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Re: [K12OSN] upgrade success was: upgrading to 2.1

On Sun, 7 Jul 2002, Steve Wright wrote:

>Ahhh, 2.1 is up.   For the record ;
>Insert CD 1, boot it, click "upgrade"  AND DON'T FOOL AROUND WITH THE 
>And that was it..  User accounts, website, other 3rd party software - 
>all still there - all running.

Don't try this at home...

I have two OLD servers that I "inherited" three years ago that desperately
needed upgrading. Both are a complicated mess, tons of customizations and
all sorts of strange hacks done by other folks.

I upgraded both to Red Hat 7.3 on Friday, here's how I dealt with it...

The first server wasn't as bad as the second, I had done a fair amount
of clean-up work already. I chose to build a second box, copied over all
of the data, and verified that it all worked properly. Once I felt 
comfortable that it would actually work, I blocked access to the production
box, rsynced all of the data over, and switched IP addresses on the two
boxes. Five minutes of downtime and I only had one small bug to squash.

Thrilled with how "easy" (so to speak) the first box was to do, I tackled
the second. The second box is a frieghtening mess. There is so much junk on
this one that the "get the configuration right & quickly rsync the data"
trick wasn't going to cut it. I decided to do a full backup and just go for it.

I was pretty sure that slapping in the Red Hat 7.3 discs and selecting
"Upgrade" would take me days to fix all of the little things that broke.
I decided it would be better to do it "live", while the machine was running,
one sub-system at a time & fixing the problems as I went. Doing a major kernel
& glibc upgrade on a running box is an interesting trick, but I got it to work.
Then I upgraded one thing at a time, leaving the really nasty stuff like
Apache/Perl (custom modules) and Postgres (6.x -> 7.x) for last. This took
half the day, but with the exception of a reboot didn't have any downtime.

Yuck! ;-)


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