Looker: Patch Management and Updates


This guide covers Looker's patch management and updates, emphasizing the importance of timely updates, from notification setups to post-update practices, essential for administrators prioritizing a secure and updated Looker setup.

Staying updated with the latest patches and versions is vital for ensuring the security, functionality, and optimization of the Looker platform. This guide delves into the best practices for patch management and updates in Looker.

1. Understanding the Importance of Patch Management

1.1. Why Patch Management Matters

  • Security: Patches often fix vulnerabilities.
  • Features: New updates can introduce beneficial features.
  • Optimization: Patches can improve performance and fix bugs.

2. Setting up Notifications for Updates

2.1. Email Notifications

  • Ensure Looker's system admin email is correctly set to receive notifications.
  • Regularly monitor the registered email for Looker's official updates.

2.2. Looker Community and Forums Join Looker's community forums to stay informed about upcoming releases, known issues, and user feedback.

3. Evaluating Patches and Updates

3.1. Review Release Notes Before applying any update:

  • Understand the changes, new features, and resolved issues.
  • Check for any known issues or compatibility concerns.

3.2. Test in a Staging Environment Always test new patches in a staging or development environment before rolling them out in production.

4. Backup Before Update

4.1. Snapshot Backup Take a snapshot of your Looker instance, especially if you're hosting Looker on your own infrastructure.

4.2. Data Backup Ensure all vital data, configurations, and LookML models are backed up.

5. Applying Patches and Updates

5.1. Scheduled Downtime If needed, schedule a downtime during off-peak hours to minimize disruption.

5.2. Following Official Guidelines Always follow Looker’s official documentation when applying updates to ensure smooth transitions.

6. Post-update Best Practices

6.1. Monitor System Health After an update, monitor the system's health, performance, and functionality to catch potential issues.

6.2. User Feedback Engage with users to gather feedback about new features or any potential disruptions.

7. Automating Patch Management (For Self-hosted Instances)

7.1. Integration with Patch Management Tools Consider tools like WSUS (for Windows servers) or Spacewalk (for Linux) if you host Looker on your infrastructure.

7.2. Regular Scans Automate scans to ensure your Looker instance is updated and no critical patches are missing.

8. Handling Patch Rollbacks

8.1. When to Consider Rollback If a patch causes significant issues, it might be necessary to revert to the previous state.

8.2. Using Backups for Rollback This is where the importance of pre-update backups comes into play. Ensure you have a clear procedure to restore from backups.

Effective patch management and updates in Looker not only keep your system secure but also ensure you benefit from the latest features and improvements. By adhering to best practices and regularly monitoring for new releases, you can maintain a robust, secure, and optimized Looker environment. As always, refer to Looker's official documentation for the most accurate and up-to-date information.