Update and Migration Handbook

Upgrading a Connector

Overview

GSA connector releases generally follow an independent update cycle to GSA software releases. The overall release schedule of the GSA connector suite is marked by the incremental releases of the Google Connector Installer (GCI), which contains an installer for every supported GSA connector.

The list of versions of the GSA Connectors can be found via the Google Enterprise Support Portal under Resources > Google Search Appliance Connectors Software Updates.

The version numbering of each GSA connector follows a three-segment naming convention and can include a special version identifier, as shown in the following format:

Connector name <major version> - <special version identifier>

Some examples of this numbering scheme are:

  • GSA Connector for Livelink 2.8.4
  • GSA Connector for SharePoint 3.0.4
  • GSA Connector for SharePoint 3.0.6 - RC1

Versions containing a special version identifier are typically unsupported versions which should not be used in Production. Eg. RC1 is a Release Candidate version.

General Upgrade Steps

The simplest way to upgrade a connector is to install a new instance of the connector and re-index all content. Unless otherwise stated in connector release notes, re-indexing of all connector content is recommended for every version upgrade of a connector.

The general steps for achieving this with a production environment would include:

  • Switch serving to a production backup GSA environment
  • Install the new version of the connector and re-index content into the production GSA. If license capacity allows, documents indexed via the old version of the connector can be retained and tested against documents indexed from the new connector (eg. via separate collections). This will allow for comparison of content and simpler rollback if any issues are encountered.
  • Test and verify documents from new connector have been indexed successfully and any connector dependent security mechanisms are still functional (eg. connector authentication or authorization, ACL indexing)
  • Reinstate and resume serving from production GSAs, and perform upgrade connectors in the production backup GSA environment.

Upgrade Considerations

Common considerations that should be taken into account when upgrading GSA connectors include:

Changes to the connector

  • Some connector upgrades include major changes to connector design, and may impact the configuration of the overall GSA environment. For example, the GSA Connector for Lotus Notes 3.0 introduced early-binding and if used, requires the correct security mechanisms to be configured for authentication in order for secure search to function correctly. These changes should be determined through analysis of the new connector features and an impact analysis within the existing GSA environment.

Dependencies on the GSA

  • GSA connectors depend on functionality within the GSA to operate, and some new versions of connectors are tied to new features introduced within the GSA. For example, the GSA Connector for File Systems 3.0 relies on new functionality introduced within GSA 7.0.

Re-indexing

  • When re-indexing connector content, a complete re-traversal of the content system is required, and may impact performance through the increased load on the content system.
  • Re-indexing with a new connector instance will also increase GSA license count usage, if existing documents are not removed from the index prior to connector upgrade.
  • In some special circumstances, re-indexing of all content may not be required when performing a GSA connector upgrade. This circumstance varies for each connector and each version, and should only be determined with expert analysis and guidance.

Changes to the target content system

  • Some connectors require software to be installed onto the target content source (eg. the GSA Connector for SharePoint) and new versions will typically include updates to these components.
  • This may also have limitations for running two versions of a connector simultaneously during the upgrade process(eg. the GSA Connector for SharePoint requires an appropriate version of the Google Services for SharePoint to be installed on the SharePoint server).

For complex connector upgrade scenarios, a GSA Qualified Deployment Specialist should be consulted for advice and guidance.

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