IN THIS ARTICLE
This article provides an overview of Qumulo Core's Instant Software Upgrade.
- Cluster running Qumulo Core 3.3.2 (or higher)
IMPORTANT: A direct upgrade to Qumulo Core 3.3.3 is not an Instant Software Upgrade; it only lays the framework for this functionality. Upgrading from Qumulo Core 3.3.2 to 3.3.3 is the first official Instant Software Upgrade that is less disruptive. Any subsequent upgrade, no matter the release, is an Instant Software Upgrade unless we note otherwise (for more information, see the Upgrade Phases section).
Certain versions of Qumulo Core have different upgrade modes: the more common, faster instant software upgrade that requires restarting only the container on the nodes and the platform upgrade that requires rebooting the node and might be somewhat slower on some platforms. This section explains the functionality behind the instant software upgrade. For more information, see the Upgrade Types Table section.
In Qumulo Core 3.3.2 (or higher), the Qumulo file and data protection system is separate from the host in charge of running the operating system and several additional services specific to each hardware or cloud platform that Qumulo supports. Because Qumulo services run in a lightweight container in the user space, it is possible to quickly move from one version of Qumulo Core to the next by loading a new container and pointing the runtime environment to the new software.
In contrast, a server maintains the Linux operating system that we rely on and several other services through most upgrades because these platform components change much less frequently than the container and the file and data protection systems. Thus, software upgrades have no more than 30 seconds of downtime regardless of platform or node count, as long as the upgrade doesn't make changes to the underlying host.
Upgrade Type Tables
The following tables show which releases are instant software upgrades (marked with s) or platform upgrades (marked with P).
NOTE: Upgrading past a platform upgrade still requires a node reboot, even if you don't install the exact build: for example, if your cloud cluster runs Qumulo Core 4.0.0, installing Qumulo Core 4.1.0 triggers a platform upgrade, because the installation includes all changes contained in Qumulo Core 4.0.6 that is a platform upgrade.
The Qumulo Core upgrade process has two phases, preparation and commit. The preparation phase stages the new image in an alternate boot drive partition while the current Qumulo Core image continues to run; this phase is responsible only for the background work (unpacking and writing the platform image and upgrade firmware, and so on). When the preparation phase is complete, we continue to the commit phase.
In the commit phase, we do one of the following:
- Instant Software Upgrade: Stop the old container and start a new one.
- Platform Upgrade: Initiate a reboot and selectively upgrade the operating system image.
During this time, you might experience downtime or client disruption that varies depending on the type of upgrade.
The release notes for each version of Qumulo Core specify whether the version is an instant software upgrade or a platform upgrade, outline what required changes to the operating system or platform occur, and provide an estimated upgrade time so that you can plan your maintenance window.
TIP: To determine what phase the upgrade is currently in, use the following command when upgrading your cluster. For more information, see Qumulo Core Upgrades via CLI.
- While an instant software upgrade takes a cluster offline for less than 30 seconds, you might notice that the end-to-end upgrade process takes longer while the system performs several preparatory background tasks. This is normal and does not impact your users' experience.
- The steps to upgrade Qumulo Core remain the same. For more information about this process, see Qumulo Core Upgrades via UI.
- Instant software upgrades don't impact existing support for the qq CLI or API commands.
- Qumulo Core is containerized using the Ubuntu-native container technology systemd-nspawn that provides light management overhead and full control of the operating system. We use containers as one-step deployment vehicles for Qumulo Core.
- We continue to certify a set of physical and cloud platforms for you to choose from. To learn more about our supported platforms, work with a Qumulo Sales Engineer or a Customer Success representative.
- If you perform multiple upgrades back to back, you might encounter one or more platform upgrades in one of the incremental releases; you must install these upgrades before you proceed. Before performing back to back upgrades, reach out to the Qumulo Care Team for guidance.
You now understand how to perform instant software upgrades for Qumulo Core 3.3.2 (or higher).
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