The two methods of upgrading CA Service Desk Manager are the "in place" method and the "swing box" method. The swing-box method should help minimize downtime of the production system and requires more resources than the in-place method.
Is there was a quicker way than using swing box that minimizes production downtime when upgrading from one version of CA Service Desk Manager to a later version. Couldn't we just install 17.1 on the application servers, skipping creation of the swing box environment?
Within the two methods, there is no option to install 17.1 vanilla (fresh install) without also running an upgrade from 14.1 to 17.1.
The swing box method requires that you create a swing box environment in which you would start out with a copy of the production mdb and a fresh/vanilla installation of CA SDM 14.1 with the same patches applied as in production (for example, the patch level may 14.1.05) on the primary and secondary servers.
You would then upgrade the swing-box mdb from the 14.1 schema to the the 17.1 schema by running the 17.1 installer; you would have put the 14.1 customizations in place on the swing box CA SDM servers and when the installer is run, it would upgrade CA SDM 14.1 to 17.1 (Some forms may need to be manually upgraded; all customizations would need to be validated by testing).
If the intention is to move to new hardware, then you would have another environment (the "new" production environment) in which you would restore a back-up of the upgraded swing box mdb, and copy the migrated customizations from the swing box into the vanila/fresh CA SDM 17.1 of the primary and secondary servers; otherwise the swing box environment could be used as the new production environment.
Note: In the new production environment, it is recommended to upgrade CA SDM 17.1 to the latest patch level (for example, 17.1.01 or higher).