SAP BI 4.2 Windows Server Upgrade

Hello People,
the lovely people in our IT department have informed us that they need to upgrade the servers for our BI Cluster from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2019. All our servers are virtualized. They are suggesting we will need to do a fresh install of the BI platform and migrate our content across.
Has anyone been through this process and how did you handle it? I was hoping that a fresh install would not be necessary…

Hello @pablo_escabor and welcome to B :mrgreen: B

We have usually done a Windows OS upgrade in conjunction with a move to new hardware and an upgrade of Business Objects. Usually major upgrades, like XI3.1 to BI 4.1 and BI 4.1 to BI 4.2 even though the later wasn’t really considered a major upgrade. This way it was just part of the upgrade process of Business Objects.

In your case, if you are not upgrading Business Objects, you could just install the new servers as expansion nodes of your existing environment and then just shut down your old Windows Server 2012 servers. This way you would not have to use any of the Business Objects tools to migrate any content as all of the servers would be using the same CMS database and file store.

We did this a couple of years ago when our company wanted us to move our servers from an on-site data center to an off-site data center. We were unable to run servers in both data centers due to network latency related to physical distance but we set up all the servers in the new data center and had our CMS and Audit databases and file store replicated to the new data center in the back ground. When we were ready to switch over, we just shut down the servers in the on-site data center, waited about 15 minutes for the replication to catch up and then brought up the servers in the off-site data center. It went very smoothly.

Thanks John. Use to post on here years ago under a different username and thought it had been shut down. Good to see it back up and running!
So we are actually currently on 4.1 and the plan was to do an insitu update to 4.2. When I heard about the O/S upgrade plan my initial thought was that we should just continue with our update to 4.2 on the current Windows 2012 R2 servers. But if we do that, can the server o/s be upgraded to Windows Server 2019 whilst keeping our 4.2 BI environment in tact or will we need to do a fresh install on 2019 and migrate our content?
I’m thinking my options are:

  1. Update BI 4.1 on the the current Windows Server 2012 servers (If the subsequent o/s upgrade will leave our BI environment in tact).

  2. Clean install of 4.2 on Windows Server 2019 and migrate our content across from the 4.1 environment.

  3. Your suggestion of using expansions nodes. We would need to first update to 4.2 on our Windows 2012 stack and then expand this to include nodes on 2019. Then shut down the 2012 nodes.

  4. Clean install on 2019 and then point this to the existing CMS and file stores, which should mean we don’t have any content to migrate.

Looking for the path of least resistance.

Regards
Paul

I’m not sure about upgrading the OS of an existing system. We have never done this and I don’t recall hearing of any others who have. In theory it should work. Since you have VMs, maybe you could try taking a snap shot of one of your non-production environments and trying it.

Of the options you have listed, like I said before, we have always done our OS upgrades in conjunction with a BI upgrade which would be your option 2. This is somewhat of a pain because you have to move all the content. If the upgrade requires content upgrade this isn’t as much of a problem.

I wouldn’t recommend option 4. BI4.1 is not supported on Windows Server 2019 so you would have to install BI4.2 there. I think you would need some sort of upgrade to the repository database if not the file store also. I don’t think you can just point a newer BI version at a CMS database of an older version and be OK.

The great thing about option 3 was we had very little downtime to make the transition. We had a 30 minute outage.