When Should You Update Software?

Software updates are one of the things that can cause pain for server and network administrators.  They do not have the luxury to just click an “upgrade to next version” button like you would see on a WordPress website.  There is usually more involved when updating software.

When you have a new software (or operating system) you can upgrade to, there are a few things to check out first.

(Not an exhaustive list)

  1. Does it have any features that are beneficial to my daily work?
  2. Does it have any features that have been removed?
  3. Will the currently running software work with the new OS, or have people complained about the software not working correctly?
  4. Will your hardware work with the new software?
  5. How much downtime will an upgrade incur?
  6. If a lot of downtime will occur, is there a way to minimize the downtime?

Whenever you want to use a newer OS, you should always perform a fresh install on the computer. Never just do an in-place upgrade.  This is a very good way to mess things up on the computer.  Even if the in-place upgrade (not a fresh install) seems to work fine, there may be small issues that will pop-up later that you are not aware of.  Then you will wish you had done a fresh install in the first place. 🙂

Also, whenever you want to update a piece of software, always make sure you are using a “stable” release of the software.  Never run Beta, RC, Alpha, or any “not finished” software in production.  This can cause you grief that you could have avoided.

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Programming, Software