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Planning for upgrade

This section provides information about the aspects of upgrading that you must plan for. 

Infrastructure planning

It is important that you understand the infrastructure requirements. When you upgrade to higher versions, you might need to provision for newer hardware and the latest software. The following mind map discusses the different aspects of infrastructure planning. The table that follows points you to information that can help you plan your infrastructure.

Important

You must review the compatibility matrix to get a complete idea of version compatibility, supported databases, and supported operating systems.

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What are the hardware requirements?

BMC published guidelines for hardware sizing based on a series of enterprise-scale tests to demonstrate the scalability and performance of the following applications:

  • BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite (BMC Remedy ITSM Suite)
  • BMC Service Request Management
  • BMC Knowledge Management
  • BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (BMC Atrium CMDB) applications

See Hardware requirements

What are the software requirements?

Review the following sections:

Anything I need to know if I am upgrading in a server group?

You must decide whether you want to use new hardware or existing hardware for secondary servers.  

Will I need additional hardware?If you are upgrading with a staging server, you will need additional hardware. To understand staging server implementation, see Setting up a staging server.
Which databases are supported?

The following databases are supported:

  • Unicode databases
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle databases
  • IBM DB2
  • Sybase databases

See Preparing your database.

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Upgrade path planning

Your existing version will determine the specific upgrade path you choose. The following mind map discusses the different aspects of upgrade path planning. The table that follows points you to information that can help you plan your upgrade path. 

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From which versions can I perform a direct upgrade?

You can upgrade directly to BMC Remedy ITSM 8.1.xx from BMC Remedy ITSM 7.0.03 patch 009, or a later version. You must review the compatibility matrix to understand the earliest supported version for the platform components and other BMC Remedy ITSM applications.

If you are upgrading from a version earlier than BMC Remedy 7.0.03 patch 009, you must first upgrade to BMC Remedy ITSM 7.0.03 patch 009 and then upgrade to 8.1.xx.

This upgrade path involves the following process:

  1. Upgrade the BMC Remedy AR System server to the latest version. 
  2. Create overlays for all your customizations. Use the Best Practice Conversion Utility (BPCU) to convert all your customizations into overlays.
  3. Upgrade other components and applications to the latest versions.

For more information, see End-to-end steps for parallel upgrade of the suite.

How do I upgrade from a version earlier than 7.6.04? 
  1. Upgrade the BMC Remedy AR System server to the latest version. 
  2. Create overlays for of your customizations. Use the Best Practice Conversion Utility (BPCU) to convert all your customizations into overlays.
  3. Upgrade other components and applications to the latest versions.

For more information, see End-to-end steps for parallel upgrade of the suite.

How do I upgrade from a version later than 7.6.04?

If you have already created overlays, you can directly upgrade each component to the latest version. The Best Practice Customization mode of BMC Remedy Developer Studio ensures that all customizations are saved as overlays.

For more information, see:

What is the difference between upgrading from a version earlier than 7.6.04 and a version later than 7.6.04?

In BMC Remedy Action Request System 7.6.04, the overlays feature was introduced to preserve application customizations during the upgrade process. During an upgrade, the upgrade installers ignore application overlays and change only the objects that were originally installed with the application or server. After the upgrade, the application or server continues to use the overlays instead of the origin objects for run-time operations so that the customizations are preserved. 

Typically, due to the customization, the latest features are hidden behind a customization. You need to reconcile such a customization to use the features. However, after reconciliation, the original customizations and the workflow will be intact.

When upgrading from a previous release that was customized without overlays, you will need to create overlays for existing customizations, acquire origin objects, restore origin objects on the staging server, and minimize the number of overlays on your system.

Can I just upgrade my platform components?

You can upgrade just your platform components only if your entire BMC Remedy ITSM environment is version 7.6.04 or later. In this case, you can perform a platform-only upgrade.

For more information, see:

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Upgrade scope planning

Depending on your business needs, you can restrict the scope of your upgrade. The following mind map discusses different aspects of upgrade scope planning. The table that follows points you to information that can help you plan the upgrade scope. 

Important

BMC strongly recommends that platform and applications must be at the same and latest version.  

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What are the benefits of a complete suite upgrade?

You must perform a complete suite upgrade in the following circumstances:

  • You are upgrading from a version earlier than 7.6.04.
  • You want to avoid compatibility complications.
  • The latest versions include fixes for issues in the older version.
  • You want to derive value from the latest platform and applications. Even though the the platform components are backward compatible, it is best to upgrade the complete suite.
  • Upgrading the complete suite helps improve performance.
Can I just upgrade the platform components?

You can upgrade just the platform only if you are upgrading from version 7.6.04 or later.

For more information, see Upgrading the platform.

Can I just upgrade the applications?

You can upgrade just the application components only if you are upgrading from version 7.6.04 or later.

For more information, see Upgrading the applications.

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Upgrade scenario planning

There are multiple ways of upgrading the BMC Remedy ITSM Suite. Depending on the complexity of your environment you need to choose one scenario that suites your requirements. The following mind map discusses some aspects of upgrade scenario planning. The table that follows points you to information that can help you plan for your upgrade scenario. 

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What is an in-place upgrade?

