Upgrade older versions of Orion Platform products

Upgrading earlier versions of Orion Platform products sometimes requires multiple steps. The following sections walk you through the process of preparing your environment, building your upgrade path, and upgrading to the latest version:

Minimum product versions that can be upgraded with the Orion Installer

If you have the following product versions or later, you can use the Orion Installer to upgrade directly to the latest product version:

  • ACM 2017.3
  • DPAIM, all versions
  • Engineers Web Toolset 11.0
  • EOC 2.0
  • IPAM 4.3.0
  • LA (formerly Log Manager) 1.0
  • NAM/NOM 2017.3
  • NCM 7.5
  • NPM 12.0
  • NTA 4.2
  • SAM 6.2.4
  • SCM 1.0
  • SRM 6.3
  • UDT 3.2.2
  • VMAN 6.3

    If you are upgrading VMAN, see the VMAN Upgrade Guide for information about your options for retiring or keeping the VMAN appliance, and how your choice affects the upgrade.

  • VNQM 4.2.3
  • WPM 2.2

If you have earlier versions, use the Orion Installer to plan your upgrade, and then use a legacy product installer to upgrade to the earliest supported version, as described in the following sections.

Before you start

Use the information in this topic to prepare for your installation or upgrade. Use the checklists to prepare your environment, and review the list of "gotchas".

Considerations for upgrading older product versions

Before you upgrade from an older product version, review the following upgrade considerations.

Orion Platform upgrade considerations

  • If you experience issues and are not on the latest product versions, upgrade all products to the latest versions.

  • If you wrote your own code by changing SolarWinds .css files or adding .js files, or you were directed to make changes by SolarWinds Support, the code might be overwritten during the upgrade. See Upgrading if you have custom code.

  • Always verify that you have enough hard drive space for zipped and unzipped installers. One unzipped installer can consume several GBs of space.

  • If you are upgrading Orion products with Dell Carbon Black installed, we recommend stopping or removing Carbon Black. This security product causes issues with MSMQ starting. For details, please see this article.

  • 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 might 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 reenable your HA pools.

  • Orion Platform 2016.1 and later products have new port requirements: 5671 (Rabbit MQ messaging), 17791 (agent communication to 2008 R2 SP1), and 17778 (SW Information Service, agent communication to 2012).

Product-specific upgrade considerations

  • NTA: NTA 4.4 and later uses a different type of Flow Storage Database than NTA 4.2.3 and earlier. If you upgrade from NTA 4.2.3 or earlier, flow data cannot be migrated. (For more information, see this article.)

    Because of this change, SolarWinds does not recommend upgrading from NTA 4.3.2 or earlier. Instead, uninstall the earlier version and then install the current version.

  • NPM: NPM 12 and later no longer includes the Orion Global Search. This feature was a technical preview available in NPM 11.5.X. For details, see this article.

  • VMAN: If you are upgrading from VMAN 7.2 or earlier, refer to the VMAN Upgrade Guide.

Upgrade your products

Task 1: Build your upgrade path and download the required installers

SolarWinds recommends using the Orion Installer to build your upgrade path. Regardless of how old your products are, the Orion Installer provides:

  • A thorough upgrade path that you can download using the Save Upgrade Path option
  • Links to release notes for each installation
  • Links to download the installers that you need

Generating an upgrade path does not start the upgrade or affect your current environment.

  1. Download the Orion Installer:
    1. Log in to the Customer Portal.

    2. Under Latest Downloads for Your Products, locate one of your Orion Platform products and click Choose.

      You can download the installer for only one product module, even if you are upgrading multiple products.

    3. Click Download to download either the online or offline installer:
      • Online: Use this option if your Orion server has internet access. This option guarantees that you have an up-to-date installer with the latest optimizations and fixes. It is the most efficient option, because it downloads only what it needs and nothing more.

      • Offline: Use this option for installations without Internet access. The offline installer is a prepackaged file that includes everything you need for a large combination of dependencies and products.
    4. Save the installer on your Orion server.
  2. Run the Orion Installer to generate the upgrade path.

    The installer generates the upgrade path for all of your SolarWinds products. This example shows the installer's ability to generate complex upgrade paths:

  3. Use the provided links to download the installation files for each product version.

    If you are using the offline installer, use a computer that is connected to the Internet to download the product installation files from the Customer Portal.

    You can download all files at once, or you can download each installation file when you are ready to run it. Some installation files can be large. Make sure you have enough space to download and unzip the files.

