Last week, Veeam released the new Veeam Service Provider Console v4, the latest version of what was previously called Veeam Availability Console. I run my own VAC (now VSPC) environment, so I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade my lab to the latest version to learn the upgrade process.
Upgrading a distributed environment
My lab is designed to be a fully distributed VSPC environment:
First of all, we need to guarantee ourselves the chance to revert any change if something doesn’t go as expected. For VAC/VSPC, we can take a snapshot of all the VM’s involved, and do a backup of the SQL database holding all the data and configuration. With this database alone we can restore an entire environment, as all the information are stored here.
After this, we check all the requirements: https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/vac/deployment/update.html?ver=40 and verify that our environment is ready to receive the new version.
Then, before starting the upgrade process, we enable Maintenance Mode and verify that no user is connected to the WebUI servers anymore. We can either wait for the sessions to be completed, or we can kill them from the IIS servers.
NOTE: the upgrade process, in regular conditions, should take around 30 minutes. Plan your maintenance window accordingly.
Upgrade the VAC server
In our distributed environment, we need to start the upgrade from the VAC Server. As usual, we download the ISO file (it’s 6 GB because it also contains all the VBR and Agents, so plan ahead to download it), we mount it in the Windows OS and start setup.exe:
We hit the Upgrade button, which also confirms us that the upgrade wizard has detected our VAC installation.
In my VAC server I also have a WebUI that I use for maintenance operations when the “internet facing” web servers may be down. The installer has found them both:
After we are asked for the license file, there are some new components that need to be installed:
Then, also the existing SQL server connection is detected.
You may receive a warning that some computers connected to VAC are using an old component and may need to be updated to be again compatible with the new VSPC. This one in the example is my wife’s computer:
When all is ready, we hit the Install button and we wait for the operation to be completed. In my lab, it took from 14:04 to 14:12, so 8 minutes.
Upgrade the web servers
Now that VSPC server is upgraded, we then upgrade the two web servers. The procedure will be the same, but the wizard will detect that only the WebUI is installed, and will offer to upgrade it:
Same as before, we run the installer and wait. In one of my webservers, it lasted from 14:25 to 14:29, so 4 minutes.
In total, after 30 minutes from the beginning of the upgrade process, I was able to remove the maintenance mode and have the new system online:
Upgrading the remote agents
Once we have the system upgraded, some remote components will be automatically upgraded too. If for example we go immediately into the list of VCC servers:
We can observe that the management agent installed in the two VCC servers I have under my control are being ugraded, the local one already completed, while the remote one is going to be completed soon.
But the agents are going to be upgraded also for all the remote computers we manage. NOT the backup agent! Those will be upgraded when an update policy will be issued by an administrator.
You can see that my wife’s computer has already completed the upgrade, while my own laptop is doing the upgrade. In fact, it’s status is “inaccessible” since the agent has been stopped in order to be updated.
The process of upgrading the agents will obviously take some time when we are managing hundreds or even thousands of remote computers, but since this is a background and asyncronous operation, we can already use the Console for every other operation.