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Upgrading from SQL Server 2008 Enterprise standalone to SQL 2012 cluster Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:19 AM
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Hi all,

I am in need of upgrading my current SQL instance (servera\inst1) running on 2008 enterprise edition stand-alone to sql 2012 clustered. Could someone pls. provide some guidelines as to how I can complete this process. Basically, it's a 2 node cluster that I am looking at

Here is what comes to my mind.
-- Install and add another node with same configuration
--Join the nodes using Failover cluster manager
--Once the nodes are joined start the upgrade process or am I missing something.

Pls. advise on this.

Regards,
Faisal
Post #1585401
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:16 AM


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As far as setting up the servers, that's what you're going to have to do. When you say "start the upgrade process" that's the question. Since you're installing new servers, your choices are to detach the databases from the old server, copy them to the new locations and attach them, or run a backup and a restore. Personally, I'd strongly suggest going with the backup and restore route. That leaves the existing databases in place in case something goes wrong.

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Post #1585457
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:24 AM
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Hi Grant,

Sorry if that was confusing but I am not installing new servers. It's just that to complete a 2 node cluster setup I would require one more server with same configuration as the old one I currently have, and then join those 2 and form a cluster. I would also like to know why there comes a need to detach the databases...I am not migrating them it's just that I am upgrading the older ones to newer version...will that work or does it sound a bit weird.
Post #1585502
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:51 AM


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I wouldn't want to simultaneously build a cluster while upgrading a server with databases in place. Way too many things can go wrong there. I'd prefer to build a cluster and then migrate to it. That's much more safe.

Can you do an in-place upgrade of SQL Server from 2005 to 2008? Yes. But all the rest of the work you're attempting is going to be highly dangerous to your databases. Have you ever built a cluster before? If not, you're experimenting with a cluster build with your production server. What happens when it all goes wrong and your server is offline? It's fairly common to fail once or twice the first time you're setting up a cluster service. Some of those failures could require reinstalling the operating system. That's not a chance I recommend taking.

And no, you don't need to detach/attach if you do an in-place upgrade. But, as I said, I wouldn't suggest using detach/attach anyway.


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
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Author of:
SQL Server Query Performance Tuning
and
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Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1585515
Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014 8:13 AM


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faisalfarouqi (6/24/2014)
Hi all,

I am in need of upgrading my current SQL instance (servera\inst1) running on 2008 enterprise edition stand-alone to sql 2012 clustered. Could someone pls. provide some guidelines as to how I can complete this process. Basically, it's a 2 node cluster that I am looking at

Here is what comes to my mind.
-- Install and add another node with same configuration
--Join the nodes using Failover cluster manager
--Once the nodes are joined start the upgrade process or am I missing something.

Pls. advise on this.

Regards,
Faisal

What i'm reading is that you wish to add another node and then form a Windows cluster using both. You then want to launch an upgrade process that will upgrade the existing 2008 instance into a clustered 2012 instance, is my reading correct?


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Post #1585913
Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:48 AM
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Yes...that is absolutely correct. Do you think by any chance this is a possible solution.

Regards,
Faisal
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Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:00 PM


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faisalfarouqi (6/25/2014)
Yes...that is absolutely correct. Do you think by any chance this is a possible solution.

Regards,
Faisal

No, it's not even remotely possible!!

Here's what you could do (and incidentally what i would do).
Leaving the standalone instance running on the original server attach your new shared storage to the new server and create a single node windows cluster.

With the cluster online, install a new failover cluster instance of sql server.

Once the new instance is online migrate all objects (user databases, agent jobs, logins, packages, linked servers, etc).

Once the new cluster instance has been fully commissioned flatten the old server and complete a fresh install of the OS. Attach the shared storage to this node too and then join it to the windows cluster.

Once done run the addnode wizard to join the SQL server Failover Cluster Instance.


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Post #1586107
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:27 AM
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Thanks! Perry....but then you're asking me again to migrate the objects which isn't what I want to do. Basically, all I want to do is an in-place upgrade.

Regards,
Faisal
Post #1586234
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 3:28 AM


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I trust Perry on the structural side of things like this. If he says you literally can't do it, you probably can't. I'm pretty much in the camp of I won't do it. Too many moving parts and too much to go wrong to trust that I'll come out the other side with my databases intact. No, I'd build the system and then move my databases. It may be more work, but it's safer, and which is more important for the business?

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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
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Author of:
SQL Server Query Performance Tuning
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1586315
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:27 AM


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faisalfarouqi (6/26/2014)
Thanks! Perry....but then you're asking me again to migrate the objects which isn't what I want to do. Basically, all I want to do is an in-place upgrade.

Regards,
Faisal

There is no in-place upgrade to go from a standalone instance to a clustered instance, what you're seeking is not a supported upgrade path!!

This link shows the following points

MSDN: Upgrade a SQL Server Failover Cluster

The following scenarios are not supported:

  • You cannot migrate from a stand-alone instance of SQL Server to a failover cluster.

  • Add features to a failover cluster. For example, you cannot add the Database Engine to an existing Analysis Services-only failover cluster.

  • You cannot downgrade a failover cluster node to a stand-alone instance.





The upgrade can be achieved very easily using the steps i outlined above (looks a lot of work, but really it isn't)


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