After you have checked the Lotus Notes Domino infrastructure, it is time to start the upgrade. The following steps show the basic upgrade path. This path can vary, based on your research and the use cases that you have created:
Systemic normalization: The first step of your upgrade to Lotus Notes Domino 8 is to "normalize" your architecture. We have already mentioned that it is important not to make any changes, upgrades or migrations to an environment that is "sick". Take the time to review each health check category and determine if your environment is stable. If it is stable, you can then upgrade your architecture.
Upgrade the Domino Administrator clients: Upgrade all of your Domino Administrator clients. Verify that all feature and functions run in the current environment before you upgrade your first server.
Upgrade the Domino Directory: This step can be executed before you upgrade your first server. Remember the use case above? Use that to drive the upgrade of the directory, making any customizations and changes. Be sure to work with IBM/Lotus support to make sure that the directory is backward-compatible with your current directory. (You should have done this in the testing phase of the upgrade.)
Upgrade the administration server: This is a very important server. AdminP requires that you assign an administration server to the Domino Directory (names.nsf).
|Note: The AdminP server task runs on all Lotus Domino servers. This task loads when the Lotus Domino server is first started, and is controlled through the notes.ini variable ServerTasks. The AdminP server task wakes up on periodic time intervals (specified in the Administration Process section of the Server document) and executes commands waiting in the Administration Request database. Each command placed in the Administration Request database has an assigned proxy action. These proxy actions are essentially the op-code that runs the administration process. Each command placed in the administration request database is represented by a document. Each document has a number of fields, including one called Proxy Action. After each action has completed on a server, a response document is created to indicate the status of that request.|
There is a new option (since release 7) to use multiple servers to maintain the Domino Directory. If a Domino domain is geographically dispersed, then you can use several servers to process administration requests:
Carefully evaluate your Administration server: Due to the new complexities of Domino 8 and some new proxy actions, you may need to have a dedicated administration server. AdminP can generate a large number of proxy actions as your architecture grows.
Upgrade utility servers: This step can be different with each customer. In some cases, the hub server can be upgraded first, then the utility servers. Utility servers are defined as SMTP, support, tools, and other servers. In some cases, vendors may not be ready with their updates to support a new release of Domino.
Upgrade hub servers: Upgrade each server, and then monitor the "normal" operations between each upgrade. Verify that replication is still working, that agents are still executing, and that mail is still routing. Upgrade spoke/messaging servers: After the hub servers have been completed, upgrade your spoke and messaging servers.
Upgrade specialized servers: In some cases, these may be some of the first servers you upgrade. One example would be specialized backup software. Once again, you need to contact you vendor before you upgrade your first server or upgrade the directory. The issue is backward compatibility. Verify with each vendor that the tools and utilities will work with each release.
Upgrade the application servers: One important step is to test the applications before you upgrade. There are several tools listed in the reference section of this book that will help you.
Upgrade Lotus Notes clients: You are now at the point where you can upgrade the Lotus Notes clients. Smart-upgrade can be used if you have Lotus Notes/Domino 6/7 installed. If not, you can use a MSI/MST type installs process to roll out the code.
Implement new Domino 8 features: When all servers and clients have been upgraded, you can implement the new Domino 8 features. Each feature should be tested, and in some cases you may need to build an architecture/design for each feature. One new feature that you should consider is the mail policy. This is a new policy that can be enabled after you have upgraded both servers and clients.
Upgrade applications: When your architecture is pure Domino/Notes 8, you can start to implement new Domino 8 features in your applications. Use the testing methodology listed above.
Tutorial: Upgrading to Lotus Notes Domino 8
Part 1: The Lotus Notes Domino upgrade process
Part 2: Reviewing the current Lotus Notes Domino infrastructure
Part 3: The Lotus Notes Domino 8 upgrade path
Part 4: Special feature considerations for upgrading to Lotus Notes Domino 8
Part 5: Lotus Notes Domino 8 upgrade use case document example
Click here for the chapter download.
This was first published in March 2008