Upgrading to SQL Server 2008

Setup supports a direct upgrade from SQL Server 2000 and 2005. Those of you still on SQL 7.0 will need to upgrade to SQL Server 2000 or 2005 first before upgrading to SQL Server 2008. Since the product development cycle was shorter than that of SQL Server 2005, the changes and issues involved with upgrading from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008 are minimal compared with the move from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2008. You can upgrade to SQL Server in two ways:

• Direct in-place upgrade: SQL Server setup does the heavy lifting of updating the necessary binary files and upgrades all the attached databases to the new version’s format.

• Side-by-side upgrade: This is sometimes referred to as a migration. It essentially installs a fresh SQL Server 2008 instance alongside the instance that is to be upgraded. This process is mostly manual, since the idea is for the database administrator (DBA) to copy over the databases and configuration information to the new server. Once this information is copied and attached, the DBA can verify that the applications work correctly.

The in-place upgrade is the more automated of the two options, but might not be the best option for some organizations. An in-place upgrade takes down the server for a duration of time, and without previous testing, who knows what will happen after the upgrade is complete? The positive aspect of the in-place upgrade is that when the upgrade is completed, the instance name of the new SQL Server is the same as it was pre-upgrade, so existing applications do not need to change any connection string information. With a side-by-side upgrade, the new installation uses a new instance name, so applications might need to have their connection string information changed to point to the new instance.

To help you with the upgrade, Microsoft released a free tool called Upgrade Advisor, which essentially scans your existing SQL Server instance and gives you a report on any potential issues you will have after the upgrade. But before we talk about using Upgrade Advisor, we need to discuss planning the upgrade. If you were going to simply upgrade your production servers without a plan, then you may want to consider freshening up your resume. A plan is critical to the success of an upgrade.

Source of Information : Apress Accelerated SQL Server 2008


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