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Recommendations for a safe node upgrade process

This document describes recommendations and associated risks for a safe upgrade of Wallarm filtering node up to 4.10.

Common recommendations

  • Carefully plan and monitor the filtering node update process. Estimated release dates for new versions of Wallarm nodes are published in the Wallarm node versioning policy.

  • If your infrastructure has multiple Wallarm nodes installed, update them gradually. After updating the first node, monitor the node modules operation within a day and gradually update other Wallarm nodes if the first node operates correctly.

  • For the model with separated development and production environments, update the filtering node gradually. First, apply and test new version in non-production environments, then in production environments. Detailed recommendations are described in the instructions for configuring Wallarm nodes for separated environments.

  • Before upgrading the filtering node, disable traffic routing through the node using any method available to you (e.g. by setting traffic filtration mode to off).

  • Once filtering node module is upgraded, set the node filtration mode to monitoring. If all modules work correctly and there is no abnormal number of new false positives in the monitoring mode for a day, then put the filtering node in the block mode.

  • Update NGINX to the latest version available before applying Wallarm node updates. If your infrastructure needs to use a specific version of NGINX, please contact the Wallarm technical support to build the Wallarm module for a custom version of NGINX.

Possible risks

Below are the risks that may occur when updating the filtering node. To reduce the impact of the risks, please follow the appropriate guidelines when updating.

Changed functionality

New false positives

We improve the traffic analysis with each new version of the filtering node. This means that the number of false positives decreases with each new version. However, each protected application has its own specificities, so we recommend analyzing the work of the new version of the filtering node in the monitoring mode before enabling the blocking mode (block).

To analyze the number of new false positives after the update:

  1. Deploy the new version of the filtering node in the monitoring mode and send the traffic to the filtering node.

  2. After some time, open the Wallarm Console → Attacks section and analyze the number of requests that are mistakenly recognized as attacks.

  3. If you find abnormal growth in the number of false positives, please contact the Wallarm technical support.

Increased amount of used resources

Usage of some new filtering node features may cause changes in the amount of used resources. Information about changes in the amount of used resources is highlighted in the What is new section.

Also, it is recommended to monitor the filtering node operation: if you find significant differences in the actual amount of used resources and in the amount specified in the documentation, please contact the Wallarm technical support.

Update process

The Wallarm node update process depends on the platform and installation forms. Please select the installation form and follow the appropriate instructions: