Network Performance Monitor Upgrade Guide (deprecated)
Last Updated: September 10, 2019 | SolarWinds Upgrade Guide
Supports: NPM 12.1
This topic has been deprecated. See Install or upgrade Orion Platform products for information about upgrades.
Does the installer say you are running a legacy version? See Upgrade older versions of Orion Platform products.
Starting with NPM 12.0, you can upgrade using the SolarWinds Orion Installer.
Even if you have an older version, you can use the installer to scan your environment and provide your upgrade path. Then use the instructions below to upgrade to one of the minimum versions. After that, you can continue using the SolarWinds Orion Installer to complete your upgrade.
This guide walks you through upgrading only your NPM product. We include checklists to prepare and complete your upgrades, gotchas, and troubleshooting steps. This guide includes information on upgrading with SolarWinds High Availability (HA).
Upgrading multiple products? See our SolarWinds multiple products upgrade guide!
Preflight upgrade checklist
This preflight checklist details a number of important steps to help plan and prep for your upgrade.
|Review release notes||
Review product release notes and available documentation in our Success Center.
Review product release notes in our Success Center.
|Review system requirements||
Make sure your environment has all of the required hardware and software needs for your installations. You can verify the requirements for products and multi-module environments guidelines.
Product requirements include:
You may need to also check the administrator guide for your product to locate the requirements.
For all port requirements, see Port Requirements for all SolarWinds products.
See URLs used by the Orion Platform for a list of URLs to add as exceptions to your firewall.
|Review licenses||Review your current product licenses and determine if you need to make any changes. You can download any updated license keys for your upgrade through your Customer Portal. Verify any license upgrades and needs with your SolarWinds account manager or contact SolarWinds.|
|Do you need to migrate?||
You may need to migrate products and databases to new dedicated servers or to shared servers. Check if you need to migrate by reviewing new requirements, your products, and your current environment.
Migrating adds time to your upgrade, but you have the best opportunity to update to new servers during an upgrade.
|Gather credentials||Make sure you have all account credentials, SQL database credentials, your SolarWinds account, and local admin server credentials.|
|Build your upgrade path||
Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to build your upgrade path. Even with older product versions, you can use the Orion Installer to build a detailed, accurate upgrade path.
The Product Upgrade Advisor is still available, but it does not include all product versions. For this reason, SolarWinds recommends using the Orion installer.
|Run all Windows updates||Before upgrading, check for and run all Microsoft Windows Updates on your main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all additional web servers. As you upgrade, if a Windows update runs, your system may reboot as needed by Windows.|
|Schedule the upgrade||Set up the maintenance window, preferably off-peak hours. Depending on the number of products, size of database(s), and size of environment, you may need hours to complete your upgrade.
Upgrades will require polling engines and SolarWinds services to be offline for a length of time, causing you to lose a portion of polling data.
|Notify your company||Send a message to your company of the upgrade schedule and maintenance window. If you need additional help, contact and allocate specific staff to be available.|
How long does an upgrade take?
The time it takes to complete an upgrade depends on:
- Database server performance and database size
- Number of additional polling engines
- Number of additional web servers
- Environment performance
- Number of modules being upgraded
- Number of devices being polled
Since every configuration is different, we cannot predict exactly how long your upgrade will take. Through this guide, we include steps and tips to help reduce the time for your upgrade.
Gotchas you should review
- NPM 12.4 is no longer compatible with Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.
- NPM 12.4 is no longer compatible with any version of SQL Server 2012.
- When upgrading an Additional Polling Engine (APE), you may receive this error "The license we have for Orion Scalability Engine is outdated". Deactivate your APE license using the License Manager application, upgrade the APE, and then activate the license through the Orion Web Console's License Manager in the Settings page.
- When upgrading to NPM 12.1 with custom menus, you can not see the Performance Dashboard link in the menu. For details, see this article.
- When upgrading to NPM 12.1, if you added a site binding to a host name before you upgrade, you must bind the Orion Web Console to a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). See this article.
- After NPM 12.1, future releases will no longer support Windows OS 2008 and 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. NPM 12.1 currently supports these versions. After NPM 12.3, future releases will no longer support Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2. SolarWinds recommends that you upgrade to Windows 2016 or later at your earliest convenience. For more information, see End of support notices.
- If NPM and DPA are installed on the same server, follow this article before upgrading NPM.
- SolarWinds installations on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 require a Microsoft hotfix to fully use the FIPS-compatibility features of SolarWinds products. For more information about this required Microsoft hotfix, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981119.
General Orion Platform gotchas
- Orion Platform 2018.4 products are no longer compatible with Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.
- Orion Platform 2018.4 products are no longer compatible with any version of SQL Server 2012.
- If you wrote your own code, by changing SolarWinds .css files or adding .js files, or were directed to make changes by SolarWinds Support, the code may be overwritten during the upgrade. See Upgrading if you have custom code.
- Always check that you have enough hard drive space for zipped and unzipped installers. One unzipped installer can consume several GBs of space.
- During your upgrade, use the Scalability Engine Installer. If you use downloaded installers or the installer bundle, you must install one product and version at a time. The versions must match between the main and additional polling engines or you will receive a Database Configuration Failure Error.
- If upgrading from a very early or End of Life SolarWinds product version, you may want to install a new product instead of performing an upgrade or migrating data. SolarWinds Support can provide the best advice for these upgrade scenarios.
- If you enabled SolarWinds High Availability, you must disable High Availability before you can upgrade. You must have the same versions of SolarWinds products on your primary and secondary servers before you can re-enable your HA pools. See Upgrade with HA in the topic on upgrading multiple SolarWinds products..
Prepare your environment to upgrade
When you are ready to upgrade, complete these steps. They include the common actions you need to complete before upgrading products.
