Moving a Partner Hub

Overview

This section describes how to move a Partner Hub installation from one computer or virtual machine to another.

The Partner Central Hub is a critical component of any Partner System installation. Many other installations update and synchronize with it, and third-party software often must also communicate with it via a variety of ports and protocols. Firewalls and other software may be explicitly configured for the Central Hub’s role and network activities; backups are set up, etc.

With all of this in mind, moving a hub is no trivial task.

That said, the actual technical aspects of moving a Partner Hub installation are actually very simple. What complicates the task are the network and organizational disruptions that may occur without sufficient planning and careful implementation.

This task also applies when changing the network address of the Hub, even if the installation remains on the same computer or virtual machine.

For quick checklists of the tasks involved in moving hubs, see the Checklist: Moving a Partner Hub.

Maintaining the IP or DNS Address

Like any server installation, the network address (either numeric IP or DNS name) is very important and is used by all other installations that need to communicate with the server. Therefore, changing this address is much more disruptive than maintaining it during a Hub move, and the processes for doing so are different. Indeed, just changing the address, even without changing the computer or virtual machine, is equivalent to moving the installation.

Ideally, the new computer or virtual machine will inherit the numeric IP or DNS of the old one. Sometimes, of course, this is not possible. The instructions below address all these cases.

Overall Process

Moving a Hub consists of these subtasks:

Some of the may not apply to a given scenario. The individual scenarios given in Checklist: Moving a Partner Hub address the major variations on this task.

Subtasks

Notify Partner Support

You should always notify Partner Support when major changes are planned to your hub installation or network. This prevents confusion and downtime later if anything bad happens. Also, Partner can also assist with the move, including both advising and performing some or all of the task. Regardless, give us a call and discuss your plans with us.

Plan and schedule

Along with Partner, plan when and how to make the move. Decide which of the scenarios apply to you, and review all of the subtasks. Identify the new Hub’s machine and network address. If there is a new machine, provision it according to your IT standards and Partner guidelines.

The move should generally be scheduled when it will not disrupt normal use.

Have a fallback plan, if things go poorly. Ideally ensure that you can return to the original Hub installation.

Shut down Hub

It is important not to make disruptive changes while the Hub is in operation, and to prevent data changes from occurring from synchronizations or third-party integrations while the move is underway. So, stop the Hub software.

Back up Hub

Make a complete backup of the Hub. This may take some time, since reports and maps can be very large. It is essential, however, that you have a full backup both to move the files to the new location and to ensure that you can restore the Hub if things go badly.

Specifically, you must back up the entire PartnerHub folder, including at least the following directories and all their contents:

  • PartnerHub/MasterInstall/
  • PartnerHub/CentralHub/

You may want to do a bit of housekeeping and ensure that you don’t have extraneous stuff - old backups, test installations, etc. - in the PartnerHub that you don’t want to move.

Disable old Hub

If you are moving the Hub to a new machine, it is VERY important that you disable the old one. Otherwise it may continue to communicate with third-party systems and user installations.

If the Hub is running as a service, disable that service and remove it. Regardless, to prevent someone accidentally turning on the Hub, disable it from running at all. The simplest way to do this is to rename the “system” folder in both the MasterInstall and CentralHub folders to “system.bak” and the “update” folder in both to “update.bak”. This will prevent the software running at all, and also prevents accidentally updating and repairing the CentralHub and then running it.

Install remote support software on new machine

If you are moving the Hub to a new machine, Partner Support personnel will need remote access under our standard support agreement.

Install the remote support software on the new machine.

Install new Hub from backup

If you are moving the Hub to a new machine, install the new Hub in its entirety to its new home. Depending on your circumstances, network and tools, you may prefer to do this from the backup or do a network copy from the old Hub. Regardless, ensure that all contents described in the backup subtask above are copied faithfully.

Transfer network address to new Hub

If you are moving the Hub to a new machine, but maintaining the Hub’s network address, go ahead and transfer the network address to the new machine. Ensure that the old machine is either completely disabled or reassign its address to something new - you don’t want two machines coming up with the same address in any case.

Update configuration and other installations with new address

If you are changing the Hub’s network address, you must make a number of configuration changes. Contact Partner Support for a complete list tailored to your situation.

These include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • changes to config/customer/system/net/hosts.xml,
  • changing update/install/UpdateSource.txt on all site hub installations,
  • changing update/install/UpdateSource.txt on all client installations,
  • changing hosts.xml or posting configuration in the Map Publisher install,
  • modifying any third-party software configuration that integrates with the Hub, and
  • updating web browser bookmarks for all Partner Hub users.

Updating the UpdateSource.txt for all client installations can be particularly resource-intensive and disruptive. This is a simple text file with the URL of the update source, typically pointing at the Central Hub. For small installations, it may be best to simply modify this file by hand. For larger installations, it may be essential to automate this via network scripting or other means. Discuss this with Partner Support for options and advice.

Restart Hub

We should be ready to restart the Hub in it’s new home. Do so... but... carefully.

Test thoroughly

Verify that everything works as it should.

This includes, but may not be limited to, the following tests:

  • updating client installations,
  • updating site hub installations,
  • synchronizing applications,
  • for Field Designer customers, performing a check-in,
  • posting maps from the Map Publisher,
  • using the Partner Web, and
  • verifying operation of all third-party software integrations.