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Upgrade Peer Global File Service (PeerGFS)

This article describes how to install a major upgrade to PeerGFS. If you want to install a minor update, see Update 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.

Upgrading from releases prior to v4.5.2

Customers running PeerGFS v4.5.2 and above can upgrade directly to PeerGFS v5.1.  Customers running releases prior to v4.5.2 will first need to upgrade to v4.7, then upgrade to v5.1.

If you need to perform a two-step upgrade, please contact Peer Software support or request a v4.7 temporary license by submitting the Peer Global File Service Upgrade Form.

Overview of the PeerGFS upgrade process

The PeerGFS upgrade process is outlined below:

Task 1. Check to see whether an upgrade is available

Task 2. Obtain a new license

Task 3. Back up the current PeerGFS configuration

Task 4. Download the Peer Management Center Installer

Task 5. Install the new version of Peer Management Center

Task 6. Install the new license

Task 7. Upgrade Peer Management brokers

Task 8. Upgrade Peer Agents

Task 9. Upgrade 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 upgrade process.

Step-by-step guide

Task 1. Check to see whether an upgrade is available

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

Task 2. Obtain a new license

To obtain a new license:

  1. Request the license using the Peer Global File Service Upgrade Form. The new license will be emailed to you.
  2. Download the license file to the Peer Management Center Server.
  3. Store the license file in a readily accessible place. You will need this file after installing the upgrade.

Task 3. Back up the current PeerGFS configuration

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 4. Download the Peer Management Center Installer

  1. Peer Software will email you a link to download the Peer Management Center (PMC) installer. Contact Peer Support if, for some reason, you do not receive the link.
  2. Download the PMC installer to an readily accessible place on your PMC server (such as a folder on the Desktop).

Task 5. Install the new version of Peer Management Center

  1. Navigate to where you downloaded the Peer Management Center installer on the PMC server.
  2. Right-click the installer and select Run as administrator.
    The installation wizard dialog appears.
  3. 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.
  4. Click Next.
    The License Agreement page appears.
  5. Select I accept the agreement to accept the license terms and conditions, and then click Next.

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

    The Select Start Menu Folder page appears.
  7. 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:
  8. 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.
  9. Click 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 6. Install the new license

See Install a new PeerGFS license for details on installing the new license file.

Task 7. Upgrade Peer Management brokers

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

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 8. Upgrade Peer Agents

The process for upgrading 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 9.
  • 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 upgrades for Agents from within Peer Management Center. If, for some reason, the upgrade through Peer Management Center fails or times out, you can manually upgrade the Agent.

Upgrade Agents from within Peer Management Center

This is the preferred method for upgrading Agents.

To upgrade 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 upgraded.
  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. 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.
  5. Once all Agents are updated, restart your jobs.

Upgrade an Agent manually

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

To manually upgrade 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 upgraded is installed.
  3. Copy the installer to the server where the Agent is installed.
  4. Right-click the installer and choose 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 completed, verify the status of the Agent in the Agents view of the Peer Management Center. Confirm that the Agent has successfully reconnected by ensuring that it is displayed in green and as connected. Additionally, there should be no indication that a software update is required for the Agent.
  10. Repeat for all other Agents.

Task 9. Upgrade clustered Agents

The following steps describe how to upgrade 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. Use Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows Server where one Agent is installed.
  3. Start the Windows Failover Cluster Manager.
  4. Disable the Agent service that is attached to each clustered file server role.
  5. Run the clustered Agent installer.
    The 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Repeat for all other cluster nodes where the Agent is installed.
  9. 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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