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Upgrade or cold install ?

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Wim Rombauts
Honored Contributor

Upgrade or cold install ?

Threads about to upgrade or to cold install have passed by many times here.

Most replies, coming mostly from the higher ranked, and therefor probably most experienced, forum members, all advise to cold install, and not to upgrade. Noone seems to really trust the update-ux procedure. Even I have never upgraded any server. I allways had the luck to be able to buy new hardware, install the new OS and then migrate the software one by one.

But now I have these fully configured servers running HP-UX 11i v2 with a lot of customisations throughout the years, and no option to get new hardware like in the past. With a cold install, I will have a lot of work reapplying all these customisations. An upgrade sounds nice, but ...

So I wonder what the source is of this distrust.
Has anyone of you effectively tried the HP-UX 11i v2 -> v3 update procedure and seen it miserably fail, or only succeed after a lot of issues, or did it leave you with a result you were not happy with in another way ?
Or is this distrust mainly caused by experiences further away in the past, let's say upgrades from 10.20 to 11.00 for instance.

I heard (HP employees say) that the update-ux procedure has had many improvements and that it is now really a safe method to go to the next OS release, but it would be nice to hear if anyone of you has some hands-on experience with the latest update-ux for going from 11i v2 to 11i v3, or that your main distrust is based on experiences further in the past.
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

Last year decided to give the 'update-ux' a try since a very smart collegue on these Forums said he had not issues (Geoff Wilde), and he was right. Now I went from 11.11 to 11.23 (not the level you mention).

Although they made a bit of change in the update-ux I didn't like, it ran just fine.
Seems the disks I had would not allow you to adjust the f/s sizing during the process. So I just did a reboot, interupt the boot and made all my vg00 f/s sizing changes prior to running update-ux.

I still like cold installs though for those times when I want to remove any and all old footprints of admins of 'old.


Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?


I have great respect for HP employees and their opinions.

I also know a number of people that have tried the latest update-ux from 11i v2 to 11i v3

They report many of the same problems as with older versions.

I would not do it.

Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?


Cold install. If you get into problems with a upgrade the solution is, .... cold install. Additionally, a cold install is usually less time consumming than an upgrade.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

Even if update-ux will run fine on one server, with a large mix of non-identical and heavily customized servers, there is no telling how update-ux will perform on the next server. In my opinion, there is only one solution, cold install.
Marco A.
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

I don't think that update-ux will do it. I prefer take my time to make my backups, etc, then proceed to cold install.

Sometimes it is faster than try to upgrade.

Just unplug and plug in again ....
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

Though I would definitely try to figure out a way to do a cold install, the reports of successful upgrade are far more numerous than previously.

It's certainly worth a try. If it fails, you'll simply have to re-load from your Ignite backup, try to figure out why it failed and try again.


Doug Burton
Respected Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

Granted it's been a while since trying an upgrade but I prefer a cold install. Just cleaner that way and less problems. You can also alter those pesky filesystem sizes while you're at it.
Wim Rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

Thank you very much for your replies.

Our systems are 3 (almost) identical 2-node clusters, so I can test and verify an upgrade on 1 system, and then roll-out on the others.

At the other hand : It looks like a cold install could be quicker and certainly easier to reproduce or repeat, and it could be a nice moment to document all modified configuration files all over the system.
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

> At the other hand : It looks like a cold install could be quicker and certainly easier to reproduce or repeat, and it could be a nice moment to document all modified configuration files all over the system.

And you'll be able to test the stability of those customizations. And you'll also be able to install new copies of your applications that are supported on 11.31 (apps typically get upgraded and supported about 12 to 20 months after a new release. 11.31 is quite a step beyond 11.23 so you may have a lot of research to do.

Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Wim Rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade or cold install ?

Well Bill, my plan was rather to uprade the OS and keep current software versions running. I am counting on the binary compatibility that HP promises, and on the fact that the same software download is supported on both OS versions.

But application upgrades are on their way, although I cannot upgrade all of them at once.

So I hoped to run the current applications on the new OS (just mount the filesystems that contain the software), and then later on, upgrade the applications when the business is ready for it (or demanding it).

I preferred that above upgrading the software first, and then later on uprade the OS.