Domino 7 Upgrade - Who Needs a Helpdesk?

Monday 14th August, 2006
This weekend I performed a major upgrade, taking our primary UK mail/applications server from Domino R6.5.4 to Domino R7.0.1.

There's numerous benefits to R7 including the improved user policies, Domino Domain Monitoring and a complete Resource Reservations overhaul.

It's not a small server, with total data around 300GB and some mailfiles over 7GB...naturally this had to be planned carefully for minimal disruption. This is where Domino really excels!

Because server and clients versions are not linked, you can quite happily upgrade one without the other; upgrading the server will simply add the new functionality ready for the client rollout.

So, at 8am on Sunday morning I signed on to watch the overnight "compact -B" maintenance task complete and perform some testing. It's always important to check things are fully working before you perform maintenance. Testing complete, I took the server offline and ran a full "fixup -F" and "updall -R" against all databases. With 300GB of data that had been online 24/7 for 6mths before the upgrade, I like to give it a nice consistency check.

Once the consistency check was complete, some 10 hours later, I performed the code upgrade which took the usual 5minutes; followed by some reconfiguration and testing. The Resource Reservations system was upgraded to the new version along with the mail-in Diagnostics DB. A couple of tweaks in server and config documents to optimise for R7 and we were away. Everything tested perfectly, mail/calendar/blackberry and we were back online early evening.

During this time however, we had zero downtime on the mail system due to our cluster backup server. The secondary server remained online at all times, serving users who wanted to access email during the off-line period. As soon as the primary server came back online, all changes replicated between the servers in minutes. Of course the backup server is still running R6.5.4, the version don't need to match...we'll do the other one next weekend!

Incidentally, both of these machines are running 64-bit ready Intel CPUs; but both are still running the 32-bit Windows 2003 OS platform. Our Windows admin team have never deployed a 64-bit Windows server and we certainly aren't ready to put one into production yet. No worries, Domino 7 happily runs on the older platform...we'll happily upgrade to the newer OS when we're good and ready. Interestingly, if an OS upgrade was required, we'd have exceeded our maintenance window as it would simply have taken too long;  we'd have to have run this maintenance over 2 separate weekends.

So, I signed off around 19:30 and left the Monday morning checks to my colleague who was in at 7am.

The Result: Not one issue. Not one support call...not a one. My users just don't even know it happened. They're still using the same client version, it all just works.

I love it when a plan comes together.

  1. 1) Alan Lepofsky Said: (15/08/2006 15:52:44 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Domino 7 Upgrade - Who Needs a Helpdesk?

    What? No need for new hardware? No parallel infrastructure up and running at the same time? No updates required to your corporate directory? No need to assign the server a new "role type" requiring you to rethink your infrastructure? :-) Great story, thanks for sharing.

  2. 2) Andy Dennis Said: (15/08/2006 22:13:25 GMT) Gravatar Image
    Domino 7 Upgrade - Who Needs a Helpdesk?

    Hi Ben! we've been running a mixed version cluster without any issue for 5months now.. Now how can you do that with any other product! (R7 and R6.5.5).

    Looks like we followed the same process. That ESP must still be in place!

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