Creation of a Second Virtual Machine to Allow Implementation of Upgraded Site Software.

In December of 2019 one of our client’s, a dental office, was informed that their version of EagleSoft was out of date and was not supported on Windows 10.  They had recently upgraded all of their systems to Windows 10. 

Eaglesoft is a software package that manages appointment scheduling and records management.  It ties into other applications that they use for XRay management and other functions.  Their entire office is dependent on this application.

For this client Eaglesoft resided on their main server, which is also their Domain Controller (DC), and has been there for many years.  I researched this upgrade, contacted Eaglesofts technical support directly and asked several questions.  Once I was certain that I understood the process I arranged with our client a time for the upgrade, as they would need to shut down all terminals during the upgrade.  This particular client is closed one day a week every week.  I arranged to perform this upgrade on that day.  This was a major upgrade, going from version 17 to 21.

On that particular day I arrived mid morning and began the upgrade.  The actual upgrade was not particularly difficult, download and launch the upgrade package and then let it run.  Towards the end of the upgrade procedure, I began getting errors from the installer.  I researched the issue online, but could not find a clear reason for the errors.  I called Eaglesofts support once again.  After talking with them and a bit of troubleshooting they realized that this service was running on a Domain Controller.   One of the improvements made in this upgrade was moving from their own database system to a SQL database.  SQL does not play nice with Domain Controllers.

Fortunately, my client’s DC was actually a Virtual Machine, running on their physical Hypervisor.

A Hypervisor / Virtual Machine setup is a common way to set up servers and allows for a great deal of versatility.  A typical desktop has its Operating System (like Windows 10) installed directly (physically) on the system.  Files are stored directly on the hard drive, the OS and applications run directly in the memory (RAM).  

With a Virtual Machine environment, you have only a basic operating system installed on the physical machine, and then run your actual servers as virtual machines.  There are several advantages including better utilization of of the physical machines resources and the virtual machines can be easily backed up and moved to a different physical machine in case of new technology or physical machine failure.

I quickly determined that our clients had sufficient resources on their physical machine.  Their copy of Windows Server allowed for three simultaneous instances to be installed, at that point two were in use (Hypervisor itself and the Domain Controller).  I was able to spin-up a second virtual machine and then install the Eaglesoft service on that machine.  From there I worked with Eaglesoft technical support to get the database moved over from the DC to the new App Server.  

I did move a few other services from the DC over to the App Server as well, File Server and Print Server, to further reduce the usage of the DC. 

The client is now working happily in this new environment and is prepared for future changes.

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