When you perform an in-place upgrade:

  • You perform the upgrade in the production environment.
  • Additional staging hardware is not needed.
  • Additional load-balancer or configuration updates are not needed.
  • Delta data migration is not needed.
  • Data validation is not needed.
  • There is minimal overall upgrade time and complexity.
  • You can perform the upgrade in stages by initially upgrading the BMC Remedy AR System server or BMC Remedy Mid Tier.
  • For a server group:
    • Users can start working after the primary administration server is upgraded.
    • Users can start accessing each secondary server only after it is upgraded.
What is a parallel upgrade?

When you perform a parallel upgrade:

  • You use a staging server, which allows you to upgrade your application and create overlays or otherwise address pre-existing customizations to your BMC Remedy AR System server objects while your production server remains available to users.
  • The original production environment is preserved, allowing fast fallback.
  • There is minimal end-user downtime.
  • You need to perform delta data migration.
  • Upgrade is not confined to a fixed upgrade window but can be done over several days or weeks.
  • For a server group:
    • Users can be active throughout most of the process.
    • Users can start accessing each secondary server after it is upgraded and added to the load balancer.
What planning is needed for a staging environment?

When planning for a staging environment, consider the following:

  • Ensure that hardware for the server you want to make the production server meets the requirements.
  • Provision for a staging development server. You will perform your upgrade on this server.
  • Provision for a staging QA server. You will perform functional testing on this server.
  • Provision for a staging production server. You will go live with this server.
  • If you are upgrading from a version earlier than 7.6.04, you must provision for a reference server.

For more information, see Working in a staging environment.

You must also decide which of the following methods you want to use to set up the staging server:

Accelerated method

  • To upgrade using an accelerated staging server (database-only upgrade), you create a copy of the production server database in the staging environment only.
  • The AR System server must be upgraded on the staging server against the copy of the production server database only.
  • BMC out-of-the-box (OOTB) configurations are applied after the upgrade in the staging environment.

For more information, see Setting up an accelerated staging server.

Duplicated method

  • To create a duplicated staging server, you create an exact duplicate of your production server.
  • You must perform a normal upgrade with a file system.
  • Configurations of the production environment are retained in the staging environment.

For more information, see Setting up a duplicated staging server.

Where can I find end-to-end steps for the scenarios?

You can find end-to-end steps for the following scenarios:

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Production planning

To perform the actual upgrade, you must preplan your production activities. The following mind map discusses different aspects of production planning. The table that follows points you to information that can help you plan your production activities.

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What are the recommendations for planning down time?

Ideally, you should plan your down time to occur during weekends. Also, if you want less down time, opt for a parallel upgrade.

For more information, see User acceptance testing.

Where should I maintain my environment details?

Before you start installing or upgrading products, you must gather information about the required parameters that the installer prompts for each product. The planning spreadsheet helps you to gather these parameter values. To avoid installation errors, refer to this spreadsheet when you run the installation.

For more information, see Completing the planning spreadsheet.

What are the different upgrade phases?

Typically, upgrade for each component comprises the following phases:

  • Preupgrade procedures
  • Performing the actual upgrade
  • Postupgrade procedures
What are the recommendations for UAT planning?

See, User acceptance testing.

What preparations do I need to make before I begin?

Before you begin the upgrade, you must do the following preparation:

  • Understand the different BMC Remedy ITSM Suite installers
  • Complete the planning spreadsheet
  • Download the installation files
  • Obtain BMC Remedy license keys
  • Prepare your database
  • Prepare the base platform
  • Perform preupgrade checks and configuration checks

For more information, see Preparing.

Are there any utilities that I will need?

You will need the following utilities:

  • Best Practice Conversion Utility (BPCU)—Helps to identify platform and application customizations and convert them to overlays. For more information, see Best Practice Conversion Utility.
  • Delta Data Migration tool—Allows you to upload the data that changed on a production server during the time that a staging server was being upgraded. You will need this tool to perform the staged upgrade, whether or not overlays are implemented. For more information, see Migrating delta data.
  • BMC Remedy Developer Studio—Required for all upgrades. BMC Remedy Developer Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for BMC Remedy AR System applications. For more information, see Application development with BMC Remedy Developer Studio in the BMC Remedy AR System documentation.
  • BMC Remedy Configuration Check utility—A centralized framework utility that validates the environment for BMC Remedy ITSM Suite installation or upgrade. The utility generates a consolidated report. For more information, see Preupgrade checks and configuration checks.
  • Snapshot plug-in—For a list of all the overlay objects that were modified in the latest release, obtain the Snapshot utility (a BMC Remedy Developer Studio plug-in). This unsupported utility is available on the BMC Developer Network (https://communities.bmc.com/communities/community/bmcdn).
  • Maintenance Tool—A product diagnostic utility for performing health checks, collecting logs, and encrypting passwords.

For more information, see Collecting logs, diagnostics and performing system health check using the Maintenance Tool.

Where can I find information about issues I need to be aware of?

See:

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Upgrade planning kit

The following table lists the collateral available in the upgrade planning kit. 

Click here to download the kit.

You could use...To help you...
Sample project plans

Create an upgrade project plan using the attached template as a reference.

Interactive quick start guide

Choose an upgrade strategy and understand the end-to-end steps for different upgrade scenarios.

Planning spreadsheet

Gather information about the parameters the installer requires for each product, before you start installing or upgrading the products. To avoid installation errors, refer to this spreadsheet when you run the installation.

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