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SimpleHelp Server Migration Guide

Use this guide to retain your server configuration and connectivity with remote machines when migrating your SimpleHelp server instance to a new host, new network or both.

Migration Overview

When migrating a SimpleHelp server to another machine, you should follow this guide to ensure a smooth transfer.

There are two types of migration you may wish to perform:

  • Migrating an existing server machine onto a new network
  • Migrating an existing server installation to another machine (either on the same network or a different one)

Note: You can retrieve downloads for historic SimpleHelp server versions from this page. You may want to use an older installer if: - Your current server version is older than the latest public release. See the release news page here. We recommend only updating between versions either before or after migrating. - Your license's support period has expired and you do not wish to renew. Your license will not run versions released after your support period ended.

Migrating an Existing Installation to a New Network

If you are keeping your SimpleHelp server installation unchanged on the same server machine, but wish to move that machine to a new network you need only consider if the server will have a new address after the move.

  • Same Web Address: If the server has the same web address then any existing Technician or Customer apps and Remote Access services will pick up your server at the same address after the move without any changes required.

  • Different Web Address: If the server will have a new web address then Technician and Customer apps will need to be re-downloaded after the move and Remote Access services will need to be migrated.

    • If you need to change the server address for your Remote Access services then you can migrate them via the Access tab (v4.2 and later only):
    • Select the Access tab in the Technician Console
    • Select the services that you wish to migrate, and press the Migrate button that appears in the details panel below.
    • Add the new server address into the resulting dialog.
    • Once you have migrated onto your new server installation you can again follow the steps above to remove the old SimpleHelp server web address.
    • In versions prior to v4.2 you must configure the Remote Access services on the machine itself or via the access tab to change the server address.

Public Accessibility

Once relocated, your server may be behind new firewalls. If you have any issues with its accessibility after the move, see our Public Accessibility Guide.

Migrating to a New SimpleHelp Server Installation

If you are migrating to a new SimpleHelp server installation, either on the same network location or a new one, you will need to consider migrating over settings and Remote Access services to the new installation.

SimpleHelp server licenses are not tied to specific hardware, so you may move to a new server machine whenever necessary without a need to change your license, including moves from one operating system to another.

When migrating to a new server machine, it is important to retain the secure server ID from your existing server, so that existing apps and Remote Access services trust your new server. To do this, copy the entire configuration folder from your previous server installation, and replace the configuration folder on your new server (this is both safe and necessary even when moving from one operating system to a different one). You will need to restart SimpleHelp once the configuration folder's contents have been copied.

To migrate to a new machine then, you should follow these steps:

  • Copy the configuration folder from your current setup.
  • Install the new SimpleHelp server.
  • Shut down the new SimpleHelp server and replace its configuration folder with the one you copied. This is required even when switching operating systems.
  • Start the new SimpleHelp server.

Your new server will now be set up with the same secure ID as your previous one.

Changing server hardware without changing network address

If the new server is to use the same web address as the previous server then remote access services will immediately register with the new server as long as you have ensured the secure server ID has been retained. All SimpleHelp applications will also continue to operate as before.

Changing network address as well as hardware

If the new SimpleHelp server is using a different web address (for example, if it has moved to a new hosting location and the existing domain or IP has not been retained) then Technicians and Customers will need to re-download their apps from the new server address.

If you need to change the server address for your Remote Access services then you can migrate then using SimpleHelp v4.2 or later:

  • Select the Access tab in the Technician Console
  • Select the services that you wish to migrate, and press the Migrate button that appears in the details panel below.
  • Add the new server address into the resulting dialog.

Once you have migrated onto your new server installation you can again follow the steps above to remove the previous, old SimpleHelp server web address. In previous versions you will need to configure the Remote Access services either on the machine itself or via the access tab to make changes to the server address.

Public Accessibility

Once moved, your server may be behind new firewalls. If you have any issues with its accessibility after the move, see our Public Accessibility Guide.

Troubleshooting - Unable to verify server authenticity

Generally issues that arise will be due to failing to retain the secure server ID from your previous server when moving to a new one. To remedy this you should shut down the new server, and restore either the entire configuration folder from your previous installation, or just the serverkeys.dat file within the folder.

If your Technician/Customer apps see that your secure server ID does not match the one they expect they will refuse to connect with the error Unable to verify server authenticity. If this is the case ensure that the configuration has been copied across correctly, and that the new server install was restarted.

If your Remote Access services see that the secure server ID does not match they will refuse to share any information, and will adopt anonymous names, starting with SG_xxx, in the Access tab. They may also refuse to allow sessions to connect. If this is the case ensure that the configuration folder has been copied correctly.

Troubleshooting - Remote Access Service Issues

If your remote access services are not able to connect to your new server then some (or all) of the services may not appear in the Access tab. If this is the case ensure that the new server is accessible on the SimpleHelp server ports you have configured. If your previous server was accessible over UDP, then ensure that the new server too is accessible over UDP.