Server Swaps

Over time your Easy Rides database server may need to be replaced, either because of aging hardware, older operating systems, or moving dedicated hardware to a virtual machine. Mobilitat staff are happy to help with this process. We have helped migrate dozens of servers over the years and have developed a process to perform the transition with a minimum of downtime.

Preparation

Before switching servers, make sure to check the current system requirements for a new server. Usually when upgrading it is good to plan for the future, so configure your server with extra memory, and use the latest operating system and SQL server versions.

  • Contact Mobilitat staff and schedule a time for the actual server swap.
  • If possible download the SQL server software. *If you’re using a paid version of SQL Server, use the latest version you have license to or better yet, get a license for the latest version. If you’re using Easy Rides Basic or Starter and have fewer than 5 or 6 users, the free SQL Express should work fine for you. The current version of SQL Express 2014 can be found here:
    • https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42299
    • You will be presented with a list of files to choose from. Choose the one named:
    • ExpressAndTools 64BIT\SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe
    • File size should be about 830 MB
    • If you are uncomfortable or unable, Mobilitat staff can install this for you the day of the swap, but downloading it in advance saves time.
    • If you are comfortable installing SQL, you can go ahead and install it yourself. You will want to choose the Mixed Mode Authentication and set a password for the ‘sa’ user (Please contact us for a suggestion on the ‘sa’ password if you’d like - it’ll help us support you better).
  • Next, copy the Mobilitat shared folder from the old server to the new server.
    • Configure the new copy of the Mobilitat folder as a shared folder, and confirm that the existing workstations are able to connect to that folder. Until the server swap, this copy of the mobilitat folder will still be connecting to the old database, but doing this in advance helps confirm that the new server is on the network properly.

Performing the server swap

Note: The initial work on the servers does not require Easy Rides users to exit the program yet. We will take about 30 minutes to an hour to get everything ready, then we will ask you to have users exit Easy Rides after we’ve tested the complete setup. (We can also schedule a swap after hours to avoid interrupting users at all.)

  • After all preparations are done, on the scheduled day, Mobilitat will connect via Teamviewer to both the old and the new server. If possible it is helpful to connect to one server, and then from that server, use remote desktop to connect to the other.
  • Mobilitat staff will finish the SQL installation if needed, then restore an old copy of the database to the server and configure the copy of Easy Rides in the new mobilitat folder to connect to the new database server. This won’t yet be the live database, but will allow us to test that networking and firewalls are open to allowing connections. Often we will need to configure the firewall to allow local SQL connections.
  • Once the connection test is confirmed, we will ask all users to exit Easy Rides on the old server.
  • Next we make a database backup, transfer it to the new server and restore it. If everything is setup and configured properly in advance, the downtime is typically less than 10 or 15 minutes, but sometimes we run into unexpected network or security issues.
  • Then we will update the Easy Rides shortcuts on each workstation to point at the new server and test the connections.
  • We will also take the old database offline to make sure no one accidentally connects to it.

Cleanup

After Users are able to connect to Easy Rides, there are a few cleanup tasks to perform:

  • Configure scheduled database backups
  • Configure any MS Access reports or manifests to connect to the new database
  • Remove old shortcuts from the workstations.
  • If mapped drives are used, it is easier to just remap the drive to the new share instead of the old share.
  • If you are running Tablets or MDTs, we will have migrated the ERWebserver along with Easy Rides, but we will need to update your router to enable port forwarding to the new server.

Thats it!

It may sound like a big process but we have done this enough to make it go smoothly. When preparing your server swap feel free to call us if you have any questions so we can help make the transition as seamless as possible for your users.