Upgrade VMware AirWatch/Workspace ONE from version 9.1 to 9.6 and beyond: Part 2 – Device Services and Console Upgrade

In part 1 of this series, we went through a list of prerequisites and upgraded the database successfully. Now it’s time to upgrade the two core components of AirWatch / Workspace ONE: Devices Services and Console.

Whichever you upgrade first shouldn’t matter, but I generally prefer to start with the console server since I just upgraded my database through the same server. Since all AirWatch and World Wide Web Publishing services remain stopped, the actual upgrade process should complete quicker. However, the installer will attempt to stop the services anyway.

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Since I have already upgraded the database, I will continue with the application upgrade.

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The remaining steps are relatively the same for both console and device services servers. The only exception is to make sure you only install the applicable component on each server.

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Be sure to install any missing prerequisites when prompted.

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Since this is an upgrade, much of the information including database should already be filled in.

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If you are upgrading your device services server and have AirWatch Cloud Messaging Server installed, you will be prompted to confirm the information below:

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Now comes a new step to further enhance the security of the install. You are now required to generate an installation token at MyAirWatch (or MyWorkspaceONE) first and then provide it here before continuing.

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Once you log onto MyAirWatch, click on the hamburger icon on the upper left-hand corner and then browse to My Workspace ONE -> Certificate Signing Portal.

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Hover your mouse over AUTHORIZE INSTALL and click on it again.

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The steps below assume your AirWatch server has the Internet connection to the Certificate Signing Service. Hover your mouse over GENERATE A TOKEN and click on it again.

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From here on, copy the token back to the installer and continue the remaining steps. Note that once a token is generated, it will expire in 23 hours.

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Interestingly, I was prompted only once for upgrading the console server but not the device services server.

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Once installation completes successfully for both device services and console servers, you may be prompted to reboot the server. I would do it even if I’m not prompted which was the case after upgrading the console server.

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You can, of course, confirm the upgrade is successful by going to Programs and Features.

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While the application name has changed, the service name remains the same.

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When you access the console again, you will see the brand new Workspace ONE UEM logo!

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Upon logging into the console, accept the Terms of Use once and you are set to go.

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While the VMware Enterprise Systems Connector should be updated automatically once the console is upgraded, I prefer to update it manually to ensure it’s the same version as the console. Don’t forget to do the same again after installing patch described further below.

* Update: There is a known bug with the connector version 9.4 where it wouldn’t update automatically. This issue has since been resolved with the later version. That’s why it’s general practice to update the connector manually.

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It seems like the name AirWatch will not go away anytime soon.

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Patch installation, if required, follows the same steps above. Stopping both AirWatch and World Wide Web Publishing services prior to installing the patch may save you some time, or you can always let the installer does the heavy lifting.

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Just a few days later, another patch (9.6.0.7) was released so I installed it as well to address enrollment issue with the newly announced Apple devices due to UDID change.

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Then just a day later, yet another patch (9.6.0.8) was released to address device wipe failure after the previous patch was released.

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And remember to upgrade the VMware Enterprise Systems Connector also after installing the patch as I wouldn’t recommend waiting for auto-update.

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In part 3 of this series, I will share some of the steps I take to upgrade the auxiliary component: Secure Email Gateway.

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