In the software economy we live in today, we depend on our applications to be there when we need them and function as expected. Anyone who has worked with software for any length of time has upgraded an OS, a favorite game, or a suite of software tools they use every day to perform their job. Unfortunately, most of us have also received the dreaded upgrade failure message:
This message, and others of the same ilk, have broken the spirit of many strong men and women. Comparable to the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death), the results of a failed upgrade can be devastating, even if the OS or environment has not been corrupted. Unlike the BSOD, however, which can come when no events are underway, upgrade failures always occur during an action in progress. The actions that lead to failures are not always known and may be a result of poorly written software, but the good news is that many upgrade failures can be prevented.
Upgrades are a necessary and often desired feature of the application economy, since they help us get the latest and greatest from our apps.
CA APM is no different; new versions released periodically encourage users to upgrade so that they can take advantage of more stable code, greater functionality, new features and bug fixes. While not as simple and quick as upgrading an app on a smartphone, upgrading APM can be accomplished safely and reliably when you prepare and heed the Six Ps of Successful APM Upgrades: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
I can’t stress up-front planning enough. As with any project where time, technology, people, processes and money are involved, the importance and benefits of planning a software upgrade can’t be overstated. A plan that outlines the pre-and post-steps gives us not only a roadmap to follow but also confidence in knowing that nothing gets overlooked before, during or after the upgrade.
Upgrading CA APM may seem intimidating at first, but with some help from the CA Services Upgrade Offering, which documents the steps and artifacts to follow or use, the chances of a successful upgrade are greatly enhanced:
- Inventory environment(s): Know what you have before you jump in to upgrade
- Healthcheck environment(s): Ensure that your existing software and environment are ready to be upgraded
- Determine upgrade type: New or in place
- Pre-upgrade planning:
- Inventory checklist
- Healthcheck final report with remediation tasks, if necessary
- Sizing plan if additional capacity is required
- Upgrade plan that spells out the what, where, when, who and how
- Staging plan that identifies environments and determines the order of the upgrade
- Post-upgrade plan that outlines configuration items to be addressed after the upgrade
- Backup and restore plan, a detailed plan based on the inventory and upgrade plan
- Test plan that outlines how you will you know the upgrade has been completed successfully
- Review all prerequisites and steps in product documentation: Final preparations to be made
- Upgrade non-production before upgrading production: This goes without saying
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nowhere does the adage take on more meaning than when upgrading your software. Heed the six Ps, take time to plan and prepare your software upgrade, and follow the plan: If you do all that, you’ll be able to congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Information about upgrade services from CA can be found on ca.com.