Steps to upgrade VMware Workspace ONE UEM a dedicated SaaS environment to a newer version

I suspect many of you may have stumbled upon this post because of the latest announcement from Apple on switching to APNS over HTTP/2 by November 2020.

Upgrade Workspace ONE UEM before November 2020 to support Apple Push Notifications over HTTP/2 (78976)

Quite a while ago, I wrote a series of posts on upgrading the on-premises environment.

SaaS-based customers, fortunately, have an advantage over on-premises customers that the core components (database, device services, and console) are upgraded by the operation team at VMware resulting in significant time-saving. However, you are still responsible for upgrading the auxiliary components (AirWatch Cloud Connector, Secure Email Gateway, etc.) manually.

Per my VMware Support Account Manager (SAM) on whether to upgrade our Secure Email Gateway along with our console upgrade:

  • SEG applications are generally compatible with all current versions of UEM
  • UEM v2005+ and SEG 2.10 + are absolutely compatible
  • There is NO official documentation on SEG/UEM interoperability

The goal of this post is to show you the steps required to upgrade your dedicated SaaS to a newer version. For more information, feel free to check out the link below from VMware.

Steps

Similar to upgrading the on-premises environment, first make sure to review the release notes of the version you wish to upgrade to.

Once you confirm the desired version you wish to upgrade to, log onto https://support.workspaceone.com to schedule the upgrade under My Workspace ONE -> My Company. Click on the link Schedule an upgrade time to begin.

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Depending on the version you are upgrading from, you may see more or fewer options after clicking on the drop-down menu.

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You will then need to pick a timeslot for the upgrade anywhere between 1 am to 6 pm with 4 hours minimum for the upgrade.

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The last step is to click YES, THIS IS WHAT I WANT button to confirm your request.

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Soon after, you will see the prompt below and receive the ticket info via email.

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You can also view the details of the ticket from your ticket portal.

dsaasupgrade10

You do have the option to reschedule or even cancel the upgrade later on from the same web portal as needed.

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Once the upgrade begins for your environment, in the past you would receive an email notification via the same ticket. The same goes when the upgrade completes. Unfortunately, VMware upgraded its internal system so now email notification is no longer generated. (updated as of 09/15/20: This notification feature has been restored per How to use the Dedicated SaaS Upgrade Scheduler)

In the web portal, you will also see updates similar to the below during and after the upgrade.

SaaSUpgrade1

SaaSUpgrade2

The more I adapt to the SaaS model of AirWatch, the more I appreciate the time I now have to offer more values to my customers. Sure I miss tweaking the servers for optimal performance or designing the high availability/disaster discovery setup across multiple sites. At the same time, I no longer worry about critical server/data backup or the need to restart any essential services on these servers. The main benefits of keeping the infrastructure on-premises, in my opinion, are total control and security. The pandemic of 2020 forces businesses of all sizes to be more adaptable to both planned and unplanned changes. Going to the ‘cloud’ appears to be the most feasible solution.

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