How do I upgrade my data infrastructure with near zero data downtime? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
IT admins dread the process of planning for and performing upgrades – but it’s necessary in order to take advantage of new features and maintain the strongest system security. Non-disruptive upgrades (NDUs) are the holy grail. It happens when you can update or expand your hardware or software without any downtime or dips in performance for your end-users. While you can’t always achieve a completely non-disruptive upgrade, you can achieve minimal downtime with preparation and a strong data backup strategy (just in case).
Step 1 – Plan: Ask yourself: does my current storage plan have enough space for the new upgrades we’re installing? Are the new features going to be compatible with other apps and resources? Identify all of the workflows that will be affected by the upgrade and ensure they meet your scale and compatibility requirements.
Step 2 – Test: You never want to find yourself in a situation where you’re unfamiliar with the hardware or software that’s managing your organization’s critical data. If possible, consider conducting pre-upgrade tests in a lab or third-party environment to learn about a product’s setup and configuration.
Step 3 – Back up: Our disaster recovery should be active 24/7 – but it’s important to double check and perform another backup of your data, if needed, right before upgrading. Think of it like backing up your data to iCloud before bringing your phone into the Apple Store, just in case.
Most modern, all-flash storage arrays have the ability to migrate and backup your data with very little disruption. But it’s important to be agile and cover your bases in case you need to move quickly to protect any accidentally compromised data.