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superd
Contributor

R81 Upgrade Tips

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Hi all, 

I have a number of R81 upgrades coming up over coming months for various clients, mainly from R80.x.

Aside from the upgrade guide (which I will read), Im looking for some tech tips, or best practices for increasing the chances of a smooth upgrade i.e. pre / post checks, HA best practices etc. stuff that may not neccassarily be in the upgrade guides.

Ive had a number of issues with upgrades between R80 versions (some documented here, and still ongoing), so I really want to try gather as much prep as I can from the experts here.

Also, if theres any known issues / gotchas when going from R80.x to R81, that would be great. 

(Im hoping if we can get some good responses here, it will also be a helpful resource for other Checkpoint customers moving to R81).

Thanks,

D

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superd
Contributor

Thanks for the input guys. Its all helpful and noted.

View solution in original post

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18 Replies
the_rock
Champion
Champion

I did bunch of those and I find it always goes smoothly from web UI. You can also do it via smart dashboard, but its been a while since I did that. 

G_W_Albrecht
Legend
Legend

I would upgrade the SMS using GAiA WebGUI and then the GWs using Smart Dashboard.

CCSE CCTE SMB Specialist
superd
Contributor

Thanks. Can i get your rational behind this? I thought using blink directly on GW GUI would be best method.

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G_W_Albrecht
Legend
Legend

If you go for a fresh install using Blink, yes. In SmartDashboard, you can download the upgrade package once and then locally install it on several GWs.

CCSE CCTE SMB Specialist
G_W_Albrecht
Legend
Legend

I would suggest R81.10 instead of R81.

CCSE CCTE SMB Specialist
the_rock
Champion
Champion

TOTALLY!!!

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superd
Contributor

For sure, yes. I assume R81.10 SMS can happily co-exist and manage R80 GWs?

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Piet_vd_Maas
Contributor

 I don't know how many gateways you're talking about and how many customization you have, but it can be a good moment to do a clean install and review your config why system variables are set etc.

superd
Contributor

Thanks Piet, noted. And its generally a cluster and SMS.

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Ruan_Kotze
Advisor

Configure and test your Lights Out Management before you start (especially if you are not doing the upgrades on-site). 

Example: I recently ran into a a very annoying bug at a couple of deployments where if you had IOC feeds configured the gateway would reboot with the initial policy and having access to the console allowed me to do a "fw fetch".  Allowed me to finish the upgrades on schedule and saved me from a several hours round-trip.

spottex
Participant

I concur on checking lights-out first. Out of 5 clusters on 69000 appliance only one cluster was working. The other 4 clusters (2 nodes each) connectivity failed. Reboot of 3 clusters fixed connectivity. The last one needed a datacentre visit to pull the power cable to reset both nodes.

_Daniel_
Contributor

Keep a close eye on the important files -in case you'd some custom config, mainly trac_client_1.ttm, etc. these will be over-written so make sure to copy them prior to upgrade. It's clearly mentioned in the upgrade guide.

Also I noticed on a VSX cluster the MAC address for the bond has changed post upgrade, impacting the proxy arp config, we ended up updating the local.arp.

Had a problem with one VS post upgrade member 1, I was able to push policies to every single VS but was complaining about one VS not having SIC with it! While waiting over 40 minutes for a TAC engineer to join the call, I rebooted the appliance which fixed the issue.

spottex
Participant

Oh yes we had the VS issue as well. One of the cluster members SIC was showing as initiating.
reboot didn't help us. sk97833 did though
Pulling the cert to the gateway. I think I needed to delete the current initiating cert but can't remember.

[Expert@HostName]# vsenv <relevant VSID>
[Expert@HostName]#cp_pull_cert -d -h <MGMT_IP> -n <VSX_Name_VS Name>

superd
Contributor

Thanks for the input guys. Its all helpful and noted.

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superd
Contributor

I ran into a recent issue with an R81 upgrade, where the user.def file had changed between R80.40 and R81. It caused some major issues with VPN users. It had to be manaully copied into R81.

Just an FYI in case this benefits someone else.

https://sc1.checkpoint.com/documents/R81/WebAdminGuides/EN/CP_R81_SecurityManagement_AdminGuide/Topi...

I guess this was the nature of my initial post. Could there be any other such .def or .conf files which require consideration between versions?

the_rock
Champion
Champion

Very good point, something to keep in mind, for sure!

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Abi
Explorer

After the upgrade and the first policy is pushed to upgraded gateways, you might not be able to login into the SmartConsole .If this occurs, check your implied rules.

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the_rock
Champion
Champion

I believe thats more related to CPM process sometimes taking a bit of time, specially after upgrade and reboot. You can simply check it by running watch $FWDIR/scripts/./cpm_status.sh from expert mode and when it shows up and ready, that means console will work.

Andy

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