SentryOne Simplifies Enterprise-Wide Installations With 19.1.1 Release

Jason Hall

Published On: June 20, 2019

Categories: Enterprise Integration, SentryOne Builds, Installation 1

Upgrading is a Pain in the Enterprise

If you're running a lot of SQL Servers, and you know better than to rely on broad generalized performance monitoring, then you are either already running SentryOne—or you should be.

The above statement is not marketing bravado.  Many database professionals have tried something else and learned the hard way that "something else" won’t scale and the promises of making it scale prove to be empty. If you don’t trust me, then trust all the people reporting to TrustRadius.

Some time ago, I ran into a SentryOne user who told me a story that made me cringe. Their environment wasn’t extremely large, but it was complicated. They ran about 60 SentryOne data collection servers, using them to monitor performance for 400 to 500 SQL Server instances, several SSAS instances, and a handful of VMware ESXi hosts.

Their problem wasn’t about scaling—the ability of SentryOne to scale to 800+ targets with no loss in monitoring data turned those 400-500 instances into little more than a speed bump for their SentryOne deployment. In fact, the problem was brought about by efficiencies we’ve worked hard to gain in our own product and engineering practices.

We release product updates far more often than we did years ago, and the upgrade process for this type of deployment is not alluring. The customer’s description of an upgrade involved no less than three distinct people working together for 18 hours. With SentryOne releasing updates two to four times or more, per quarter, this company's plans to stay on the latest version of SentryOne was not sustainable.

Here’s the kicker: That upgrade process was always intended to take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes total. It was supposed to be simple. Just run setup. For this team, and several others I discovered later, that was far from the case. Something had to be done.

After some research, we came to understand this as a common problem for larger SentryOne deployments. The upgrade, while great for one to two service installs, was not going to work for enterprise. We knew we had to do better.

Introducing SentryOne Enhanced Platform Installer (EPI)

It has taken some time, but with SentryOne v19.1.1, we’re introducing the first version of the Enhanced Platform Installer (EPI). How it works: If you have a complicated deployment, you have one final slow install. This final install sets up all the necessary services for EPI to work.

In our customer portal, we’re providing you with instructions, the EPI platform installer, and the latest EPI “upgrade package” for SentryOne. Once you've upgraded using the EPI, you only need the installer to add new clients and services in the future. For upgrades, you can simply download the new upgrade package and run a few commands in the SentryOne EPI command line interface (CLI). This process will push the upgrade package to your SentryOne database, set all of your monitoring services to upgrade themselves, and set all of your clients to upgrade themselves the next time they are started by a user.

Instructions for that first install of EPI, upgrading with EPI, available CLI commands, and some additional advanced informational topics can be found at https://docs.sentryone.com/help/sentryone-installer.

If you need information about upgrading your current version of SQL Sentry, see the Upgrading SentryOne article in SentryOne Docs.

You can also always visit https://support.sentryone.com. Our unbelievably amazing support engineers are prepared to help you through switching your upgrade process to the EPI.

 

Jason Hall - @SQLSaurus VP of Product - SentryOne I love products and making them better. I enjoy seeing technology improve the professional and personal lives of others. If you have a problem, I want to help you solve it through product innovation.


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