Documentation

Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 / 2012 from Server 2003

Microsoft has ended mainstream support for Windows Server 2003, and will be dropping extended support in 2015.  Currently, supporting Windows Server 2003 limits the ability for ThoughtFarmer development to use newer development features (such as .NET 4.5).  For these reasons, ThoughtFarmer will require Windows Server 2008 or 2012 as of ThoughtFarmer version 7.0 (to be released Q2 2013).

The following instructions document the steps involved in upgrading your servers from Windows 2003 to either Windows Server 2008 or 2012 in preparation for this release.

There are two different upgrade scenarios, depending on your network architecture:

  1. Multiple Servers: For when the ThoughtFarmer application is installed on a different server than the database.
  2. Single Server: For when the ThoughtFarmer application is installed on the same server as the database

Multiple Servers: Separate ThoughtFarmer & SQL Server instances

To minimize disruption to your existing users, we recommend setting up a new server alongside your existing production server.  We support Windows Server 2008 or 2012, and recommend Windows Server 2012. Note that we recommend upgrading to SQL 2008 or 2012 if you are not already.
  1. Install the pre-requisites required by ThoughtFarmer for either Windows Server 2008 or 2012 respectively. We have a list of all these pre-requisites on our support site here
    1. Configuring Windows Server 2008
    2. Configuring Windows Server 2012
  2. Notify your users that the intranet will be offline.
  3. Turn off the site / application pool on the old web server via IIS Manager
  4. Turn off the ThoughtFarmer service and be sure to fully disable it
  5. Proceed to your new server and download the most recent TF Manager to the server. Ensure you are installing the same version of ThoughtFarmer as your existing production system.  You can find the latest TF Manager here:
    1. TFManager Application
  6. Run the installer and configure it to use your existing SQL Server.
  7. Note: It is recommended to use the same drive paths on the new server so that the _index and _resized image folder paths that have already been configured will map correctly. However, if this is not the case they can be changed within the application
  8. Modify your DNS settings so that it points to your new server. 
  9. Ensure that the IIS bindings are the same as the old server. 
  10. Test and verify the new server.
  11. Notify users that the site is launched
  12. Decommission the old server.


Single Server: ThoughtFarmer + SQL Server on the same machine


To minimize disruption to your existing users, we recommend setting up a new server alongside your existing production server.  We support Windows Server 2008 or 2012, and recommend Windows Server 2012. 
  1. Install the pre-requisites required by ThoughtFarmer for either Windows Server 2008 or 2012 respectively. We have a list of all these pre-requisites on our support site here
    1. Configuring Windows Server 2008
    2. Configuring Windows Server 2012
  2. Install SQL Server on the new server. We support SQL Server 2008 / 2012, and recommend SQL 2012.
  3. Notify your users that the intranet will be offline.
  4. Turn off the site / application pool on the old web server via IIS Manager
  5. Turn off the ThoughtFarmer service and be sure to fully disable it
  6. Take a back-up of your production and or development database and restore it on the new server. Instructions on how to back-up your database on our support site here:
    1. Restore a SQL database
  7. On your new server download the most recent TF Manager. Ensure you are installing the same version of ThoughtFarmer as your existing production system.  You can find the latest TF Manager here:
    1. TFManager Application
  8. Run the installer and configure it to use your existing SQL Server.
  9. Note: It is recommended to use the same drive paths on the new server so that the _index and _resized image folder paths that have already been configured will map correctly. However, if this is not the case they can be changed within the application
  10. Modify your DNS settings so that it points to your new server. 
  11. Ensure that the IIS bindings are the same as the old server. 
  12. Test and verify the new server.
  13. Notify users that the site is launched
  14. Decommission the old server.


If you have any issues or questions with this process please feel free to submit a ticket at the helpdesk.