There are many reasons why people appear on the Connect Forums or come to Symantec Partners saying that they have a really old version of Enterprise Vault and want to upgrade to the newest version. It could be that they just haven't had the staff to keep the Enterprise Vault environment up to date, or it could be that the version that they have 'did what it needed to do'.. at least until now. In this article I'll explain to you how you can upgrade to the latest version of Enterprise Vault using a number of different techniques.
Like many aspects of IT skills, budget, and pure and simple 'time' is something that often starts to fall behind or run in short supply. Enterprise Vault appears to have a new major release about once a year, with service packs more often than that, so for some organisations keeping up to the latest-and-greatest is tricky, and costly. This perhaps became a little harder with the introduction of Enterprise Vault 10 and the strict requirement for Windows 2008 R2 x64.
We've seen many organisations which are still running Enterprise Vault 7, and Enterprise Vault 2007 - and even a few running Enterprise Vault 6. These organisations have just come to realise that the version that they are using is very near end-of-life.
So, however the organisation go into the state of having an old version of Enterprise Vault, how can these organisations get up to date when they need to?
Solution: Upgrades, followed by upgrades, followed by more upgrades
Unfortunately with Enterprise Vault you can't just take an old Enterprise Vault 6 system and run a single upgrade to get to EV 10.0.4, for example. To go up from EV 6 to EV 10 involves many steps, for example:
Check OS version is okay - eg if Windows 2003 upgrade to latest service pack.
Do backups of everything ... twice
Upgrade to EV 7
Upgrade to EV 2007
Upgrade to EV 8
Upgrade to EV 9
Move to Windows 2008 R2 x64
Upgrade to EV 10
There might even be the requirement to upgrade to a particular service pack before jumping to the appropriate major version - all that is covered in the Enterprise Vault upgrade documentation. And of course sometimes it is not as simple as 'one big backup' at the backing and run through all of the upgrades, it might be that business continuity and/or risk management teams decide that you have to run for a few weeks with the upgraded version, before upgrading again. If that's the case, or even if you just want to do the belt and braces approach, you'd have to do new sets of backups between each upgrade. Time consuming - yes! Costly - yes!
All these steps are obviously very time consuming, and there is the additional step that at some point you have to switch Operating System to Windows 2008 R2 x64. You can add a little twist in to the steps above, in that when you get to EV 9 you can use the Server Settings Migration Wizard to 'jump' to new hardware and Enterprise Vault 10 in one step - but this also has some pre-requisites, especially when it comes to storage and it's position in the environment (storage needs to be remote or at least easily detachable, and re-attachable).
So whilst this approach is certainly do-able, it is one that takes quite careful planning, a lot of lab testing-time, and plenty of time to do the actual upgrade. Of course during that upgrade, or several upgrades, the services are going to be unavailable to end-users.
Are they alternatives to this long approach? Yes...
Solution: Move Archive
Another possibility when it comes to solving this type of problem is to use the Enterprise Vault Move Archive feature. It's been around for a year or two now, and in certain situations it can prove to do a migration to the latest version of Enterprise Vault quite well. The downside though is that it only supports reasonably recent versions of Enterprise Vault, so if you source environment is older than EV 8, then this isn't going to be an option for you.
Many organisations have pre-EV 8 environments, so is there an alternative solution for them? Yes...
Solution: 3rd party products
Using a third party product is something that could be considered. Whilst it may cost some extra money it certainly can eliminate many of the 'endless upgrade' loops that will almost certainly be encountered when going from an old version like EV 2007 to EV 10. It would be advisable to try to work out the costs associated by doing a one-by-one upgrade, versus the licensing costs of a third party product. You might be surprised at the result! One such product which is now quite mature is Archive Shuttle from QUADROtech. It uses a synch-and-switch approach to moving the archived data from the source environment to the target environment. It copes very well with different versions of Enterprise Vault, and provides the administrators a very well thought out layout for managing the migration of the archives.
Here is a screenshot of the interface showing the export/import progress of some test archives that I migrated:
Archive Shuttle has proven that it is fast too, with speeds of up to 100 GB per hour when extracting data and 80 GB per hour when ingesting data - these are not just in labs, they're in real customer environments.
As you can see as a customer of Enterprise Vault there a number of possibilities that can be explored in order for you to get up to date with Enterprise Vault. Of course you would need to ensure that you have an appropriately purchased license before going for any of these routes. Which one you go for may depend on many factors, like project time scales, resource availability, knowledge and skill of technicians involved and so on.
Which of these methods would you choose, and why? Let me know in the comments below...