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This topic describes the process for upgrading your BMC Helix services:


 BMC Helix ITSM services

BMC Helix ITSM services, including Smart IT and Smart Reporting, are described within the following topics:

Release availability

BMC's Helix ITSM solution has two releases per year - a .02 release and a .08 release, generally available in February and August of each year. Patches are released as needed, and may be applied to your environments if an incident warrants its provisioning to mitigate a issue. BMC recommends staying within one release of the current generally available version at all times.

Requesting an upgrade

Upgrades to your BMC Helix ITSM solution are performed by BMC's SaaS Operations team and are included as part of your subscription fees. BMC has a highly skilled upgrade team dedicated to managing and executing upgrade projects. Upgrades are scheduled and managed by an assigned project manager.

To request an upgrade, either submit a request through the BMC SaaS support portal using the Request an ITSM Upgrade option, or work through your Business Relationship Manager (BRM) to coordinate a start date that is mutually convenient for both parties. Detailed upgrade documentation is available from your BRM or upgrade project manager upon request. A review of this documentation will help you understand what is required from your end and help you make a decision on project scheduling and resourcing.

The upgrade process

The table below describes both the actions that BMC performs during an upgrade and the actions that you must perform during the upgrade, for each phase in the upgrade process. The timing of each phase is approximate and may vary depending on the complexity of your solution and the availability of your internal staff.

Definitions

Cutover is a process that enables you to move from an old environment to a new environment.
A sanity test is a brief run-through of the functionality to ensure that it works roughly as expected.

Upgrade phase

BMC actions

Customer actions

Planning (1 week)

  • Confirm and publish milestone dates and timeline
  • Schedule the environment-specific upgrade and cutover tasks
  • Provide required reference documentation (including customization and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) documentation)
  • Provide new release documentation (including enhancements, corrected and open issues, and webinars)
  • Agree to key milestone dates for:
    • Starting the upgrade
    • Starting or finishing UAT
  • Plan required preparatory work (review documentation, webinars, test plans, and so on)
  • Commit resources (UAT, reconciliation, integration and Quality Assurance (QA))
  • Communicate milestone dates and required actions to stakeholders

Upgrading (1 week)

  • Copy the production environment to the base environment and backup the base environment
  • Perform the software upgrade:
    • Configure applications and system
    • Perform pre-delta data migration sanity tests
    • Synchronize transaction data from production with the upgraded environment (delta data migration)
    • Perform post-delta data migration sanity tests
  • Communicate development code freeze and changes involving:
    • Service Request Definitions
    • Service Level Agreements
    • Approval rules
    • Definitions (form changes, workflow, and so on)
  • Prepare and share UAT plans

Reconciliation (2 weeks)

  • Reconcile integrations and customizations (working with the customer's development staff)
  • Test customizations to ensure that they are working
  • Validate out-of-the-box functionality in related areas to ensure proper functioning and avoid duplication
  • Verify and validate external integrations
  • Migrate delta data
  • Perform sanity test
  • Share changes required to make current customizations work
  • Back up the environment and image
  • Release the environment to the customer for UAT
  • Review and verify integrations and application customizations
  • Participate with BMC during customizations and integration reconciliation, as needed
  • Agree with BMC on the customer acceptance plans

Acceptance testing (2 weeks)

  • Resolve issues that are blocking user acceptance through accelerated support and research and development processes
  • Apply required hot fixes
  • Perform an application acceptance test
  • Test response time through automation or a manual process
  • Monitor the UAT progress
  • Validate:
    • Integrations
    • Connectivity
    • Customizations and related functionality
  • Identify issues
  • Work with BMC to validate issues resolutions
  • Confirm and seek feedback on performance and stability
  • Accept and sign off on the environment for cutover

Production readiness (1 week)

  • Copy the accepted environment to preproduction
  • Perform final incremental delta data migration
  • Perform final sanity test
  • Publish and obtain customer approval on the cutover schedule and meeting details
  • Perform infrastructure validation and readiness check
  • Identify escalation owners and communicate cutover schedule
  • Execute internal change request process for production cutover
  • Sign off on the readiness of upgraded environment
  • Prepare users for production cutover
    • Train end users
    • Update internal documentation

