Question What are the recommended steps to upgrading the operating system of an existing Notification Server/Deployment Server?
Answer When the operating system of a production Notification Server/Deployment Server needs to be upgraded, there are two methods to choose from: 1. Use a parallel server, or 2. do a complete reinstall of the operating system and the Altiris applications.
The recommended method would be to bring up a parallel Notification Server/Deployment Server if hardware is available. The benefits of this method is that the production server is not interrupted until the clients are redirected to the new server, and it is available in the event that you need to go back to the original server.
Note: Altiris Agents can be redirected to the new Notification Server from the Configuration tab on the old server. Go to Configuration > Altiris Agent > Altiris Agent Configuration. For each of the configuration tasks, go to the Advanced Settings tab and use the option Alternate URL and point this to the new server name. You may want to clone one of the tasks and test this on a few computers first.
Note: AClients can be redirected to the new Deployment Server from the Deployment Console of the old server. Select All Computers under the Computers pane, right-click and select Change Agent Settings > Production Environment > Server Connection and select the appropriate options. For pre-DS 6.5 systems the process is very similar and intuitive after selecting All Computers and Change Agent Settings.
If a second server is not available you will need to completely reinstall, beginning with the new operating system and then reinstalling the Notification Server/Deployment Server and all Altiris Solutions. To do this, complete the following:
Backup the Altiris database(s).
Export any NS tree objects (collections).
Install the desired operating system and SQL onto new hardware.
Install IIS onto the new operating system.
Restore the Altiris database(s) to SQL.
Install NS on the new server and point it to a new database (different name than the restored database from step e).
Install all NS solution. You could also back up the "<InstallDir>\Program Files\Altiris" directory from the old server and then restore to the new server, and you could do MSI repairs out of the setup directory and not have to download and install the solutions.
Point NS to the database restored in step e. Note: When a Notification Server database is moved from one server to another (or if you decide to rebuild the server), the database being restored will contain the SIDs of the local security users of the server from which it came, but not those of the server to which it is being restored. As a result the console will be locked, and only access to the Shortcuts tab will be granted unless the SIDs are transferred from one database to another. Please run the query in Article ID: 2296
Complete any needed customization (collections, packages/tasks, etc.).
If the file system is the same (i.e. backup and restore of the file system, C:\Program Files\Altiris) the database should see the and use the packages.
As for tasks, collections, etc., they are database items and they should still be available with the steps above. Another safety precaution to preserve them would be to export the NS tree objects that are custom and then they could be imported if there was a problem after going through this process.
There currently is no easy way to forward policies, packages, collections, etc. from one server to another
Point the Altiris Agents to the new server. If NS and SQL are on different computers then you could rename the new Notification server and change the IP address. SQL databases often have problems if the SQL server name is changed and/or the IP address is changed.
Imported Document ID: HOWTO1215
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