So you’ve either made the decision, or are thinking about upgrading your existing GENESIS32 system to GENESIS64. Perhaps you’ve read all of the documentation and seen all you need to see, or perhaps you still have some unanswered questions. This article aims to introduce ‘How’ we go about upgrading 32bit systems and whether to upgrade 'in place' or on a 'fresh machine'.
Planning an upgrade of GENESIS32 to GENESIS64 is very similar to any other upgrade you may do, e.g. moving Mobile Phone or upgrading your Windows PC Operating System. You want it to be as quick and easy as possible, and everything you’re used to remain the same with these new features you’ve heard about being readily available. However most likely, the day to day operating of your business is intrinsically tied to the uptime of your system so downtime needs to be at a minimum. Fortunately there are several upgrade paths which can be taken, each with their own items of consideration.
In Place Upgrade
As GENESIS32 and GENESIS64 are two different software suites, there are no restrictions from running them on the same hardware in parallel.
Ease of Setup
This has the potential benefits of saving time and effort on building a new server, installing everything and migrating the configurations across.
You will have the confidence that there will be no issues introducing this machine into your network, or any other permissions related issues which may arise from new hardware. It will also reduce the amount of cost as the hardware will already be available. However that being said, there are a number of considerations which may sway you away from this scenario and onto another.
The action of installing and configuring the GENESIS64 application will be an intrinsically disruptive action to a running system, as during the course of the installation there will be a mandatory reboot at the end, this may increase to two or even three reboots if the installation pre-requisites are not present on the machine. On a production machine with a required amount of uptime any reboots would not be acceptable and therefore delay or prevent the upgrade.
One of the reasons you be considering migrating to GENESIS64 from your previous install is that the hardware you are currently running on has become obsolete or out of warranty, and any outages/component failures would result in considerable downtime trying to resurrect the system. It would be inadvisable to continue using this hardware with your new installation as it will have no mitigating effects on these concerns
Tying into the previous information if the current hardware was installed a number of years ago, the hardware and software architectures in place will likely be incompatible with the GENESIS64 requirements. A few of the key GENESIS64 requirements is a modern Operating System (64-bit Architecture) with modern hardware behind, this would include a 64-bit multi-core CPU, several Gigabytes of RAM and Hard Drive space available, as well as a dedicated GPU. It is unlikely that you will have built your previous hardware to these specifications.
The second option is to install brand new hardware which will run in parallel with the existing system, there are a number of reasons why you may wish to do this.
As previously mentioned, the act of installing GENESIS64 (and its pre-requisites) is a disruptive action to a running system, the primary reason for this is that it would require the system to have an amount of downtime due to reboots and software upgrades. When building a separate machine however this concern is removed, as the new hardware is totally isolated from the existing system and will have no interaction with it.
It allows it to be built, configured and tested all at your own pace as opposed to being restricted to periods of allowed downtime. When the testing is complete and the switchover is planned to occur, the only disruption will be in the transferring of license from the old server to the new one. Any migrations can be assisted by the availability of a time limited license to run on the old server to allow potential failback if required for a period of time prior to decommissioning.
New Hardware Deployments
Whilst having new hardware is always enjoyable, the nature of GENESIS64 allows for incorporation into a number of different scenarios which were not available previously. For instance if you have a corporate Hypervisor (such as VMware ESX or Hyper-V) then GENESIS64 can be installed upon a virtual machine in this environment, this removes the need for purchasing new hardware as well as the costs associated with running more physical machines.
Following on from this, GENESIS64 can be deployed into a cloud Virtual Machine (such as Azure or AWS) to totally remove the need for any on-site hardware to run the system.
Potentially the existing system was running on obsolete hardware/software and as a result was excluded from the network for being incompatible. By upgrading the Operating System and underlying components it will allow the machine to potentially be bought into the corporate networks, which will allow for the data to be available to all elements of the business where previously a dedicated terminal was required.
In practice we have found that the majority of people are both upgrading their GENESIS32 installation at the same time as they are upgrading the hardware, generally as the hardware has become obsolete and unreliable, and there is a new technology (VM or Cloud) which they are planning to use instead.