PC Upgrade Checklist

My team has recently been through a large PC Upgrade, where we moved our servers and updated to the latest version of HP PC. Below is a checklist that might help you avoid a few snags:

  • Schedule the upgrade well in-advance and communicate the impact to all stakeholders.
    • Notify your team via Calendar Invite during the maintenance period
    • Prevent miscommunication by adding all hosts to a ‘Maintenance’ Timeslot within the Lab
    • Ask all team members to check-in items before the upgrade.
  • Scale up any PC systems as needed. (CPU/RAM/Disk)
  • Examine OS choices and see if it’s a good time to move to a new version.
  • Examine IE requirements and ensure compatibility if you plan on moving to a newer version of IE.
  • Examine backup schedule for key-systems.
    • Does it make sense to increase or reduce backup frequency post migration?
  • Examine service account usage.
    • Does it make sense to create new accounts along with the upgrade?
  • Clean up ALM. (Old scripts, Test Run, Monitor Profiles, etc)
  • Stage all the install files on the PC Hosts so the installs are efficient
    • Build consistency and use the same install method for all VMs
    • Build an install guide for the team to follow
      • Verify you have all the patches downloaded as well for all components
        • PC Server
        • PC Host
        • ALM
        • Network Virtualization
  • Ensure the team has Admin rights to all impacted systems
    • Be sure to update/remove permissions once complete
  • Ensure your main service account has Admin access to the SQL server, PC, and ALM servers
  • Test! Yes, build a sample project and verify the new instance works as designed. Check monitoring, script creation, check-in process, general GUI functionality, test execution, etc.

On the day of conversion/upgrade:

  • Ensure all the systems you plan on modifying are backed-up in-case of catastrophe
  • Ensure you have all the support you may need to in terms of support.
    • Server, Network, SQL, etc.
  • To avoid issues with the upgrade, Disable Versioning before you move Project DBs.
    • (Ensure all versions controlled items are checked in)
  • Use RoboCopy to move the file repository
    • This will take hours unless your team is very small.
  • Test all critical ALM projects!
  • Verify connectivity to any cloud providers that existed prior to the upgrade.
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Performance Testing in the News

Canadian Immigration Website Crashes with Donald Trump victory in the election.

I wonder if this will create demand for performance testing service(s) and if so, there could be significant demand moving forward prior to each election season.

The SuperBowl effect:

It’s become so common, some companies are now predicting which sites are most likely to crash before the event even occurs.

HP ALM – How to Restore after Disaster

Situation: Someone on your team has accidentally deleted Test Cases / Scripts / Results / etc. from ALM.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the structure HP ALM stores data, here are the basics. All of the data stored in ALM (test cases, runs, defects) live in a database on a SQL Server. A unique DB exists for every ALM project.

Usually when you suffer this kind of event,  you have only a few options:

  1. Restore the specific DB impacted. Now, if your lucky the SQL server routinely backs-up all DBs stored on it. (That ALM is configured to use) If that is the case, here is what I think the best solution is. Completing Step 2 reduces the impact to only one project and allows you reconcile differences from the impacted project and the restored one. It also protects other teams if the Server is a shared system vs. doing a complete restore of a Drive in totality. Following the steps below will create a new project in ALM with the restored data from a back-up.
  • Login to HP Site Admin
  • Create a new Empty Project (Project X)
  • Note the DB name for this new project. (I.E. NewProject_DB)
  • De-activate the New project in Site Admin
  • Open SQL Server, and Re-name the DB you just took Note of (NewProject_DB) and append it with _Old (NewProject_DB_Old)
  • Identify the DB of the Project that lost the data (I.E. SomeoneDeletedME_DB)
  • Restore and rename the DB (SomeoneDeletedME_DB) from back-up to the one created in the new project. (NewProject_DB)
  • Activate the new project (Project X) in Site Admin
  • Assign an Admin user to the project
  • Login and verify procedure was successful
  1. Restore the entire System (via many means). While this will do the ‘trick’ it will also wipe out all progress from all Projects in ALM. Meaning, if you have multiple teams using ALM, everyone will be impacted. Also, if this is a shared server, you could impact many other teams. If restoring a system, ideally if you can specify the drive that will help to a certain extent. This should only be done as a last resort.
  2.  Do Nothing. If you don’t have any back-ups then you better get to work….

HP ALM 12.50 Administrator Guide