Cutover (12 hours)

  • Take the production environment offline
  • Perform incremental delta data migration
  • Swap the new production environment with the old production environment
  • Complete the configuration checklist for performance, scalability, and so on
  • Complete sanity testing and release for customer validation
  • BMC SaaS Operations verifies the infrastructure checklist
  • Validate functionality, integrations, and customizations
  • Confirm acceptance and production readiness

Synchronizing environments

  • When the request is received, copy the new production environment to the QA and the development environments
  • Close out the upgrade effort and include lessons learned
  • Hand over noncritical open issues for the go-live to Customer Support for remediation
  • Document any modification to customizations or integrations and submit them to the integrations and customizations owner
  • Monitor the upgraded environment for one week after the  upgrade
  • Coordinate to have the QA and development environments refreshed from the production environment

 

During the Reconciliation phase of the upgrade, BMC's SaaS Operations team analyses your valid customizations (those designed with overlays) against the current release out-of-the-box version and the new release out-of-the-box version.  BMC reconciles any changes required on the customer's supported overlay forms/objects to any new change in the new version.  Any customization that cannot be reconciled with the new features or any situation where the customization is replaced by new features with better results will be communicated to the customer. BMC may require further collaboration with you in this situation.

Reminder

Customizations applied to any form/object in Base Development mode are considered invalid as out-of-the-box forms/objects (type = unmodified) are then touched without creating an overlay. If an overlay is not created, there could be a scenario where a new version installer clears the customization, resulting in errors post upgrade. 

Any overlay or custom forms/objects created in the CMDB will be considered invalid because the CMDB may only be extended using the Class Manager Console.

You will have the opportunity during user acceptance testing to test your customizations. Customizations requiring updates may require the involvement of your in-house development staff, BMC Global Services, or a trusted partner and require a separate statement of work.

 BMC Helix Digital Workplace services

Upgrades for the BMC Helix Digital Workplace services are performed by BMC SaaS Operations per a set upgrade schedule. Upgrades are scheduled by data center location. You will be notified of the schedule for upgrades to these applications at least three weeks in advance. Upgrades are done in two phases, phase 1 being an upgrade to the non-development environments, followed by phase 2 one week later for the production environment.

Customers in the BMC FedRAMP data center may follow a different upgrade schedule as some releases require authorization by FedRAMP stakeholders before becoming generally available.

 BMC Helix Custom Applications-based services

Upgrades to BMC Helix Custom Applications-based services are typically scheduled by BMC SaaS Operations quarterly. View the upgrade schedule (registration is required to this BMC Communities page) to view the next set of scheduled upgrades.

 BMC Helix Client Management service

BMC Helix Client Management upgrades are provided upon request. New versions are generally released twice per year. To request an upgrade, submit a request via your support portal. BMC will first upgrade the service in your development environment and then promote it to the production environment.

 BMC Helix Discovery service

BMC Helix Discovery is kept up to date with the latest enhancements, fixes and features as each reaches production readiness. All updates are provided by BMC proactively and include monthly updates for Technology Knowledge Update (TKUs) which contain new patterns and other content. Application upgrades are provided quarterly, per the published upgrade schedule. Updates that require downtime will be made during scheduled maintenance windows. Development instances are updated first, followed by production instances. See Maintenance windows for more information.

 BMC Helix Capacity Optimization and BMC Helix Vulnerability Management services

Upgrades to the BMC Helix Capacity Optimization and BMC Helix Vulnerability Management services are typically scheduled by BMC SaaS Operations quarterly. View the upgrade schedule (registration is required to this BMC Communities page) to view the next set of scheduled upgrades.


 BMC Helix Integration Platform

Releases for the BMC Helix Integration Platform are generally every three weeks and are adjusted to work around end-of-month dates and regional-specific holidays. Check Jitterbit Trust for the latest release dates and times, as the schedule is subject to change.

Previously released software products, features or versions may be discontinued from time to time. Refer to the Jitterbit End-of-Life Policy for additional details. You may also reference Jitterbit Harmony Known Issues related to recent releases.