As the LucidLink solution continues to evolve and improve, it is sometimes necessary to change or update the internal structure of the Filespace solution itself. These kinds of changes do not happen often but are sometimes necessary to ensure that the solution adapts to changing customer needs.
To understand these solution milestones when they occur, it may be helpful to understand the terminology used to describe the major components that comprise the LucidLink Filespace, and that ultimately provide the LucidLink experience.
This document aims to define how the LucidLink Filespace is versioned, in particular for two key components: the Filespace format, and the LucidLink client software.
Having a clear understanding of how the format and the client software are versioned will help customers better understand our version numbering scheme, especially as it relates to which versions provide new features, and what the ramifications are, if any, of upgrading into newer instances of the LucidLink Filespace product.
LucidLink Component Definitions
The LucidLink client software
The LucidLink client software runs on the customer's end-point: in general, and for most end-users, the "end-point" is the customer's computer, such as a laptop or desktop workstation. In some cases, larger enterprise customers may also use a server as the end-point. In all of these cases - laptop, workstation, or server - the LucidLink client software is installed and run on that computer and provides the mechanism to connect to a LucidLink Filespace and see the user data that the end-user is entitled to see.
The LucidLink Format
The LucidLink format refers to the layout of both user data, and metadata. The format version is represented by a two-part number that is closely related to the client software version but isn't necessarily tied to the client software version. In short, depending on what new functionality is being introduced at a given time, a new release of the LucidLink Filespace may result in both the Filespace client software version and the format version incrementing at the same time, and to the same number. Or, it is also possible that a new feature may mean the client software version increments, while the format version does not.
To understand which LucidLink client software versions are compatible with which versions of the LucidLink Format, we offer this rule of thumb: the client software version must be equal to, or greater than, the versioning of the Filespace Format. As a point of contrast, if the client version is older than the format version, there should not be any expectation that this mixture should work successfully, and it might not be possible to connect the Filespace at all under these circumstances.
This also means that we are able to provide backward compatibility from the standpoint of the client software version. Simply put, client version x.y supports all LucidLink formats equal to or less than x.y. For example, client version 2.1 continues to support Filespaces in Format 1.0.
Please note that we might not support backward compatibility for all versions in perpetuity, and at some point in the future, we may limit how "wide" a gap we allow between an older Filespace format version and a newer client version.
Where are the Client and Format versions noted on the client?
The LucidLink client and format versions are easy to see, and can be found on the bottom of the dashboard screen:
And on the top of the control panel screen:
In addition, the client software version can also be seen when choosing "About Lucid" from the LucidLink Dashboard contextual menu.
Where are the Format versions noted on the Web Portal?
The format version of each Filespace can also be noted on the Web Portal Dashboard at https://www.lucidlink.com/webportal/dashboard. In order to do that just click on the kebab menu icon of the relevant Filespace and go to "Details":
You'll notice the Filespace Format in the bottom right corner of the pop-up window:
The table below provides a mapping of the LucidLink client software version to the LucidLink Format.
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Updating and Upgrading a LucidLink Filespace
LucidLink aims to provide new features and capabilities quickly and frequently; taking advantage of these new releases will periodically require updating and/or upgrading the LucidLink components. What therefore is the difference between an "update" and an "upgrade?"
- An "update" refers to moving the client software version from an older version to a newer version. Under these circumstances, the format of the Filespace is not changing with the client update. Running an update to the client version is a relatively simple task, and can be accomplished by both technical and non-technical roles within an organization.
- An "upgrade" refers to moving the LucidLink Format from an older version of the format to a newer version of the format.
- As noted above, some new features will only require a client version update, whereas other features may require both a client version update and a Filespace Format upgrade. The complexity of the feature or the degree to which the feature requires improvements to the format of the Filespace determines if both client and format need updating and/or upgrading.
When the format needs to be upgraded, moving to a new format can be performed using one of the following methods:
Data Copy: A data copy means that the user data is copied from an older Filespace to a newly created Filespace; below is one suggested approach for such a data copy:
The root user begins by creating a new Filespace via the LucidLink Web Portal. The new Filespace will be created in the latest and newest format available.
The root user then mounts both the existing and the new Filespaces and copies all files and folders from the existing filespace representing the older format to the new filespace representing the latest and newest format.
As a final step, the root user can rename the two Filespaces from within the Web Portal to preserve the original Filespace name, thus minimizing any interruptions to existing customer workflows.
Metadata Upgrade Tool: LucidLink currently does not yet have such a tool, but expects to provide a format upgrade tool at some point in 2024. An upgrade tool would allow for upgrading the format of the Filespace without necessitating a manual copy of all the user data.
In general, a data copy does not represent an "upgrade" programmatically speaking. In some cases, a data copy is the only method we currently support for upgrading from an older format to a newer one. For example, the transition from Format 1.0 to Format 2.x requires such a data copy.
For more help and for answers to additional questions about how we version our client software and our LucidLink format, please visit support.lucidlink.com.