Software Upgrades That Break Things … And the right way to do them…

Several weeks ago, I decided that it was time for us to upgrade our web site to the latest technology. It was running on Windows Server 2008; the current version of Windows Server is 2012 R2 (for now). As you may suspect if you’ve read this blog even once before, I’m not a fan of updating things that are in active use. Since our website is something we actively use (online support is routed through our website, for one thing), I was more than a little nervous about having it go down.

That’s where the new virtual technology comes into play. I set up a duplicate Web server with a different address, installed all the updates, debugged (there were more than one or two conflicts, and it took me about four weeks to find them all), and today I’m launching the new website.

So if anything disappears that you been looking at, let me know. The best news is that now I can move along to something else.

The lesson that you can take away from this is that there is a way to do upgrades that doesn’t result in the possibility of your system being down for many days. The horror stories that you’ve heard in the past about upgrades dragging for weeks and weeks with websites being unusable or operations impossible because the system doesn’t work should be things of the past.

We’ve been using test servers like this for years with ERP updates; it’s time that the average small business took advantage of this affordable technology.