Friday, June 26, 2009

“New URL for Original Content” setting.[SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007 Migration] (Gradual Upgrade)

Issue Background

If you were are planning for a Gradual Upgrade, as the Upgrade path is dictated you are trying to upgrade the V2 site collections in a side by side environment one or more site collections at a time. You first start by going in to the MOSS Central Administration screen and from the Operations>Set content upgrade status.


This will take you to the list of all the V2 Virtual Servers, that can be upgraded. Go ahead the choose your V2 Virtual server from the list to Beginning Setup for Upgrading. (Sorry, don’t have my let setup completely to show the real example screen shots, when I do, I will update with appropriate screen shots). Now you are prompted for “New URL for original content” to choose either a port number or a host header to host the old content.

Lets take moment for second and think about repercussions of doing so. The whole idea of Gradual Upgrade is that you can have the ability to gradually upgrade your site collection(s) one by one as the situation permits (depending on your permissible outage, size, SLA etc)> The Upgrade Job does that, but at the cost of switching your original content to a temporary address and serving the upgraded content with the original URL. At the same time if you were to access your old content that is still in V2 (Not upgraded), the new MOSS Web Application that is now configured to serve the upgraded content, will have a redirection implemented. Which will appropriately redirect based on the content request, such that for any request that points to a site collection that is not upgraded, you will be redirected to the “New URL for original content”. That means your URLs to the old original content is changed.

Now, if you have URL sensitive content such as XML forms, custom solutions based on the URL, you can imagine the changed URL can cause to the entire process.


One way to approach this issue is serving the Upgraded content with new URL, and retaining the original content with original URL. I call this “Flipping the URL”. How you implement this configuration is by “flipping the original URL” in your V2 virtual server just before you perform the “Begin Upgrade” setting in MOSS Central Administration which leads to the “Set Target Web Application” screen. Follow below steps:

  1. First determine your URL for serving the Upgraded Content. Weather a Host Header based or a Port number (I would think you have nice DNS name thought out, although you can use port numbers but not very elegant). Lets call this as “Upgraded URL”.
  2. If you are serving the original V2 content with either a host header or a port number, then lets update the settings in IIS manager for the IIS Site you are intend to Gradual Upgrade with the “Upgraded URL”. (If you have a farm with more than one front end server, then make sure to update on all the Front End Wed server IIS settings.)
  3. Now go back to V3 Central Administration>Operations>Site Content upgrade status> screen. You will notice that your “URL for previous version” (V2 Virtual Server) is now updated with the “Upgraded URL” you have updated in IIS.
  4. Now choose the “Begin upgrade”. On the Set Target Web Application screen”, for the “New URL for Original content”, based on weather you had port number or a DNS/Host Header, enter the original V2 address (original port number/host header).
  5. Follow through remaining entries (I might cover specifics on the remaining entries on another posting). Click on ok to affect the new settings.
  6. Once the settings are completed (Head attention to weather you will need to perform an IISRESET /noforce )
  7. Now go back to IIS Manager and look for the Port/Host header settings under the original V2 Web Site as well as the new web site the MOSS has created for your with “_Pair” suffix.
  8. You will notice that the change you had temporarily made to the IIS Site that was serving the original content is now set up back with the original Port/Host Header, and that the “_Pair” web application is assigned with new “Upgraded URL”

Hope this posting helps you think through your Gradual Upgrade serving URL. Let me know if you had any difficulty is setting this.

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