Upgrading to SMS 2.0

Herman Verkade

Notes from an SMS Administrator

SMS 2.0 has been out for a while now and although it appears that most of our customers are not planning to upgrade immediately (Most of them are waiting for SP1), it has started to pop up here and there for testing purposes. So I decided that it was time to upgrade our own little network to SMS 2.0. Daytime commitments meant that it was going to be an evening job. I have been using SMS since the beta versions of SMS 1.0. I have seen it go through the upgrades to 1.1 and 1.2 and the various service packs, so I was expecting some problems in the upgrade to 2.0. On a nice spring Thursday evening I took the plunge, picked up the SMS 2.0 CD and walked over to the SMS Server. Maybe I would have been better off to go down the pub and have a pleasant evening. Because by deciding to upgrading to SMS 2.0, that evening has not gone down in memory as ‘pleasant’…

Notes from an SMS Administrator

First, after a lot of scrambling around in the MSDN boxes, I found SQL Server 6.5 and the SP3 disks. Upgrading was time consuming, but went without problems. Then was the first time I could run the SMS 2.0 setup. “You need NT 4.0 SP4a”, it told me. OK, I’ll install SP4a. Half an hour later, back to SMS Setup. “You need to install Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1”, it now told me. I can't deny wondering why a product like SMS would require Internet Explorer, but I suppose that is one of the questions that the DoJ is looking into… Another half hour later, at the next attempt it complained about SP4 for SQL 6.5. I was beginning to loose my faith in this, but I am one of these people that persist beyond any reasonable limits. The next attempt got a bit further. But only a bit. I was now told that my database had to be at least 50MB, but it was only 25MB. I know that only 11MB of that is used. This one was easy to fix and by 11:30 PM I started SMS Setup once more. At last. It told me that it was going to upgrade my database. Good. “Deleting all inventory information older than 180 days.” What? I have 5 years worth of inventory information in this database. Well, I had five years of info. Now I could live with this, but then after a while, the database upgrade stopped with an error message about a referenced table that already existed. The options were “OK” or “Cancel”. I tried OK and it just started again from the beginning, resulting in the same error 10 minutes later. I gave it another go, but no change. Then, I clicked on Cancel. This caused the installation procedure to exit the database upgrade stage and then to continue to merrily install all the files for SMS 2.0. Mmmm, maybe it will be alright... Another 10 minutes later I was kindly informed by SMS Setup that my database was corrupt and I should contact my SQL Administrator. Now, I am the SQL Administrator, but I didn’t have a clue as to what could be wrong.

Lessons to be learned:

  1. Make sure you have a full backup of your SMS Server if you intend to upgrade an existing server.
  2. Make sure you have all available software CDs and service packs to hand, including ones that don't seem relevant. You’ll need them.
  3. Make sure you keep a copy of your inventory information if you want to keep more than 180 days of history data.
  4. Probably the best idea: Install a fresh copy of SMS 2.0 onto a new server and migrate your users across. Make the old site a subsite of the new one during the transition to transfer some of the information in the old site to the new site.

The next day was spent restoring my backup from tape. This included restoring all the databases, including the master database, because the backup only contained SQL 6.0. During the restore, I had kept the database files with the intention of overwriting the data from the SQL Backup. But as I had increased the size of the database device for the SMS database, SQL Server got a bit confused. But with a little bit of shifting files around I got it all to work. At the same time I performed a fresh installation of SMS 2.0 onto another server. That went without problems.

On the new SMS 2.0 server, I enabled various discovery methods to get my clients in. By the next day it had managed to discover 8 of the 15 machines on the network, as well as the router. And it managed to get the SMS client installed on 2 of them. Now comes the task of working out why it doesn’t find the rest.

To be continued….

This article was originally published on May 7, 1999
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