Overview

Every IT leader's goal is the same - provide the most functional, flexible IT infrastructure possible as the lowest price. All technology has a shelf life. Innovation advances at a rapid pace. Advancing from the present to the future requires the continual utilization of the upgrade process. Upgrades are executed on all technologies including hardware & software. An old server can be replaced with a newer model. An old software version replaced with the most recent.

BestHardware & Software Upgrade Explanations

Understanding

Hardware and Software upgrade is a multistage process that requires procedures to be performed in a specific order with a minimum chance of system downtime. An appropriate plan for upgrade should be established so as to identify all requirements for each stage. The upgrade improves the system's performance and updates it new technologies on minimum costs. Before the upgrade, you should become familiar with the prerequisites and involved tasks then decide whether you need to upgrade manually or automatically.

Hardware Upgrade Process

  1. Planning
    Develop a thorough project plan and focus it on a solution, task list, and project schedule. Establish the hardware that is required for the new system as a result of the preferred solution. The prerequisites required to support the new hardware should also be determined in the initial stage of the upgrade. Put into considerations the backups, recovery and the anticipated time for downtime during the upgrade period and whether side-by-side services will be required.

  2. Ordering
    Analyze the developed detailed plan to realize the feasibility of the upgrade, the risk factors involved with the upgrade, and whether the requirements will have been met after process completion. Place the order if everything appears to be in line with your detailed plan.

  3. Preparation
    Prepare your data center system for the upgrade. Preparing the environment might involve adding, replacing, or removing the failed hardware feature and activating inactive resources. In regards to the hardware compatibility, there may need to upgrade the software before replacing the hardware feature or performing unit expansion. For example, in server upgrade, you should ensure that the source server is cleaned by removing failed resources, unsupported disk units and deleting device configurations. Perform data back up in the event of server upgrade before installing any hardware prerequisites and ensure completion of checklists.

  4. Pre-Installation
    Examine the prior procedures performed to determine if you are ready for the upgrade or you may be required to complete any remaining work item. After ensuring that everything is in order, meet the authorized service provider and display all the pertinent information such as target hardware configurations.

  5. Installation
    The hardware upgrade should be done after confirmation of software compatibility with the new hardware. The authorized service provider conducts the hardware upgrades and presents the new hardware and its physical configuration to client review.

  6. Post-installation
    After reviewing the hardware and its physical configuration, you can then configure the target equipment i.e. server. It involves configuration of the hardware management console, migration of existing logical partition configurations, rearrangement of hardware as per logical partitions and setting up the logical partitions. After the process, perform hardware testing as detailed in the test methodology plan.

Software Upgrade Process

  1. Plan the upgrade
    This will help you know the expectation at each stage of the process. You can do this by reviewing the upgrade documentation for information about the anticipated behavior, versions compatibility, and requirements for preparing the production environment. During upgrade planning, necessary information such as inputs and expected outputs for each phase are gathered and technical specifications of new software are analyzed. The team to perform the upgrade, the budget, resources and time for the upgrade process are determined in this stage.

  2. Access
    Application in the Source Environment- It involves auditing of applications to determine the software to upgrade. The auditing of the existing environment includes performing a site survey where current production environment is accessed to identify areas which require attention during an upgrade. The software used in the environment is also assessed where operating systems, web servers and databases are examined to determine the version upgrade version required.

  3. Back Up Everything
    Copy the system files to a secondary location and keep it in a safe and secure place for data recovery after software upgrade. You should protect the directory from an inappropriate and unauthorized access.

  4. Run a Trial Upgrade
    A trial upgrade will reveal whether the upgrade plan will work or adjustments need to be done. The trial upgrade enables the authorized team to become familiar with the upgrade tools and the process itself so they can predict what to happen after performing the actual process. Following a software upgrade, the application software works in a new environment with little intervention thereby, by running a trial upgrade, they are able to validate the chosen application to check if the expected outcomes are produced.

  5. Upgrade a Staging Site
    After completion of technical aspects of the software upgrade and resolving any emerging issue, the copy of the live site is upgraded to a testing environment. At this stage, the testing/staging site should only be accessible by the permitted users, therefore, email processes should be switched off to avoid messaging users during testing.

  6. Perform Testing
    Conduct functional, non –functional, quality assurance, data integrity, security, performance, and design testing to capture and track errors if any. Identified issues should be allocated to a specialist to resolve them. Although upgraded system software might be functional, it may not satisfy all business requirements it was implemented to achieve.

  7. Configure the System
    With the deployed and tested the upgraded site, the system administrator is expected to ensure that the newly introduced functionalities are configured correctly. He/she may adjust or update some features and settings to match the business operations and accommodate the users.

  8. Prepare Documentation
    User manuals and technical documentation describing deployment requirements are crucial for the success of upgrades. The documentation provides an overview of system software and helps shareholders understand the underlying technology.

  9. Provide Training
    The Company should train the right people who interact with the system on daily basis. Training resources and documents should be available for user reference to ensure consistency in system usage.

  10. Go Live
    As the new system is put into operation, ensure the old system’s information is still available and run the two concurrently for a short period to ensure the new system is operating correctly
    .
  11. Track Efficiency and Perform an Upgrade Review
    Establish the measures of the new system to check whether the implementation has been successful by comparing the systems production capability. Also, review the upgrade project afterthought to determine where improvements can be made during the next upgrade.

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