  4. Click the link below the upgrade path to download the path for reference.

    You can rerun the Orion Installer at any time during the upgrade process. It detects the currently installed products and generates an updated upgrade path.

Task 2: Disable alerting actions and stop services

  1. To prevent false alert storms during upgrades, SolarWinds recommends disabling alert actions: 
    1. From the Orion Web Console, click Alerts & Activity > Alerts.
    2. In the upper-right corner, click More.
    3. Select Pause actions of all alerts.
  2. Open the Orion Service Manager and stop services on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.

Task 3: If you are upgrading with HA, disable the HA pool

The HA pool must be disabled to upgrade. If you upgrade without disabling it, the pool is automatically disabled.

  1. In the Orion Web Console, click Settings > All Settings > High Availability Deployment Summary.
  2. Select the pool you want to disable.

  3. Toggle High Availability to Off.

Do not modify the VIP, IP address, or virtual host settings for the servers.

Task 4: Upgrade each product version in the upgrade path

Complete the following steps to upgrade your entire Orion deployment to a product version. Then mark that product version as complete on your downloaded upgrade path. Be sure to upgrade product versions in order, based on the upgrade path.

Repeat these steps until all products are upgraded to a version that is supported by the Orion Installer.

Depending on the product version, you might have a smart bundle that includes all of the installation files required for an upgrade, or you might need to download files separately.

If you have problems running an installer, check the following:

  • Verify that the installer is not blocked. Right-click the installer file, and select Properties. If Unblock is available, select it.
  • Right-click the installer file and select Run as Administrator.
  1. Upgrade the main polling engine, and run the Configuration Wizard.

    Upgrade tip: If you upgrade multiple versions of the same product, skip the website optimization step in the Configuration Wizard. To save time, run this step only with the last installation.

  2. If you have scalability engines (APEs, additional Web servers, and HA servers) and the download bundle does not include the scalability engine installers, download them through the Orion Web Console:
    1. Click Settings > All Settings.
    2. Select the settings:
      • APEs or HA servers: In the Details group, click Polling Engines.
      • Additional Web servers: In the Product Settings group, click Web Console Settings.
    3. Click Download Installer Now.
    4. Copy the installer to your APEs, HA servers, or additional Web servers.

    For detailed information about upgrading legacy scalability engines, see Legacy Orion product installers for main poller, additional polling engine, additional web servers, and HA.

  3. Upgrade all APEs to the same version as the main polling engine, and run the Configuration Wizard.

    Upgrade tip: Save time by upgrading all APEs simultaneously.

  4. Upgrade each additional Web server to the same version as the main polling engine, and run the Configuration Wizard.
  5. If you are upgrading with HA, upgrade the secondary server to the same version as the main polling engine.

During an additional web server upgrade, you can point users to the website of the main polling engine, or to any web server that is already upgraded.

Task 5: Upgrade all products to the current version with the Orion Installer

When you have upgraded all products to versions that are supported by the Orion Installer, run the installer again to upgrade all products to the current version. See Install or upgrade Orion Platform products for details.

Task 6: 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:

  1. Open the Manage Agents page. Orion Agents requiring upgrades display Update Required.
  2. Select all agents needing updates and click More Actions > Update. The agents upgrade in the background.

You can enable the option through Settings > All Settings > Agent Settings and click Define Global Agent Settings.

Task 7: Restart services and re-enable alert actions

  1. Open the Orion Service Manager and start services on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all Web servers.
  2. If you disabled alert actions, complete the following steps to enable them again.

    If you have alerts configured to notify you when certain entities have not been polled for a certain time, wait at least two polling intervals between restarting services and re-enabling alerts. This ensures that polling has caught up, which prevents false alerts.

    1. From the Orion Web Console, click Alerts & Activity > Alerts.
    2. In the upper-right corner, click More.
    3. Deselect Pause actions of all alerts.

Task 8: If you are installing with HA, enable the HA pool

When the upgrade is complete, enable the HA pool. You might need to recreate the HA pool. For details, see this article.

All SolarWinds product versions must match on the primary and secondary servers before you can re-enable your HA pools.

  1. In the Orion Web Console, click Settings > All Settings > High Availability Deployment Summary.
  2. Select the pool you want to enable.
  3. Toggle High Availability to On. The Orion Web Console verifies all SolarWinds product versions match across the HA pair before enabling. If you receive errors, check your product versions.

Task 9: Check your system after the upgrade

Open the Orion Web Console and verify that the upgraded version number is displayed in the footer. Try current and new features with your system to check performance and expected functionality. If you run into issues, see the troubleshooting tips.