You may be on an unsupported version (8.0.x, 8.5.x customers, we're looking at you!) or just wish to simplify the deployment (get rid of Db2 and WebSphere). To make all of this super-simple, here are the top three reasons to upgrade:
Sametime 8.x is no longer supported. In order to be on the latest and greatest Sametime version, Sametime v11 should be your new friend. It is HCL-branded, has no more IBM dependencies (no Db2, no WebSphere) and is fully supported on 64-bit operating systems — both Windows and Linux (including Domino). Sametime v11 is embedded in Notes v11 and comes with a lot of UX modernization, simplified installation of servers and clients, and is now supported on Docker.
It also offers persistent chat, with the ability to receive messages immediately and on all clients (desktop, mobile, and browser) concurrently, as well as third-party conferencing integration with products such as Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, and Jitsi. You’ll also get a brand-new web client: Built from scratch on React, the new Sametime web client is modern, lightweight, and fast. It is designed to work on its own as well as be included in the soon-to-come thin client. This new web client is consistent with the new HCL product design guidelines, so the UX is simple and uncluttered.
Two words: Deploy and migrate.
Deploy: Deploy HCL Sametime v11 as described in the Sametime v11 installation and administration documentation (that will be provided with the product release), re-create environment settings, and any custom policies and configuration for the Sametime Community Server.
Use the Sametime v11 client builds provided with Sametime v11 GA, to upgrade users from Sametime 8.x and any older clients to the new V11 release.
Migrate: Due to the core architecture and design changes in Sametime v11 compared to Sametime 8.x release, it is not possible to perform an in-place upgrade of the Sametime servers. Instead, deploy Sametime v11 separately so that users can continue working in Sametime 8.x while you manage policies and recreate environment settings and product customizations. When the Sametime v11 deployment is ready for production use, you can redirect clients to Sametime v11 and shut down the Sametime 8.x deployment.
For best results, use separate computers to host Sametime v11 servers. Deploying separate computers prevents port conflicts, reduces resource requirements on each server, and allows you to maintain the Sametime 8.x servers as backups in case you encounter problems with the Sametime v11 deployment.
Planning your migration
Now would be a good time to look at any updates required for operating systems, update your hardware if needed, look at the two different directory types (LDAP and Domino) – move to either one if required for your environment (you should consider buddy list management and migration).
We recommend that you follow some best practices for migration. You should build the new system in parallel. If you built the new system as part of the same community, block via firewall 1516 to prevent confusion as to which server users are on for testing of new feature set. Point test users to new system. Make sure that vpuserinfo.nsf is replicating, or plan for a copy at cutover time. Once satisfied that V11 is working for the test users, do a DNS flip so that existing users silently move over to the new system at the next login. If something goes awry – use DNS to flip back.
Contact list migration: Sametime v8.x and v9.x Contact Lists are stored in the vpuserinfo.nsf database which can be replicated or moved to the new Sametime v11 environment. This will ensure users will not have to rebuild their existing Contact Lists on Sametime v11.
Policy migration: If desired, you’ll be able to use policy.user.xml files from v8.x and v9.x deployments and copy your current policies to the new v11 environment policy xml file.
Making the switch
When switching over to the Sametime v11 deployment for production, change the Sametime DNS settings to direct users to the new deployment.
The switch from the Sametime 8.x deployment to the Sametime v11 deployment should be done in sequence so that all users are accessing only the preferred deployment at any time. Once you have removed the DNS setting for the Sametime 8.x deployment, you should immediately set it in the Sametime v11 deployment to minimize down-time for users.
In the Sametime v11 deployment, change the DNS setting to the value used by Sametime 8.x so that users will automatically access the new deployment.
Shut down the Sametime 8.x servers; do not recycle the equipment until you are satisfied that the Sametime v11 deployment is functioning properly.
What’s coming in 2020?
We have exciting things on the roadmap for 2020. One such item is seamless integration with HCL Connections to allow users to invite “guests” outside the organization to participate in secure collaboration. We are also considering enhanced federation between Sametime communities as well as enhanced integration with Connections, Verse, and more. There’s a brand-new HCL Sametime Meetings offering (including audio-video) planned for mid-2020. We are also looking into community-based chat channels, file sharing and more, via seamless integration with Connections along with ongoing modernization of user experience.