IN THIS ARTICLE
Provides an overview of Qumulo Core's Instant Software Upgrade
- Cluster running Qumulo Core 3.3.2 or above
IMPORTANT! The upgrade to Qumulo Core 3.3.2 is NOT an Instant Software Upgrade - it is only laying the framework for this functionality. Upgrading from version 3.3.2 to the 3.3.3 release of Qumulo Core will officially be the first Instant Software Upgrade that is less disruptive. If you upgrade directly to version 3.3.3 from 3.3.0 or 3.3.1, the upgrade will not be an Instant Software Upgrade and will lay the required framework that was included in version 3.3.2. Any subsequent upgrade, no matter the release, will be an Instant Software Upgrade unless noted otherwise (see Upgrade Phases section below). As always, reach out to your friends on the Qumulo Care team if you have any questions to get the answers you need.
In Qumulo Core 3.3.2 or above, the Qumulo file and data protection system is separated from the host in charge of running the operating system and several ancillary services that are specific to each hardware or cloud platform Qumulo supports. Now that the Qumulo services run in a lightweight container in user space, we can rapidly change from one version of Qumulo Core to the next by simply loading a new container and pointing our runtime environment to that new software.
In contrast, the server maintains the Linux OS we rely on and several other services through most upgrades as these platform components change much less frequently than the container (our file and protection systems). As a result, software upgrades will have no more than 30 seconds of downtime regardless of platform or node count, so long as that upgrade does not change the underlying host.
Upgrade Type Tables
The tables below indicate which releases are Instant Software upgrades and which are Platform upgrades. Instant Software upgrade releases are marked with an 's', while Platform upgrades are marked with a 'P'. These upgrades are specific to the type of cluster in question, so there are separate tables for on-premises and cloud clusters.
NOTE: Upgrading past a Platform upgrade will still require a reboot, even if you are not installing the exact build in question. For example, if your cloud cluster is running Qumulo Core 4.0.0, installing Qumulo Core 4.1.0 will trigger a Platform upgrade, as the installation includes all changes contained in Qumulo Core 4.0.6, which is labeled as a Platform upgrade.
The Qumulo upgrade process has two phases, prepare and commit. The prepare phase stages the new image in an alternate boot drive partition while the current Qumulo Core image continues to run and is solely responsible for the background work (unpack and write the qimg/platform image, upgrade firmware, etc.). Once the prepare phase is complete, we move on to the commit phase.
In the commit phase, we stop the old container and start the new one if it’s an Instant Software Upgrade OR initiate a reboot if it’s a Platform Upgrade where we selectively upgrade the OS image. It’s during this time that you will experience downtime or client disruption that will vary depending on the type of upgrade you are installing. Since no reboot is required to update the container image in an Instant Software Upgrade, cluster downtime during the commit phase will be 30 seconds or less.
Moving forward, the product release notes for each version of Qumulo Core will specify Instant Software Upgrade or Platform Upgrade. Additionally, we will outline what required changes to the OS/platforms are being made and provide an estimated upgrade time so that you can plan your maintenance window accordingly.
TIP! Use the qq command below to see what phase is currently in progress when upgrading your cluster. For additional details, check out the Qumulo Core Upgrades via CLI article on Qumulo Care.
- While an Instant Software Upgrade will take a cluster offline for less than 30 seconds, you may notice that the end-to-end upgrade process takes longer while the system performs several background tasks to prepare as stated above. This is normal and does not impact your end users’ experience.
- The steps to upgrade Qumulo Core remain the same. Reference the Qumulo Core Upgrades via UI article for more details on the process.
- Instant Software Upgrades will not impact existing support for the QQ CLI or API commands.
- Qumulo Core is containerized with the Ubuntu-native container technology systemd-nspawn for its light management overhead and full control of the operating system. There are many other potential benefits of using container technology, such as separate security profiles, but we use it to provide a one-step deployment vehicle of Qumulo software.
- While Qumulo is now leveraging containers in our technology, this does not change the supported deployment options we offer. We will continue to certify a set of physical and cloud platforms for you to choose from that will suit the needs of your specific workflow. To learn more about our supported platforms, work with your Qumulo Sales Engineer or Customer Success representative.
- Keep in mind that if you are doing multiple upgrades back to back, you may encounter one or more incremental release(s) along the way that are platform upgrades that must be installed before proceeding. Before performing back to back upgrades, reach out to the Qumulo Care team for guidance.
You should now have an overall understanding of Qumulo Core's Instant Software Upgrades in versions 3.3.2 or above
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