Update Alation to 2023.1

2023.1 Update Version Dependencies

Alation supports a direct update to version 2023.1 from the following previous versions:

  • 2022.4.x

  • 2022.3.x

  • 2022.2.x

Version 2022.1.x and Older

Direct update to 2023.1 is not supported from version 2022.1 and older versions. First, update Alation to a version that supports the update to 2023.1 and then perform a second update to 2023.1. Use the update instructions specific to your release.

2023.1 Release-Specific Information

Note

The full list of new features is available in Release Notes 2023.1 (General Availability).

Postgres Upgrade

The Postgres component (the internal PostgreSQL database) was upgraded from version 13.6 to version 13.8 to take advantage of improvements and bug fixes in the newer version. No manual action is required from Alation admins as the database version upgrade happens automatically during the Alation update.

Alation Analytics PostgreSQL Upgrade

The Alation Analytics database was upgraded from version 13.1 to version 13.9. No additional manual actions are required from Alation admins as the Alation Analytics database version upgrade happens automatically during the update of the Alation Analytics application.

Change Of the Default Backup Tool

From version 2023.1, the default backup tool in the Alation application is pgBackRest. On existing Alation instances, where pgBackRest has not been enabled yet, during the update to 2023.1, the value of the alation_conf parameter alation.feature_flags.enable_pgbackrest will be changed from False to True, thus enabling the tool.

Note

Previously, the default backup tool was pg_probackup. The pgBackRest tool was available additionally from version 2022.2 and could be enabled on demand, using the dedicated feature flag in alation_conf.

We recommend ensuring that you have the latest Alation backup before the update.

After the update, take a new manual full backup to ensure you have the first backup that uses pgBackRest.

Encryption Security Fix

Note

Applies to updates from versions older than 2022.3.10.

If you are updating from a version older than 2022.3.10 to version 2023.1, you are skipping some versions that include a security fix removing a risk identified in the current encryption mechanism that makes Alation potentially susceptible to key reuse attacks. Information about this risk is available in November 3, 2022 - Encryption Key Reuse Security Advisory available on Alation Community (requires Community login). On customer-managed instances, additional action is required after the update as existing data needs to be re-encrypted. The step to perform re-encryption is included in the update instructions below.

Update Known Issues

Reset Postgres Password

If you have a password set on the internal PostgreSQL database (Rosemeta), the update to 2023.1 will result in an error similar to the following:

WARN: unable to check pg-1: [DbConnectError] unable to connect to 'dbname='postgres' port=5432':
FATAL: password authentication failed for user "postgres"
password retrieved from file "/home/postgres/.pgpass"
ERROR: [056]: unable to find primary cluster - cannot proceed

Update to 2023.1 requires that the password on the internal PostgreSQL database should be cleared for the time of the update. The password can be set again after the update is completed. On how to set the Postgres password, see Set Password for Internal PostgreSQL Instances.

Use Cluster Splitting for HA Pair Update

The Alation update of an HA pair without splitting the cluster fails. We recommend upgrading HA instances using the cluster splitting upgrade method until this issue is resolved.

Update Alation to 2023.1

Use the steps in this section to update Alation to 2023.1 from versions 2022.4.x, 2022.3.x, and 2022.2.x.

Note

If you are updating from release 2022.3.x and skipping release 2022.4 or from release 2022.2.x and skipping releases 2022.3 and 2022.4, review the information specific to releases 2022.3 and 2022.4 in the corresponding release notes.

Step 1: Scan Postgres

We recommend using the scan_postgres action to validate that the internal Postgres database is in a healthy state before the update. For steps, see How to Scan Postgres for Corrupted Indexes.

Note

If in your instance the Postgres scan runs on a schedule, you can check the scan-postgres.log file in /opt/alation/site/logs inside the Alation shell to check the Postgres state.

Step 2: Verify Backup Availability

Ensure you have a valid latest Alation backup.

Step 3: Update the Alation Application

Update instructions:

Step 4: Update Alation Connector Manager

This step applies if you are using Open Connector Framework (OCF) and OCF connectors.

Update Alation Connector Manager using the steps in Update Alation Connector Manager.

Step 5: Update Alation Analytics

This step applies if you are using the Alation Analytics application.

Docker Compose Compatibility

This step applies if you are updating from versions 2022.2.x or 2022.3. Check and, if necessary, upgrade Docker Compose, as from version 2022.4, Alation Analytics requires Docker Compose version 1.27.0.

To update Docker Compose:

  1. On the Alation Analytics host, check your Docker Compose version.

    docker-compose version
    

    If you are on version below 1.27.0, upgrade Docker Compose. If you already are on version 1.27.0 or newer, you can proceed to upgrading Alation Analytics.

  2. Upgrade Docker Compose using these commands:

    sudo curl -SL "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.27.0/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    
    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    
    sudo ln -sf /usr/local/bin/docker-compose /usr/bin/docker-compose
    

    Note

    The Alation Analytics installer will quit automatically with the message below if Docker Compose version is older than 1.27.0 and requires an update.

    [  Failed  ] Checking docker-compose Version.
    Failure Reason => You need to have
    at least docker-compose version 1.27 or higher to continue
    

Updating Alation Analytics

Use the steps in Update Alation Analytics V2 to update the Alation Analytics application.

Step 6: Take a Full Manual Backup

Take a full manual backup to ensure that you have the first full backup of the updated instance taken with pgBackRest.

Step 7: Run Alation Analytics Scripts

This step applies if you are using Alation Analytics and have updated it to the 2023.1-compatible version.