If you have a test or staging environment, we highly recommend testing the upgrade first. You cannot roll back an installation once completed.
1. Back up the DB
Snapshot your VMs
Back up your SolarWinds SQL database. If you need help, please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.
If you have your database on a VM, create a snapshot or copy of your VM.
You cannot roll back an upgrade. Always create a database backup.
|2. Back up custom code (Optional)||
(Optional) Back up your custom code. When upgrading, any custom additions or changes to the interface will be saved over.
3. Back up Report Writer reports (Optional)
Upgrading to an Orion Platform 2016.1 or later product? You can skip this step.
If you use Report Writer reports (NPM 10.5 and earlier) or still have legacy reports, back up the reports folder to save your custom reports:
|4. Exclude files on anti-virus software||
To ensure the best performance on your server host and provide full file access, exclude specific file paths and directories from anti-virus software scans. See this article for details.
You can also place your systems behind a firewall to completely disable your anti-virus software during an upgrade.
|5. Stop services||Stop services in the Orion Service Manager on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.|
|6. Disable alert actions||
To prevent false alert storms during upgrades, SolarWinds recommends disabling alert actions:
Upgrade with High Availability
To upgrade a server pair in a SolarWinds High Availability (HA) pool, follow the instructions for upgrading your product with the following differences.
If you enabled SolarWinds High Availability, you must disable HA before you can upgrade. All SolarWinds product versions must match on the primary and secondary servers before you can re-enable your HA pools.
These instructions assume you have an HA pool already created and enabled.
|1. Disable the HA pool||
The HA pool must be disabled to begin upgrading. If you upgrade prior to disabling, the pool is automatically disabled.
Do not modify the VIP or IP settings for the servers.
|2. Upgrade the primary server||Follow the upgrade instructions in the next section for the primary server. If you need to upgrade multiple products in the upgrade path, complete those upgrades fully.|
|3. Upgrade the secondary server using Orion Scalability Engine Installer||
Download the Orion Scalability Engine Installer on the primary server and run it on the secondary server to upgrade:
|4. Enable the HA pool||
When the installer completes, enable the HA pool using the following instructions. You may need to recreate the HA pool. For details, see this article.
This checklist details the steps for upgrading only NPM in your environment.
Upgrade Tip! If you upgrade multiple versions of the same product, skip the website optimization step in the Configuration Wizard. Only run this step with the last installation to save time.
1. Installation step using the upgrade path (Repeatable)
Following the upgrade path, download the NPM product installation file from your Customer Portal in the My Downloads area. Save this file to your systems.
If you are directly installing NPM 12 or later, see step 3.
Depending on the version, you may have a smart bundle of all install files per system, separate files to download, or the standalone installer.
After installing this product and version on your entire environment, check the product and version as done on your downloaded Upgrade Path PDF or list. If you have additional versions to install, repeat this step.
|2. Run the improved installer||
Upgrade the Main Polling Engine
When finished, use our improved standalone installer. To learn more about upgrading with the installer, see this article.
This installer runs a series of tests against the current environment and products.
Run the installer on your main poller.
When done, complete these installation steps for the Additional Polling Engine and Additional Web Server. For instructions and details on the bundle and Scalability Engine install options, see Orion product installers for main poller, additional polling engine, additional web servers, and HA.
Upgrade Additional Polling Engine and Additional Web Server
When you upgrade your additional polling engine (APE) and additional web server (AWS), you will use a new unified Orion Scalability Engines Installer.
This new lightweight installer is far faster for upgrading your APE and AWS than installing one module at a time!
|3. Upgrade Orion Agents||
If you have the Global Agent Setting to Allow automatic updates (enabled by default), the Orion Agents automatically upgrade in the background. Agents are tied to their release version. You can skip manually upgrading agents if the option is enabled.
The upgrades take a bit of time to complete, but will not require any actions. Agents update at a throttled number of 10 to limit the impact on the polling engine. As soon as one agent completes upgrading, another agent takes its place so there are always 10 active threads until all agents are upgraded.
If automatic upgrades are disabled, upgrade the Orion Agents:
You can enable the option through Settings > All Settings > Agent Settings and click Define Global Agent Settings.
|4. Start the engines||
Start services in the Orion Service Manager on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.
|5. Re-enable alert actions||
If you have alerts configured to notify you when certain entities haven't been polled for "X" number of minutes or similar, ensure that you have waited at least two polling intervals before re-enabling alert actions so that polling has caught completely up, which prevents false alerts.
After the upgrade check your system
All product versions should be installed properly. Open the application and verify the versions displayed in the footer of the Web Console. Try current and new features with your system to check performance and expected functionality. If you run into issues, check the troubleshooting tips.
If you receive errors, try the following:
- If you experience issues and are not on the latest product versions, we recommend completing a full upgrade. Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to create the upgrade path. Many of these updates solve issues you may experience part way through your upgrade.
- Check our Success Center for troubleshooting. We recommend searching the name of the product, the version number, any error codes or messages displayed, and the general issue you found.
- Check your Customer Portal for any new hot fixes.
- If you receive a (500) internal server error after an upgrade, use the Orion permission checker to make sure your Group Policy is not locked. See this article for full details.
- If your views do not load when first opening the console, run the Configuration Wizard again.
If an issue occurs you need additional help with, contact Support. We recommend gathering diagnostics, a screenshot of the issue, and any error codes you receive. Attach and add this information to your ticket. You may also want to gather additional diagnostics on your additional polling engines and web servers.
Want to learn more?
- Still need to download the upgrade? Visit the Customer Portal.
- Check the NPM Getting Started Guide or additional our NPM documentation.
- Review the latest NPM release notes.
- Try out NPM in the SolarWinds demo.
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