Archive | April, 2021

Upgrade VMware Identity Manager 3.3 to VMware Workspace ONE Access 20.01

28 Apr

I had the opportunity to work on an upgrade from VMware Identity Manager 3.3 (VIDM) to the new name VMware Workspace ONE Access 20.01 (WoA), and I would like to share the entire experience with you. There is guidance available on the VMware documentation and a few blogs. The idea here is not to provide you with a step by step guide instead, provide guidance on best practice, insights on active/passive site, change timings, an end-2-end mind map of activities/steps involved etc., on carrying out a successful upgrade.

Environment Overview
Let take a look at the environment details to provide an high-level overview:
Active Site

  • 3 VMware Identity Manager 3.3 Linux Appliances
  • 2 VMware Identity Manager 3.3 Connecter Linux Appliances (Used for Authentication & VMware Horizon Sync)
  • SQL Database on Microsoft SQL 2016 Always-on
  • The 3 Manager Appliances are behind an NSX Load balancer

Passive Site

  • 3 VMware Identity Manager 3.3 Linux Appliances (Read-only mode)
  • 2 VMware Identity Manager 3.3 Connecter Linux Appliances (Used for Authentication & VMware Horizon Sync)
  • SQL Database on Microsoft SQL 2016 Always-on (Replica DB’s)
  • The 3 Manager Appliances are behind an NSX Load balancer

The offline upgrade method was selected as the choice due to convenience and ease of setup/configuration without exposing the appliance on the internet using proxy. During both, version upgrades the offline package was kept in the /tmp directory, which deletes the files post the reboot.

Downtime Window (Choice)

We had an option of performing the entire upgrade of the above components in a single day change, or we could split the upgrade into two days as we had to go from version 3.3 –> 19.03 –> 20.01.

VIDM TO WoA Upgrade Approach

Initially, we tried the single downtime change window of 16 hours and had hiccups which I plan to write a separate blog post. We split the change into two days. Day 1 – Upgrade from VIDM 3.3 to 19.03 and Day 2 – Upgrade from VIDM 19.03 to WoA 20.01 on two consecutive days giving us the ability for partial rollback instead of starting from scratch again.

High-Level Upgrade Architecture Overview

Disable the IDM – Manager node one at a time under the NSX load balancer and carry out the upgrade of the manager nodes one by one. After all, the manager nodes are upgraded to the desired version then move to the connector nodes one by one. In our scenario this had to repeated during the 19.03 to 20.01 Access node upgrade.

High-Level VIDM to WoA Upgrade Architecture

Observations from the upgrade

  • Check the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix and Product release notes at least two times before working upon the upgrade.
  • Before you begin the upgrade – Suspend the Data Movement on your SQL Always-on the Database.
  • There is no downtime observed when you perform an upgrade on one manager at a time. Make sure you disable the node from the load balancer (No traffic flows to the node).
  • No downtime is observed when connector upgrade are carried out one by one. There were four connectors for redundancy (3 Connectors performing the Authentication Function and 1 Connector – Sync and Authentication). However, the connector chosen for the AD Sync was the last one for the upgrade and in our plan we had mentioned downtime.
  • The System Dashboard – Health of the cluster (Active/Passive) may flip between green and red because the elastic search services take time to stabilize due to the reboots.
  • If you have hotfixes provided by VMware engineering due to previous issues, please check with support whether the fixes have been incorporated into the newer version or/else make sure to ask for the hot patch for the recent version. #ProTIP – Install those hotfixes before the final reboot of the upgrade to avoid an additional service restart dedicated to the hotfix.

End to end mind map of the entire Upgrade

I have included a pdf version of the mind map to read the details with zoom on.

Upgrade VIDM to WoA mind map.
Offline Upgrade VIDM to WoA – Mind Map

I hope you will find this helpful information to plan and succeed in a VMware Workspace ONE Access upgrade. A big thanks to Jishan T S, my teammate, for his continuous contributions to making this a big success and trying all the steps in the development setup multiple times.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari