7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 15, 2011 10:26 AM by jeepboy

    Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot

    jeepboy

      Hello,

       

      We're running FileMaker Server Advanced v11.0.2.217 under Mac OS X 10.6.4 on a Mac Pro.

       

      We have a need to reboot the FileMaker Server every Sunday morning at 6:30am. It's easy to set this up in System Preferences, but I'm wondering if we need to manually close the databases before the OS begins the restart process. I'm hoping that the database files close cleanly and nothing else is required, but if it is I'd love some advice on the best way to get this done safely.

       

      When I've done manual restarts of the server in the past, I've always gone into the FMS Admin console and closed all databases first, then did the system restart, so that's why I'm unsure if it's safe to just do the restart without specifically closing the database files first.

       

       

      Thanks in advance for any advice!

        • 1. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
          taylorsharpe

          The FileMaker Service shuts itself down properly and closes files and kicks users off.  So you are fine with the restart.  But as long as you are mentioning best practices, you might want to upgrade to the most recent version of FileMaker Server (11.0.3.309) and upgrade your server to 10.6.8.  Keeping up on these updates will minimize any security vulnerabilities. 

          • 2. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
            jeepboy

            Thanks for the quick reply!  That's awesome.  Yes, we will be updating both after our company's "busy season" ends in April but until then we've frozen the system for any config changes & updates.

            • 3. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
              taylorsharpe

              Ahhhh.... yes... freezing a system to assure nothing goes awry with updates has its merits on a stable system.  But it also assumes that new vulnerabilities are not coming along either.  If this system is within a firewall and not accessible by the internet, then freezing it is OK.  Anything that has an tcp/ip connection to the internet should seriously look at keeping OS's and Services like FileMaker up-to-date.  Of course this means you probably have to test each update for stability and I understand that can take time.  That is just the price of having things facing the internet now that we know it is not just small time hackers doing things but also State sponsored hacking like China does.  I'm assuming your system is closed off from the internet and in that case, all is good.  Note that while FileMaker Service can shut down quickly, when it starts back up, it goes through a validation process for each file.  So the Restart may not have a big FileMaker file available for several minutes. 

              • 4. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
                jeepboy

                Oh yes, that makes a lot of sense.  Fortunately our system is only accessible from the internal network and via VPN so I think we're pretty safe, although the IT part of me wants badly to get the updates applied sooner than later.  We chose Sunday morning for the reboot because the system can take a long time to return.  We've got one DB file over 30GB in size so it can "verify" for an interminable amount of time.  Our other automated systems that connect to FileMaker are going to observe a window from 6:00am to 9:00am to ensure that FMS is 100% back in business before these systems try to establish their connections.  I'm looking forward to connecting on Sunday afternoon to see that everything worked as expected.

                • 5. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
                  taylorsharpe

                  It sounds like you have things under control.  If you have a really big database, hopefully you have a fast RAID.  Just recently I experimented with the new Thunderbolt port on a Mac Mini Server with the Promise Pegasus R4 RAID and it was over 20% faster than a Mac Pro with Apple RAID Card and much more RAM.  Of course my hope is that Apple will come out with a new Mac Pro in the near future, but it is nice to know that an inexpensive Mac Mini Server can be so fast when coupled with a very fast RAID over Thunderbolt!  This is really important to us database developers because database speed is highly dependent on disk speed. 

                  • 6. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
                    dhrowe

                    For best practise in a larger production setting ( like yours ) I would additionally schedule a full backup without backup integrity for how ever many hours you need before the reboot  on  Sunday  morning.  Then if the - its all supposed to go fine -  reboot hangs, you just replace with the saved files and press on.  IF you run an FMS box for a long time between reboots ( months ) , especially with large files, they do sometimes hang.

                    • 7. Re: Best Practice for Scheduled Server Reboot
                      jeepboy

                      Thanks a ton for all the advise!