File Director upgrades

In this section:

2021.3 upgrade paths

In-place upgrade

Side-by-side upgrade

Release-specific information

2021.3 upgrade paths

Note: whether applying a patch or deploying a new base image, customers are strongly recommended to take an appliance configuration snapshot from the Admin Console prior to the upgrade in case they need to restore this following the upgrade. Refer to Apply a File Director patch.

When upgrading from an older release the preferred method is to deploy a new base image (shown as option b) in the table below. This option is a quicker process and allows customers to benefit from improvements to the VM. For example, the updated network adapter and VM hardware levels. In addition, this option enables you to run the two installations side-by-side to perform testing before moving users across.

The table summarizes the various upgrade paths for File Director 2021.3.

Your current version Method / Option Upgrade step(s) required

a) Apply patch

Apply 2021.3 patch
2020.3 - 2019.3 a) Apply patch Apply 2021.1 patch Apply 2021.3 patch
b) Base image Deploy 2021.1 base image Apply 2021.3 patch  
2019.1 a) Apply patch Apply 2019.3 patch Apply 2021.1 patch Apply 2021.3 patch
b) Base image Deploy 2021.1 base image Apply 2021.3 patch  
2018.3 or earlier a) Apply patch Apply 2019.1 patch Apply 2019.3 patch Apply 2021.1 patch Apply 2021.3 patch
b) Base image Deploy 2021.1 base image Apply 2021.3 patch  

Example upgrade path:

If your current appliance version is File Director 2019.1 the recommended upgrade method is option b) Base image. The required upgrade steps are:

1.Deploy 2021.1 base image

2.Apply 2021.3 patch

If you are unable to deploy the base image, thealternative upgrade method is option a) Apply patch. The required upgrade steps are:

1.Apply 2019.3 patch

2.Apply 2021.1 patch

3.Apply 2021.3 patch

Note, you can only directly upgrade your File Director appliance(s) to 2021.3 from version 2021.1 and above. Refer to the Release-specific information below.

Best practice

Depending upon your needs there are different approaches to applying a File Director upgrade summarized below.

For practical guidance on how to apply a patch to your standalone appliance or cluster, refer to Apply a File Director patch.

In-place upgrade

In-place upgrades are the most straightforward and ensure that all File Director appliances are of the same version.

The disadvantages of in-place updates is that your system will remain offline during part of the upgrade. See Apply a File Director patch for further information.

Side-by-side upgrade

If you want to evaluate or test a major version upgrade before applying it to your production environment you may want to perform a side-by-side upgrade. This approach allows you maintain continuity and keep your existing File Director appliance(s) running, whilst creating a new set of appliances using the newer version. The approach requires additional infrastructure and resources.

To ensure that your clients continue to synchronize with configured map points after the upgrade it is vital to perform the following steps:

1.Back up your current appliance configuration (see Backup and restore).

2.Restore the configuration to your new appliance or cluster.

If you do not restore the configuration on your new installation, each client will perform full conflict resolution. Under these conditions, the client attempts to download the server copy of every file in order to recreate the local metadata. If you have a large number of files and users, this can dramatically increase the load on your network.

Release-specific information


The 2021.1 patch file applies only to File Director 2019.3 and above.

File Director 2021.1 included a new base image and administrators are advised to deploy the new image and apply the patch only if the recommended approach of deploying the base image is not possible.

Removal of SQL dependency

The 2021.1 release of File Director delivered many important changes that simplify both infrastructure requirements and appliance configuration.

A key feature of File Director 2021.1 is that it removed the requirement for an external SQL database.

On upgrade, from a pre-2021.1 release to 2021.1 (or later) there are no additional steps required to benefit from removal of this dependency, the transition is seamless with no impact to clustering or client connectivity. Following upgrade, all SQL software is removed from your appliance (including the SQL driver), and the tab within the web admin user interface.

VMware - additional configuration

The following section applies only to VMware deployments, it does not apply to Hyper-V. The recommended virtual hardware level for VMware is version 14 or later.

The base image for File Director 2021.1 includes the VMXNET3 network adapter for virtual machines. This adapter supports a 10GB network capability. Installing the new base image will automatically update the required VM configuration file to enable the increased capacity.

If you upgrade to 2021.1 by applying the patch, you will need to manually update the network adapter from E1000 to VMXNET3 in order to take advantage of the 10GB NIC.

Change network adapter to VMXNET3

If you upgrade to 2021.1 by installing the patch the network adapter must be updated to take advantage of the 10GB NIC. The change can be made via the VMWare user interface or manually in the configuration file:

After applying the patch, locate and open the VMware configuration file (.vmx)

In the ethernet0.virtualDev field enter: vmxnet3
Note, in previous releases of File Director (2020.3 and earlier), the value required was E1000.

2020.2 - TLS

As of File Director 2020.2, by default the server will accept only TLS1.3 and TLS.1.2 secure connections. Refer to Advanced configuration help.

2019.3 appliance patch:

Note that when upgrading to 2019.3 the database settings will be wiped as the new schema is applied. It is vital that a configuration snapshot is downloaded before upgrading. This configuration snapshot can then be restored post-upgrade.

Technical Previews

Upgrade to File Director from any technical preview installation is not supported.

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