February 16th, 2010

First FreeBSD major upgrade

Today we completed the first major upgrade (from RELENG_7_2 to RELENG_8_0) in place on a production server in our corporate CED. This upgrade run quite smoothly, and has been useful to evaluate what are the critical aspects to care about during the upgrade process. Both the machines are “jailers”, running several instances of FreeBSD.

Actually, this has been the second upgrade: the first was done for one host in our disaster-proof external facility, a few days ago.
After this preparation, I’m feeling ready to upgrade the next “big” machine, which is running 21 jails in production on FreeBSD/amd64 7.2-p5.

UPDATE (Feb 27, 2010):

At the end of the day, the effort needed to upgrade these systems have been worth it: on our biggest “jailer” we spent only 6 minutes in upgrading each OS instance and, even counting how much time we need to reinstall all applications running in each jail, that’s far less time than migrating services from Windows server hosts to newer ones (the in-place upgrade would not ever been feasible on the Windows server platform!).