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DavudOeden
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Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

Hello,

at the moment we are running SLES11 SP4 with an ext3 partition for GroupWise.

I want to upgrade to SLES12 SP4 first and if everything goes fine, change the fs type after upgrade from the GroupWise partition from ext3 to ext4.

I saw in the SLES documentation the ugrading process only works offline. Booting with SLES12-SP4 DVD and selecting the option "upgrade". I hope this process won't make any problems. But to be sure, I'm going to do a snapshot before.

I just have only some concerns migrating the ext3 to ext4 with groupwise data on it. Anyone some expiriences with the fs type migration ? Another option could be, to mount a new ext4 drive, copy the groupwise data from the old ext3 partition, rename the ext3 partition so the new ext4 partition gets the correct mount name...  But this would take longer and my groupwise would be offline for this time.

Doing the copy with dbcopy could be a possibility. So the offline time would only be for the last dbcopy run and for the renaming und mounting partitions time.

Another question for dbcopy. Does dbcopy "delete" files on the destination which does not exist in the source anymore, or does the dbcopy just do an incremental copy and the "destination" will always grow and will be bigger than the source ?

Thanks and regards.

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Knowledge Partner
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Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

The destination will grow.

Apart from that, the "new partition and dbcopy" way is a clean and reliable one. Are there any specific reasons for changing from ext3 to ext4?

 

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pvaiq6167 Contributor.
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Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

"Another question for dbcopy. Does dbcopy "delete" files on the destination which does not exist in the source anymore, or does the dbcopy just do an incremental copy and the "destination" will always grow and will be bigger than the source ?"

No, DBcopy is not a sync tool. I t does not delete files on the target and the destination will just keep on growing. At several customers I use the DBCopy tool to make online copies of their post offices (and domains) to a seperate disk and perform a normal file backup of the copied data.  The copied data is also a Restore area.  Due to restrictions of available space every sunday the whole "copy" is deleted and a full dbcopy job is run, that way the "copy" never gets too big.

 

"I want to upgrade to SLES12 SP4 first and if everything goes fine, change the fs type after upgrade from the GroupWise partition from ext3 to ext4."

Everytime I've wanted to change the File system, I've created a new disk partition with the desired filesystem and used DBCopy to copy the data.  I try to keep my customers post offices relatively small, so depending on how much data this could be a lengthy proccess.  The only downtime you'll need is for the final dbcopy.  You can use dbcopy with particular parameters to only copy newer data or files changed since the last run. Refer to the GroupWise documentation for details.  Like I said, I've never migrated the file system and instead have taken the longer but more reliable route.

Hope this helps,

Mike

 

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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)


@DavudOeden wrote:

I want to upgrade to SLES12 SP4 first and if everything goes fine, change the fs type after upgrade from the GroupWise partition from ext3 to ext4.


Hi Davud,

I would not upgrade the existing server. Instead I would create a new SLES12 server and do a migration.

When you update an existing server to a new major release, some new features may not be implemented. For example, if the new version has a new default for the filesystem, the existing one will not be changed.

Another reason for creating a new server and doing a migration is that you can always fall back to the current one should you encounter any issues whereby the migration cannot be completed.

A GroupWise migration is not difficult but there are a lot of things to consider. I discuss the various options you have in this article I wrote. Have a look at it then I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

GroupWise Migrations – A Better Way

 

 

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

One thing to keep in mind if you will be spinning up a new SLES12 server.  The file system there is BTRFS.  GroupWise doesn't work well with this file system so you will definitely need to change that before you migrate your GW data over.

 

Pam

Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)


@probello wrote:

One thing to keep in mind if you will be spinning up a new SLES12 server.  The file system there is BTRFS.  GroupWise doesn't work well with this file system so you will definitely need to change that before you migrate your GW data over.

 

Pam


Hi Pam,

BTRFS does offer advantages but should never be used for GroupWise (or eDirectory). I assume when you say "GroupWise doesn't work well with this file system so you will definitely need to change that before you migrate your GW data over."  you are not suggesting that BTRFS be abandoned entirely but that the volume containing the GroupWise domains and post offices cannot be BTRFS...

 

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Micro Focus Expert
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Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

Kevin,

 

Yes, I should have been more clear.  GW is not advised running on a BTRFS file system

 

Pam

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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

And here's the next opinion for you:

 

Forget ext4, period. If you update, stay with ext3, the migration to ext4 is a waste of time, ext4 has no advantage whatsoever over ext3 for groupwise. 
If you decide to migrate (I wouldn't, but I never cared much about advice by vendors, which seem to be only interested in stealing your time), go with XFS. Personally, I'd update the existing machine to SLES12SP4, and be done with the whole thing in 30 minutes. Before you boot the SLES12 media, change the OS type in vmware to SLES12 and you're good to go.

CU,

Massimo

CU,
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Massimo Rosen
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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

You also haven't mentioned what version of GroupWise you are running.  If you are running any flavor of 14.2.x, WebAcess is not supported running on SLES12SP4 due to the tomcat version.

 

Pam

Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

@mrosen 

I agree completely with your file system recommendations but, IMO, a new install and a migration is safer and it provides opportunities to refine the server configuration if need be when the new server is created.

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Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

There's always two sides two a medal. Totally reinstalling the OS and the application (here groupwise), unless there's a truly compellng reason, which hasn't been mentioned yet, will almost certainly make you miss some settings done in the old system for good reasons that everybody has forget about.

Copying tons of data around without having to, *always* has the potential to miss or corrupt something along the way unnoticed that worst case you only realize days or weeks later when it's too late. Murphy says it's the important attachment of the mail your boss needs to open in a few months.

And I can't think of much that needs to be changed in such an upgrade that it warrants installing a new server. Unless of course the old one has been played to death or is unstable for unknown reasons and you want to start from scratch for that very reason.

But even then I would just detach the groupwise data from the old VM and attach it back to the new VM, and would *NOT* dbcopy it. If necessary, make a copy of the disk at VM level.

And as for VMWare not supporting "major OS updates". That's because they are too lazy to properly document what this involves, and way too many people do this without thinking (and without reading/understanding the docs, if they would exist). There is no real technical reason behind this. It's just an attempt to avoid calls by stupid people having done stupid things.

CU,

Massimo

 

 

CU,
--
Massimo Rosen
Micro Focus Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de
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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Upgrade SLES & change fs type (GroupWise)

@mrosen 

Every situation is unique and has to be judged on its own merits. In these forums where we don't always have all the details our recommendations have to be more general in nature and should be viewed more as guidelines rather than a hard and fast rule.

I have worked on some VMs that have had in place upgrades done over many versions to the point that some of the features installed with the initial release are still in use and no longer actively supported. Obviously, that is not a good situation. While VMware's policy regarding in place upgrades to a major new release may appear to be a cop out, it still may leave the user with an unsupported production VM. For these reasons my first choice is now a new install and i'll only consider an in place upgrade if I have a compelling reason to do do.

As for copying data, of course that should be minimized. In Davud's case, if he wants or needs a different file system he has to copy the data. In many situations dbcopy is not the best solution and I provide alternatives in my article GroupWise Migrations – A Better Way

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Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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