Best practices for SEM upgrades

Most standard SEM deployments upgrade a single virtual appliance. If you have multiple SEM virtual appliances, SolarWinds recommends upgrading these appliances in the following order:

  1. Alert database appliances
  2. RAW nDepth appliances
  3. Manager appliances

If you have a High Availability (HA) system, upgrade the primary appliance first, followed by the secondary appliance. You can upgrade logging servers and network sensors at any time.

The upgrade will overwrite the system partition and cannot be interrupted or undone. SolarWinds recommends exporting (Hyper-V) or taking a snapshot of (vSphere) your SEM virtual appliance before running the upgrade. You can delete the snapshot upon confirmation of a successful upgrade.

Resize the SEM virtual appliance

You can increase the SEM virtual appliance capacity by increasing the SEM virtual appliance size in your hypervisor. This process adds up to 15 minutes to the boot-up process to adjust the file systems.

See your hypervisor documentation for information about increasing the appliance size.

During the boot-up process, do not turn off or reboot the appliance until the startup is completed. Subsequent bootups and reboots do not require an additional amount of time.

To retain your log data for an extended amount of time, you may need to increase the SEM virtual appliance size. You can increase your SEM virtual appliance capacity by increasing the hard disk size in your VMWare vSphere® or Microsoft® Hyper-V client.

Always shut down the SEM virtual appliance before you reconfigure the vSphere or Hyper-V client disk.

When you increase the size of your virtual appliance, use the following guidelines:

  • You can exceed the 2 TB limit with a fresh SEM deployment (for versions 6.4 and later only). If your upgrade path included 6.3.1 and older, please contact Customer Support for assistance.
  • The maximum virtualization platform disk size for Hyper-V:
    • VHD - 2TB, for very old Hyper-V only.
    • VHDX (recommended) - 2TB or more is supported.
  • After you increase the virtual disk size, you cannot decrease its size using the same methods.
  • If you have VM snapshots, you cannot increase the size of your virtual appliance.

Additional considerations for VMware vSphere

If you are running VMware and do not have snapshots, you can edit the VM settings and change the size of the disk. During startup, the virtual appliance recognizes the change in disk size and partitions and adjusts the file systems appropriately. If snapshots are available, the disk size field is disabled.

If you need to increase the size of your virtual appliance, delete all VM snapshots or increase the existing VM by cloning it onto a larger disk. See your vSphere documentation for more information about performing these tasks.