One of our customers called the other day and asked me to explain our Non-Disruptive Software Updates. I gave him the usual basics about our two-click process of download and update directly from the Array management GUI; you know, no downloading to your PC and copying files here or there – just a couple clicks.
Then I continued with a technical explanation about the update process itself. The first step being a set of high-availability health-checks run by the update process to ensure the system and networking is in proper working order. Then how the standby controller unpacks the software image in a new location and reboots the new version into standby mode. Then the active controller unpacks, reboots and is taken-over by the standby. All unbeknownst to the applications.
Since he was a new customer, I felt compelled to give him a few stats on our latest version of GA software to help put him at ease. We announced our latest version of Nimble OS two weeks earlier and had 170 systems already updated when the customer called me. Of those systems, 55% were updated during their prime time while serving production data. And 100% of all systems had no service disruption to any application.
Now, I had to be completely honest and let him know there were 10 systems that took an extra step to update. A built-in high-availability health-check process had determined network connectivity mismatches on the standby controller could have caused interruption or degradation of service to applications after failover. A quick reconfiguration of the customer’s network and the updates were once again off to the races.
By the way, the customer hit the update button about halfway through that last sentence…