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Update Peer Global File Service (PeerGFS)

This article describes how to install a minor update to PeerGFS. If you want to install a major upgrade, see Upgrade Peer Global File Service (PeerGFS). Major releases require a new license and can be requested by submitting the Peer Global File Service Upgrade Form. See Peer Software Lifecycle Policy to learn more about Peer Software major and minor releases.

Update versus upgrade

Although update and upgrade are often used interchangeably in the technology world, an update (or patch) is typically an enhancement to the current version of the software, while an upgrade is typically a whole new version of the software. Overall, the processes for updating and upgrading are very similar; however, an upgrade requires a new license version and a few additional steps.

Before you begin

Ensure that your environment is compliant with the Peer Global File Service environmental requirements by reviewing Peer Global File Service - Environmental Requirements.  Note that it is crucial to disable anti-malware and anti-virus software that may interfere with the installation and running of PeerGFS. Review the list of services that must be exempted from such software.

Overview of the PeerGFS update process

The PeerGFS update process is outlined below:

Task 1. Check to see whether an update is available.

Task 2. Back up the current PeerGFS configuration.

Task 3. Download the Peer Management Center installer.

Task 4. Install the new version of Peer Management Center.

Task 5. Update Peer Management brokers.

Task 6. Update Peer Agents.

Task 7. Update clustered Agents.

Technical Note: Clustered versus non-clustered Peer Agents

Within this article, we differentiate between an Agent and a clustered Agent.:

  • An Agent is one that that is installed directly on a server. This is the typical Agent installation.
  • A clustered Agent is one that is operating in an Windows Failover Cluster environment. Microsoft Failover Clustering is a capability built into Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and later that allows running applications and services to migrate between two or more nodes (Windows servers) to mitigate downtime due to the failure of a single node. Within this clustering framework, an application or service is only operational on a single node at any given time.
    A Peer Agent can be attached to and interact with a clustered file server role operating in a Windows Failover Cluster environment. Once configured, the Peer Agent service will operate within the context of the file server role, using the same storage, IP address and DNS name of the role. All Agent capabilities are available, as if the Agent was installed on a normal Windows File Server. In the event that the cluster node actively hosting the file server role and Peer Agent fails, both elements will automatically be moved and restarted on another node. After a brief period of time following the failover to another node, the Agent will reconnect and all jobs set to auto-start will begin.

See the step-by-step guide for detailed instructions on the update process.

Step-by-step guide

Task 1. Check to see whether an update is available.

Check to see whether a new version of PeerGFS is available (see Check for a new version of PeerGFS for instructions):

  • If Peer Software has already provided you with a link to an update or patch, you can skip this step and proceed to Task 2. Back up the current PeerGFS configuration.
  • If a minor update is available, you will download the installer in Step 3. Download the Peer Management Center installer.
  • If a major update is available, see Upgrade Peer Global File Service (PeerGFS).

Task 2. Back up the current PeerGFS configuration.

This step is optional but recommended.

PeerGFS configuration information and logs from previous installations are automatically saved during the installation of Peer Management Center. However, for an additional layer of protection, we strongly recommend that you manually back up PeerGFS.

By default, automatic backups are saved in the directory C:\Program Files\Peer Software\Peer Management Center\Hub\workspace\backups. However, you should save manual backups in a separate folder that is not located within other Peer Software directories.

For step-by-step instructions, see Back up your PeerGFS configuration manually.

Task 3. Download the Peer Management Center installer.

If Peer Software has provided you with a link to an update or patch, click the provided link and then download the Peer Management Center (PMC) installer to a readily accessible place on your PMC server (such as a folder on the Desktop), and then continue with Task 4.

If you did not receive a link but found in Task 1 that a minor update was available, continue with the following.

  1. In the Check for Updates dialog, click Yes to download the Peer Management Center (PMC) installer.


    As the update is downloaded, a progress bar appears in the lower right corner of the Peer Management Center window.

    The installer is downloaded to the Peer Management Center installation folder (typically C:\\Program Files\Peer Software\Peer Management Center\Hub\workspace-client\Installs\).
    After the download is complete, the
    Check for Updates dialog displays information about the update process.

  2. Click Yes to start the installation.

  3. Continue with Task 4.

Task 4. Install the new version of Peer Management Center.

  1. When the Welcome page of the Setup Wizard appears, click Next.

    The setup wizard detects the currently installed version. The first action that the installer takes is to uninstall the old version. This will not uninstall your jobs or configuration data.

  2. Click Next.
    The License Agreement page appears
  3. Select I accept the agreement to accept the license terms and conditions, and then click Next.

    The Select Destination Directory page appears.
  4. Click Next to select the previous installation folder.

    The Web Server Configuration page appears.

    Starting with PeerGFS 4.6, the Web Server Configuration page does not appear. Continue with Step 6 if it does not appear.

  5. Click Next to keep the same settings.

    The Select Start Menu Folder page appears.
  6. Click Next to accept the default Start Menu folder location.

    The Installing page appears. It shows the progress of the installation. At this point, all Peer services are stopped.

