With Documentum 6.5 SP3 going out of support this year (August 31, 2012), we’re running several Documentum upgrade projects for clients this quarter. Unlike in the past where upgrades promised fantastic new functionality, this round of upgrades is trending more towards maintaining supported configurations and upgrading to new hardware. In addition, rather than simply upgrading the OS, companies are virtualizing servers and rolling out 64-bit hardware wherever possible.
Switching hardware is not as daunting as it may seem. While the Content Server needs to be cloned to new hardware, the other products simply require new clean installs. And if a new install is needed, why not put it on a new server? In addition, some clients are taking advantage of their Documentum upgrade projects to not only virtualize servers and move to 64-bit hardware but to also switch OS platforms. It’s even possible to switch database vendors if desired. However, that requires third party database tools.
Another benefit of using new hardware is a reduction in system down time during the production upgrade. The old system can stay on stand-by providing a low-risk roll-back option. In other words, with new hardware the existing system can stay up while a “shadow” production system is put in place. When the upgraded system is ready minimal downtime is then needed to swap the old system out and put the upgraded one in place and bring it on-line.
There are many other activities that accompany an upgrade project. Be sure to consider which ones would be valuable for your implementation:
- Sizing analysis
- Content model changes
- Data archival or purging
- Customization – refactoring or adding in new configurations
- Any performance issues that should be resolved
- High-availability configurations
- Distributed content configurations
At 234 pages the Documentum 6.7 Upgrade and Migration Guide may not be an easy read but it contains all the detail needed to upgrade to 6.7 from 5.3 SP6 and higher.
Please feel free to share your upgrade tips and any other additional information that would benefit others with their upgrades.