Updating Webtrends when you had a locally installed version (now called OnPremises) used to be a breeze. You would download the new application, the installer would detect the existing version, and ask you if you wanted to upgrade. It was basically a matter of clicking Next, Next, Next. Then 8.1 came along, with a whole bunch of really usuful fixes such as using IIS to make the UI much more stable (remember when the reports would just vanish?). However, with 8.1 came an installer that would uninstall your current version, which meant that if something happened during the installation of the new version, you were left with nothing.
Fear settled in.
Sure, you could always bring back the backups, and restart all over, which isn’t really what we mean by “It went like a breeze”. A couple of years forward, and 8.7d came along. Now you needed new hardware specifications, which meant that upgrading also meant migrating to a different server. Needless to say that if there ever was any fun in upgrading, it was long gone.
Knowing full well what their OnPremises clients were facing, with all the variety of versions out there (still many 8.0d believe me), Webtrends recently came up with a very good idea: Remote Upgrade Services, or RUS. In a few words, they basically take care of the most complex parts of the upgrade. And here’s the kicker: you can be as far back as 7.5b and they will upgrade you to 9.2a, no problem! No more intermediary installations! Those at a minimum familiar with the topic are going “Holy Cow!”
How does it work? You copy your Storage folder, and your wt_sched and wt_master databases and send them to Webtrends. They perform their tricks for a few days while you uninstall your old version and do a fresh install of 9.2a (NOTE: be sure to meet all requirements for that version and turn off the UAC!). Then, when ready, the Webtrends guy sends you back the files, and you dump back the Storage, wt_sched and wt_master on your machine. Voilà! And for those afraid of letting data getting out, the files you send only include configuration information.
I had the opportunity to do a first RUS project last week, and it went extremely well. I’m aware there could be problems with other cases, and circumstances. But so far, so good; the logic behind this new service is simple, and I am quite sure that most projects will experience minimum hassle. We’ll see.
So, if you are an OnPremises customer, and have been withholding your upgrades for fear of the pain ahead, give this a try.