How to upgrade to a new version?
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I assume you meant upgrade from 800xA 4.1 to 800xA 5.1.
You can download the document for upgade from 4.1 to 5.1 from the above link.
System 800xA Upgrade 3BSE036342-511 E is the document number and the section 5 onwards describes the steps to follow for upgrade.
I agree with the response that you received above recommending that you have qualified ABB technical resources that have done these upgrades before assist you (i.e. actually contract them to come in and do it for you completely). Because you are at a Ver. 4.x of the product, this will be a multiple step process as you will need to upgrade from where you are to at least one if not two versions within the Ver. 5.0 series (e.g. 4.5 to 5.0 or 5.0 SP1 to 5.0 SP2 rev??? as there were 5 revisions within SP2) and then to either Ver. 5.1 Rev. C or 5.1 Feature Pack 4 (which includes the Rev. C updates). Keep in mind that you when you do the migration through the Ver. 5.0 series, you will need to have copies of WINDOWS XP Pro and Server 2003 to go along with the ABB 800xA software to load on to your system to do these upgrades in order to move on to Ver. 5.1.
I assume that you are planning on replacing all of your existing computers with new computers and if you are currently not planning on this, you will need to plan on this as whatever you are probably using with the current system will most likely not support the latest version running on Server 2008 and Windows 7 Pro.
Also, with the newer version, you also have the option of "virtualizing" your system which means that you can run multiple servers on the same set of hardware. For example, instead of 6 servers that you may currently have for 2 x Domain controllers, 2 x aspect servers and 2 x AC800M Connect Servers, you could now do this on two sets of hardware, each running multiple virtual machines (one set for Primary and one set for redundant). Again, this would also be another good reason to get a knowledgeable ABB factory resource in to meet with you and work out the strategy and what type of hardware approach best fits your plant's philosophy and requirements for system redundancy and reliability as some folks are okay with using virtual machines and some prefer to stick with individual servers for each role, although many are at least combining the redundant Domain controller function in with the Aspect server on the same computer, which ABB now supports as a tested solution.
Based on our experience having worked with several customers that have upgraded their systems in the past, depending on the size of your existing system, you are probably looking at a minimum of two weeks and quite possibly three weeks of time to perform this upgrade from where you are to the latest version of the system. I do not say this to discourage you but rather to give you a realistic expectation of the time needed for a qualified ABB expert to properly do the migration so that the system is solid when you are ready to start. As you will be supplying new machines, it may be more cost-effective for you to arrange to ship your computers in to the ABB office that you will be working with so that they may perform the system migration at their location, which gives them better access to resources should they run in to issues or questions, plus it will save you on the T&L related expenses associated with them doing the work on-site.
Once they have completed the work at their site, you can either go in and do an FAT on the system or bring it in to your plant and if you have time, run it without it connected to the actual system and have your folks go through and verify things to make sure that everything is working correctly. Once you feel that it is ready, pulling out the old hardware, installing the new computers and then upgrading the firmware on all of the 800xA controllers and communication devices will take a lot less time than if you tried to do it all at the same time.
These are just some suggestions based on several years of working with 800xA customers and systems and having gone through several system upgrades. Good luck.
Read the manuals, then read them again, then once more to make sure you didnt miss anything. Even then something will probably go wrong at some pojnt, so have a plan ready for when it does.
As already suggested, using VMware virtual servers is a VERY good idea. While not officially supported, the 800xA version 4.1 will run on a virtual server ( except for some nodes like AC450 CS, which need an RTA board). So you can run a VMconvert on your existing system and create a VMware virtual machine for each of your servers. Then make a test run through the upgrade process on an aspect and a connectivity server. Take Snapshots of each major step so you can go back if required. Test the upgraded system to make sure everything is OK. Then you should be ready to upgrade your physical servers. Be ABSOLUTELY SURE that you have a safe copy of your cold retain data as it is very easy to corrupt the AC800M cold start data if you get something wrong.
And also as suggested before, if you have never done an 800xA upgrade before, they can be very complex. Getting expert help is recommended.
Finally, check this forum and the ABB support website for known problems that you might encounter ( like released libraries not updating properly )