In 2023.1, we optimized the migrations of the database which were slowing down the upgrade of the Alation Analytics app. To apply the change, run the two scripts described below. In case of the HA pair configuration, run the scripts on the primary server.

  1. Enter the Alation shell. You should be in the Alation shell to tail the log files and to run the scripts.

    sudo /etc/init.d/alation shell
    
  2. Make sure that the Alation Analytics ETL process is not running. The scripts should not be executed when the ETL process is running. You can check this by logging in to Alation, navigating to Admin Settings > Monitor > Active Tasks and making sure that the Alation Analytics ETL job is not listed as an active task. Alternatively, you can use the tail command on the celery_alationanalytics_error.log file from the Alation shell. If Alation Analytics ETL is running, the log will be printing messages similar to the following:

    {"message": "Starting the ETL Job ObjectFieldIncrementalPhysicalValueETLJob...", "timestamp":
    "2022-08-10T11:57:55.567009Z", "level": "INFO"}
    {"message": "Starting extraction of 'Article' records.", "timestamp":
    "2022-08-10T11:57:55.639785Z", "level": "DEBUG"}
    {"message": "Starting extraction of 'Article' records.", "timestamp":
    "2022-08-10T11:57:55.639848Z", "level": "DEBUG"}
    

    To tail the log:

    tail -f /opt/alation/site/logs/celery_alationanalytics_error.log
    
  1. After ensuring that the ETL process is not running, from the Alation shell, change the user to alation.

    sudo su alation
    
  2. Navigate to the directory /opt/alation/django/alation_analytics_v2/one_off_scripts/.

    cd /opt/alation/django/alation_analytics_v2/one_off_scripts/
    
  3. Run the flags script with the command below. The logs will be redirected to the reconcile_flag.log file.

    nohup python -u reconcile_flag.pyc >> reconcile_flag.log &
    
  4. This command will launch a process with a PID. Save the PID value as you may need it. You can monitor this process by either tailing the corresponding log inside of the Alation shell or checking on the corresponding PID outside of the Alation shell.

    5.1 To use the log for monitoring, in a separate Terminal window, from the Alation shell, tail the reconcile_flag.log file. When the script run is completed, you should see a message that the flags have been reconciled and the number of flags. Execution errors, should any occur, will be printed to the log too. Contact Alation Support if the script execution ends in an error.

    tail -f /opt/alation/django/alation_analytics_v2/one_off_scripts/reconcile_flag.log
    

    5.2 To check if the process is still active, in a Terminal window connected to the Alation host, outside of the Alation shell, use the command below to list the current processes and check if there is a process with the corresponding PID.

    ps -a
    
  5. After completing the flags script, in a similar way, run the script to reconcile tags. The script should also be run from the directory /opt/alation/django/alation_analytics_v2/one_off_scripts/ in the Alation shell and as user alation.

    nohup python -u reconcile_tags.pyc >> reconcile_tags.log &
    
  6. This command will launch a process with a PID. Save the PID value as you may need it. You can monitor this process by either tailing the corresponding log inside of the Alation shell or checking on the corresponding PID outside of the Alation shell.

    7.1 To use the log for monitoring, in a separate Terminal window, from the Alation shell, tail the reconcile_tags.log file. When the script run is completed, you should see a message that the tags have been reconciled and the number of tags. Execution errors, should any occur, will be printed to the log too. Contact Alation Support if the script execution ends in an error.

    tail -f /opt/alation/django/alation_analytics_v2/one_off_scripts/reconcile_tags.log
    

    7.2 To check if the process is still active, in a Terminal window connected to the Alation host, outside of the Alation shell, use the command below to list the current processes and check if there is a process with the corresponding PID.

    ps -a
    
  7. After completing the scripts, to exit from the user alation, use the exit command.

Important

Depending on whether or not you have to perform other post-upgrade actions, consider taking a second full backup after running these scripts.

If none of the next steps apply to your instance, we recommend creating a second backup after running the Alation Analytics scripts. If your instance is large and this requirement is not feasible, you can plan to take the next backup on your schedule. However, if there is a need to restore from a backup that was taken before applying the scripts, you’ll need to run the scripts again on the restored instance.

If you have more scripts to run after the update, consider taking a second full backup after running all the scripts.

Step 8: De-duplicate Mixed Case Usernames

This step applies if you updated Alation from version 2022.2.x, skipping release 2022.3.

After updating the Alation application, validate that your instance does not have mixed case duplicate usernames. From 2022.3, usernames in Alation are treated as case insensitive. To check for duplicates, run a one-off script on the Alation server. For information on how to run the script, refer to De-duplicate Mixed Case Usernames.

Step 9: Run Script to Update Source Field for Dataflow Objects

This step applies if you updated Alation from version 2022.2.x or 2022.3.x and you already began using Lineage V3. If you are still using Lineage V2, skip this step.

In order to enable correct filtering of dataflow objects on Lineage diagrams using the Source filter, Alation provides a script that populates the Source field for dataflow objects created on previous versions. The script does not require a downtime or affect user activity in the catalog. You can run it any time after the update to 2022.4. For detailed information on how to run this script, refer to Update Source Field for Dataflow Objects.

Step 10: Perform Re-encryption

This step applies if you updated Alation from release 2022.3.9 or older, where the encryption security fix was not available.

Note

If you already performed re-encryption on a previous version, there is no need to do it again. Skip this step.

The existing data on your updated instance needs to be re-encrypted. Re-encryption will run as a background process and no separate downtime is required. Users can work in Alation while the re-encryption job is in progress. For re-encryption steps, refer to Re-Encrypt Existing Data.