reboot of the server is required after upgrade when the NSS server is managing local resources (DAS and SAN) as the Kernel Mode components of NSS can only be updated through re-boot. When the upgraded server is managing remote storage only (NAS) a reboot can be deferred.

Upgrade of Clustered Servers

If upgrading from NSS 8.7 to NSS 9.0 please consult the section below for special considerations. When upgrading a Northern Storage Suite installation across MSCS nodes it is important to take the NSS resources offline until the upgrade of all nodes is completed. Moving resources from an upgraded node to one still running the older version can cause instability and corruption of the NSS configuration. Follow the procedure below:

  1. Bring NSS Core resources offline.
  2. Bring NSS Quota resources offline.
  3. Move all services / cluster groups to a second node.
  4. Run the upgrade, as described above for stand alone installation, on the first node (now completely passive).
  5. Reboot the node (assuming the NSS deployment is managing storage local to the MSCS cluster)
  6. Move all services / cluster groups to the first node (now upgraded)
  7. Repeat steps 4-5 on the second and any remaining nodes.
  8. Re-balance the services between nodes as they were prior to the procedure.
  9. Bring NSS Core online.
  10. Bring  NSS Quota online.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR 8.7 > 9.0 CLUSTER UPGRADE
When upgrading an MSCS system from NSS 8.7 to NSS 9.0 it is necessary to uninstall the current version and perform a new, clean installation. Use the following procedure:

  1. Delete the NSS Core resources from each node
  2. Delete the NSS Quota resources from each node
  3. Via Control Panel > Programs and Features, uninstall Northern Storage Suite
  4. Delete the NSS Core Cluster Supervisor from each node. From the command line (on each node) run:
    sc delete "NSS Core Cluster Supervisor"
  5. Perform an installation as per instructions detailed in KB-1761.

Do not hesitate to contact Northern Technical Support if you are uncertain of the steps required in your system.

Registering New ActiveX Controls

Following upgrade it may be necessary to update current client controls. This is performed automatically the first time any new controls are used. Choose to Install and register new controls when prompted.

KB2840-ActiveX

Importing Previous Settings

The installation process should always retain previous settings; the only time a manual import of backed-up settings should be required is in the event of some accidental deletion of settings files. The need for manual import can be determined by opening the Quota Server and Reporter clients and identifying if all quotas, reports, etc. appear as expected.

The following procedures should only be followed if it is determined that a manual import of previous settings is required.

Import Quota Policies
The command line tool QSIMPORT should be used to import previous quota settings into the upgraded installation. Instructions on the use of this tool can be found in KB - 2823. Follow the steps described in this KB article and perform an import of the quotas previously managed by the, now upgraded, host.

Import Report Configurations
Reverting to previous report configurations is achieved simply by overwriting certain files in the installation directory with the desired configuration files, as follows:

  1. Stop the NSS Core Server service.
  2. Overwrite the directory "c:\Program Files\NORTHERN\Storage Suite\Database" using the backup copy taken prior to upgrade.
  3. Overwrite the files 'NSS_DBSettings.xml' and 'NSS Server Settings.xml' in the path "c:\Program Files\NORTHERN\Storage Suite\" with the backup copies taken prior to upgrade.
  4. Restart the NSS Core Server service (no server re-boot is required).

Import Storage Portal Customizations
In the event that customizations to the display or text within Storage Portal are not retained through an upgrade:

  1. If report display customizations have been lost: overwrite the file "i_Settings.txt" in the NSS installation path '..\Storage Suite\MyStorage\Include\en-us\' with the copy made prior to upgrade.
  2. If text customizations  have been lost: overwrite the file "i_Texts.txt" in the NSS installation path '..\Storage Suite\MyStorage\Include\en-us\' with the copy made prior to upgrade.

Roll-back to Previous Version

A full roll-back of NSS may be required in certain situations; a specific and well used feature is no longer supported in the newer version, a compatibility issue with an older application or platform in the environment, etc. In the event of this need it is recommended that you contact Northern Technical Support and receive instructions specific to your circumstances before rolling-back your installation.



KB Article: 2840

Updated: 12/11/2014

  • Category
    • Usage
  • Affected versions
    • NSS 9.0
    • NSS 9.5

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