    After the installation is completed, the wizard present several options:

  7. Select your options:

    OptionDescription
    Run the Peer Management Center ClientSelect this option to open the Peer Management Center rich client.
    Download Peer Agent installerSelect this option if you want a copy of the Agent installer so that you can manually update an Agent or if you want to add a new Agent to your environment.
    Show the Installation folderSelect this option to view the Peer Management Center installation folder.
    Show the README fileSelect this option to open the Peer Management Center read-me file.
  8. Select Finish to finalize the installation.
    After the installation is finalized, Peer services are automatically restarted and the main Peer Management Center window reappears. Notice the Agents will be displayed in red in the Agents view, indicating that they need to be updated.

Task 5. Update Peer Management Brokers.

If you are not using the Network of Brokers, you can skip this task.

Upgrading Peer Management Brokers is currently a manual process.

To upgrade a broker:

  1. Use Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows Server where the broker to be upgraded is installed.

  2. Download the broker installer using one of the following methods:
    • In the PMC, select the Download Broker Installer command from the Help menu.
    • Use the download link that is included in the email containing your new PeerGFS license.
  3. Copy the installer to the server where the broker is installed.
  4. Right-click the installer and choose Run as administrator.
    The installer will automatically uninstall the old version of the broker.
  5. When the Welcome page of the Setup Wizard appears, click Next.
    The License Agreement page appears.
  6. Select I accept the agreement to accept the license terms and conditions, and then click Next.
    The Select Destination Directory page appears.
  7. Select the destination directory of the installation folder; it should be same as the previous installation.
  8. Once the installation is completed, ensure that the broker has been successfully upgraded by checking for the absence of the yellow status icon labeled Software Update Required.
  9. Repeat for all other brokers.

Task 6. Update Peer Agents.

The process for updating Agents depends on whether they are clustered Agents (Agents that are attached to a Windows Failover Cluster) or (non-clustered) Agents:

  • If your PeerGFS environment doesn't contain any clustered Agents, follow the instructions in this step.
  • If your PeerGFS environment consists of clustered Agents, follow the instructions in Step 6.
  • If your PeerGFS environment contains a mixture of both clustered and (non-clustered) Agents, follow the relevant instructions for each Agent.

Peer Management Center provides the ability to directly download and install software updates for Agents from within Peer Management Center. If, for some reason, the update through Peer Management Center fails or times out, you can manually update the Agent.

Upgrade Agents from within Peer Management Center

This is the preferred method for updating Agents.

To update connected Agents through Peer Management Center, follow these steps:

  1. Open Peer Management Center.
  2. In the Agent view, select all connected Agents to be updated.
  3. Right-click and select Install Software Updates.

    The Install Agent Software Update dialog appears.
  4. Click Yes.
    The Agents are automatically disconnected and the Agent update process begins. The installation process can take several minutes, depending on your connection speed and on the version of the Agent from which you are upgrading. 
  5. Initially, the Agents will be disconnected and will be displayed in red; once an Agent is upgraded, its status should be shown as Connected and will be displayed in green.
  6. Once all Agents are updated, restart your jobs.

Update an Agent manually

If the update through Peer Management Center fails or times out, you can manually update the Agent on the local server host where the Agent is installed.

To manually update an Agent, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Agent installer using one of the following methods:
    • In the PMC, select the Download Peer Agent Installer command from the Help menu.
    • Use the download link that is included in the email containing your new PeerGFS license.
  2. Use Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows Server where the Agent to be updated is installed.
  3. Copy the installer to the server where the Agent is installed.
  4. Right-click the installer and select Run as administrator.
    The installer will automatically uninstall the old version of the Agent.
  5. When the Welcome page of the Setup Wizard appears, click Next.
    The License Agreement page appears.
  6. Select I accept the agreement to accept the license terms and conditions, and then click Next.
    The Select Destination Directory page appears.
  7. Select the destination directory of the installation folder; it should be same as the previous installation.
  8. When prompted by the installer, make sure that the Broker settings are correct and match those of the prior installation.
  9. Once the installation process is complete, check the Agents view in Peer Management Center to ensure that the Agent has successfully reconnected. The Agent should appear green and connected and no longer require a software update.
  10. Repeat for all other Agents.

Task 7. Update clustered Agents.

The following steps describe how to update existing Agents in Windows Failover Cluster environments.

These instructions do not apply to adding new Agents to a cluster. Contact Peer Support for information on how to attach a new Agent to a Windows Failover Cluster.

To upgrade clustered Agents:

  1. Contact Peer Support to request the clustered Agent installer.
  2. Download the installer for a clustered Agent to an easily accessible place on the Agent server (such as a folder on the Desktop).
  3. Use Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows Server where one Agent is installed.
  4. Start the Windows Failover Cluster Manager.
  5. Disable the Agent service that is attached to each clustered file server role.
  6. Run the new clustered Agent installer.
    The new installer will automatically uninstall the old version of the Agent. When prompted by the installer, make sure that the Broker settings are correct and match those of the prior installation.
  7. When asked by the installer for the number of clustered file server roles, set it to the total number of roles that will run with an attached Agent across all nodes in this particular cluster. This number must match that of the previous installation.
  8. When prompted for each clustered file server role, enter the exact file server role name and the Agent working directory. The working directory will point to a location on a cluster disk attached to that clustered file server role. These settings must match those of the previous installation.
  9. Repeat for all other cluster nodes where the Agent is installed.
  10. Once all nodes have been upgraded, manually restart the Agent services attached to each clustered file server role from within the Windows Failover Cluster Manager.


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