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NetWorker 7.4.5 – Should you update?

Posted by Preston on 2009-08-17

Over the last 36 hours or so I’ve been doing a lot of tests of NetWorker 7.4.5, and overall I must say I’m reasonably impressed in its stability.

Let’s be completely up front: this is a bug-fix only release. If you check the release notes, you’ll see that there are no new features in this release at all. This from the outset usually means a fairly stable release, as there’s no “new code” (so to speak) competing with existing code and patches.

So far my testing has been limited to Linux and Solaris, with Windows testing to start tomorrow. (I frequently pick on Linux for heavy NetWorker testing because I’ve found in the past that if a *nix platform is going to have issues, Linux will be the first one to do so.)

According to the release notes, there’s 89 resolved issues in NetWorker 7.4.5; while some of them of course are somewhat trivial (e.g., one of the fixed issues is to do with NetWorker vs EBS branding in particular scripts), many of them represent significant fixes to issues in NetWorker 7.4. Previously several of these rolled into cumulative patch clusters, however, the number of fixes in 7.4.5 exceeds the number of patches cited for the cumulative patch clusters by a quite a bit, meaning there’s been quite a lot of effort go into this “service pack”.

My gut feel at this point is that if you’re still on the 7.4.x tree, 7.4.5 may be quite a worthwhile version to update to. As always, no site should update their version of NetWorker without a careful review of the release notes, and administrators should make themselves completely aware of (at bare minimum) the following:

  • Fixed issues.
  • Known limitations.
  • Where their current installers are should a back-out be required.
  • Where copies of any currently installed patches are should a back-out be required.

In short: an update should always be prepared for, both in the action plan and the back-out plan, and always consider the update in light of the needs and issues of your site.

I’ll post another update in a day or two once I’ve had more time to review this release.

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3 Responses to “NetWorker 7.4.5 – Should you update?”

  1. Hello Preston!

    Thank you for your post. Could you please post another update (if you have it) on Networker 7.4.5.

    We are currently planning to upgrade to this version from NW 7.4.4.

    Thank you.

    Regards,

    Eugene

    • Preston said

      I don’t have any significant updates on 7.4.5 at this point in time; I’ve been tracking in the NetWorker mailing list though some reports of bugs to do with index checking and NetWorker automated maintenance operations hanging in environments where there are decommissioned clients (e.g., entries in the nsr/index region, but there are no corresponding defined clients within NetWorker). While there appears to be patches for that nsrck problem, I can’t recall seeing an actual LGTsc number for the patch reported on the NetWorker mailing list – just a case number.

      If you’ve got decommissioned clients, you may want to hold off 7.4.5 for the time being and log a case with EMC to request the nsrck/nsrim patches to deal with decommissioned clients.

      Past that, I’ve not read of any big show-stoppers with 7.4.5 – there’s certainly been a few other issues on the NetWorker mailing list reported, but none that I’ve noticed that have a lot of “me too!” styled follow-ups – i.e., they seem mostly to be site-specific issues, or bugs that only affect particular configurations.

      As with all upgrades, it’s best to approach it being prepared to downrev if necessary – certainly there’s no index, resource or media database incompatibilities between 7.4.4 and 7.4.5, so dropping back to 7.4.4 is no more arduous than uninstalling/reinstalling.

  2. Thanks Preston. We are going to test 7.4.5 in our lab first and I will post if any issues found.

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