VRT: Updating Software

 VRT: Updating Software

This is a short blog post from the VRT team at Sourcefire.  It’s mainly about updating software on a *nix system (or mac) but can easily be modified to work on Windows.

The post boils down to the following items if you’re installing on Windows (although you should read their list and fit it to your needs):

  • Backup everything before starting the update.
  • Make and use checklists.
  • Read the documentation BEFORE you start the update.
  • Check the configuration options before you do the update.
  • Document what you’re doing (config options used and why, etc).
  • Verify that the new version is properly installed.
  • If you have the option, use the config files that come with the update.  You’ll tailor them to your specifics later.
  • Tailor the configuration to what you need (based on your documentation from last time) and document the changes.
  • Test the software thoroughly.
  • Make a checklist of what files it will replace.  Uninstalling and doing a completely new installation may be a better solution.
  • Test how the software interacts with other applications on the system (part of “Test the software thoroughly).
  • Monitor your system for a few days (closely).
  • Make sure ALL of your documentation is complete, clear, concise, and that anyone could repeat or undo what you’ve done.

The important things to take away from this are

  • Know what the software is going to do and why. Know how it’s going to interact with your system and what changes it will make.
  • Test everything completely before calling the update complete.
  • Document everything clearly, completely, and concisely.
  • Configure the software after you update it, to suit your needs.
  • Above all, back up everything before you start.  If the update goes wrong, you’ll be glad you did.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

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