Friday night, I’ve prepared myself to update SharePoint the following week-end to Service Pack 1 and August 2011 Cumulative Update. I’ve started the update at 4AM Saturday morning and it tooks 13 hours to complete. My biggest fear was to run into a failure process. So to reduce my stress, I’ve taken a lot of precautions.
Backup or die
Never, ever going down the road of update without knowing the way to come back. Not only checking if the backup is good, but making sure to control the process to restore it and making work. So, in my case, I’ve asked my admin collegues to take an Image SnapShot of each SharePoint Server 2010, and a special SQL Backup of all my SharePoint databases. And also, I’ve asked them, nicely, if they were available over the week-end.
Training, it’s like working without stress
When an astronaut goes into space, he trains and repeats the work he will do up there. Working in a production environment is the same principal. Don’t do something in production, if you didn’t have tried it before. Three times I have repeat theses update steps in my non-production farms. And every time, I ran into different problems.
Review the steps again and again… and again.
Microsoft has written great articles on how to prepare and how to install an update on SharePoint Server 2010. These two articles are my bedtime reading for the last days… And believe me, it helps to sleep.
Stay close, but be polite with your guests
During the update process, there is nothing to do but waiting for a process completion in order to start the next. In my pre-production farm, it took more than an hour for August 2011 Cumulative update to complete on one server. So I put my laptop on the kitchen table, keep an eye on it from time to time, an prepare the dinner. And for the info… The salmon was pretty good, perfectly grill on the my BBQ.
Reboot, PSConfig, IISReset, Recycle App, WSP and Mary has a little lamb
I’m glad, it’s over. 13 hours later, I’m glad to say that my effort paid off. My SharePoint 2010 production farm is now running under SP1 and August 2011 CU.