This posting isn’t about my personal upgrade experiences. That posting will come later. For now this posting is more about the available resources and tips for an upgrade to SCOM 2016.
Can I upgrade from SCOM 2012 RTM/SP1 to SCOM 2016? No you can’t…
Like always, Microsoft only support upgrade path N-1. Meaning, N is the ‘latest & greatest’ which is SCOM 2016 RTM. And N-1 is the most previous version, being SCOM 2012 R2.
At this moment of writing it’s unsure which UR level is required. However, to be on the safe side of things I would prefer to be at least on UR #9 level here.
I know, UR #11 is out for some time now (there is no UR #10 for SCOM 2012 R2), but unlike UR#9, I am still not sure whether UR #11 is issue free. Therefore my personal choice to be on UR #9 level before upgrading to SCOM 2016.
Again, this is my personal choice and approach, until now Microsoft hasn’t made any official statements here.
So when you run an older SCOM 2012 version, like SP1 or even RTM(?!), there is NO direct upgrade path to SCOM 2016! So upgrade to SCOM 2012 R2 first (only possible when running SCOM 2012 SP1, read the N-1 bit of this posting ), and then move on to SCOM 2016. However, in situations like these, it’s better to roll out a new SCOM 2016 environment.
Gladly there is official Microsoft documentation on TechNet all about upgrading to SCOM 2016, to be found here. Even though it’s based on TP5, it won’t change that much when System Center 2016 goes GA.
So far the TechNet documentation seems to be pretty complete. Like any other upgrades PREPARATION is key! So follow the official guide lines setout by your company. Make backups! Be sure there is always a way back. Otherwise it’s you on the way out and your next question will be whether the customer wants french fries with their order…
Soon I’ll start upgrading some test environments of myself and share those experiences on my blog.
Here are some tips in order to make the upgrade to SCOM 2016 a smooth ride:
Tip #01: Only Upgrade When You’re 100% Sure You CAN Upgrade…
Ony upgrade SCOM 2012 R2 (UR #9) when you’re sure ALL the moving parts of your SCOM 2012 R2 environment (server OS, SQL and so on) match the SCOM 2016 requirements. Until now only the requirements for System Center 2016 Technical Preview can be found. This will change soon I guess.
Tip #02: Don’t Forget The Pre-Upgrade Tasks
READ and EXECUTE the Pre-Upgrade Tasks. This will save your day (and job…). I’ve seen too many failed uprgades because the people didn’t follow up on that! Which is a shame, because it makes your life so much easier.
Tip #03: Be Patient Or You Might Kill SCOM
Always – when upgrading to the latest version of SCOM – start with ONE SCOM Management Server only! Never ever start the initial upgrade on multiple SCOM MS servers. Why? Because when the first SCOM MS server is upgraded, the related SCOM databases are ‘touched’ as well. As a result multiple SQL scripts are running in order to upgrade those SCOM databases to SCOM 2016. When finished, a flag will be set on those databases, so those scripts won’t run twice. However, when you run the initial upgrade from multiple SCOM MS servers, that flag isn’t set, resulting in the upgrade scripts running multiple times, resulting in a BROKEN SCOM environment. So be PATIENT, and upgrade your enviroment PER SCOM MS sever, even when the first one already upgraded successfully.
Tip #04: Alongside Migration Scenario Can Save You A Lot Of Time/Pain
If there are multiple components not supported by SCOM 2016 (like the underlying server OS for the SCOM Management/Gateway Servers or the SQL server instances used by SCOM), it’s sometimes better to start new and using the Alongside Migration Scenario.
In this type of migration, you build yourself a new SCOM 2016 Management Group and update all existing SCOM Agents (on 2012x level) to SCOM 2016. This will multi-home the SCOM Agents, which will report now to the current SCOM MG – based on SCOM 2012x – and to the new one running SCOM 2016.
As a result the SCOM 2016 Agents will inherit the same GUID, making the import of the Override MPs from the SCOM 2012x to the new SCOM 2016 MG, far more easier. Of course, you have to provision new SCOM Gateway Servers since they can only report to ONE SCOM MG at the time, not more.
But still, you go from a monitoring situation – based on SCOM 2012x – to a monitored situation using SCOM 2016. So there won’t be many ‘black outs’ monitoring wise. No big bangs, but a gradual move to SCOM 2016 instead.
Tip #05: Test It!
Never ever upgrade your production environment like there is no tomorrow. Be patient. First upgrade a test environment and ascertain yourself all is still okay.
Tip #06: Don’t Forget 3rd Parties & Other SC 2012x Components!
Also think about 3rd party software like Derdack Enterprise Alert, SquaredUp, Savision and so on.
Also when SCOM is part of the whole/partial System Center stack, make sure you upgrade the SC components in the right order:
As you can see, there is a typo here. My guess is that item #1 should be SCSCM . However, per environment the dependencies can be different. So TALK with all the people and departments involved. Esspecially when SCOM is hooked up to SCSM, it might involve a lot of customized MPs.
Also when there is a dependency with SCVMM, make sure you know what you’re stepping into.
Only in small and isolated SCOM 2012 R2 UR #x environments, the upgrade might be a small step. Howeverm many times SCOM is bigger AND not an island but hooked up to many other platforms and products. So be carefull in situations like these, prepare yourself thoroughly and only upgrade when you’re sure all the affected products/services officially support SCOM 2016 as well.