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PASS Summit Announcements: DMA/DEA

Microsoft usually has some interesting announcements at the PASS Summit, and this year was no exception.  My next few blogs will cover the major announcements.  This first one is about the Data Migration Assistant (DMA) tool v 2.0 general availability and the technical preview of Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA).

In short, customers will be able to assess and upgrade their databases using DMA, and validate target database’s performance using DEA, which will build higher confidence for these upgrades.

More details on DMA:

DMA enables you to upgrade to a modern data platform on-premises or in Azure VM by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality on your new version of SQL Server.  It recommends performance and reliability improvements for your target environment.  It also allows you to not only move your schema and data, but also uncontained objects from your source server to your target server.

DMA replaces all previous versions of SQL Server Upgrade Advisor and should be used for upgrades for most SQL Server versions.  Note that the SQL Server Upgrade Advisor allowed for migrations to SQL Database, but DMA does not yet support this.

DMA helps you to assess and migrate the following components, along with performance, security and storage recommendations, in the target SQL Server platform that the database can benefit from post upgrade:

  • Schema of databases
  • Data
  • Server roles
  • SQL and windows logins

After the successful upgrade, applications will be able to connect to the target SQL server databases with the same credentials.  Click here for more info.

Microsoft Download Center links: Microsoft® Data Migration Assistant v2.0

More details on DEA:

Technical Preview of DEA is the new A/B testing solution for SQL Server upgrades.  It enables customers to conduct experiments on database workloads across two versions of SQL Server.  Customers who are upgrading from older SQL Server versions (starting 2005 and above) to any new version of the SQL Server will be able to use key performance insights, captured using a real world workload to help build confidence about upgrade among database administrators, IT management and application owners by minimizing upgrade risks.  This enables truly risk-free migrations.

The tool offers the following capabilities for workload comparison analysis and reporting:

  • Automated script to set up workload capture and replay of production database (using existing SQL server functionality Distributed Replay & SQL tracing)
  • Perform statistical analysis model on traces collected using both old and new instances
  • Visualize data through analysis report via rich user experience

Supported versions:

Source: SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, and SQL Server 2016

Target: SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, and SQL Server 2016

Click here for more info.

Microsoft Download Center links: Microsoft® Database Experimentation Assistant Technical Preview

More info:

Top 5 Announcements at PASS Summit 2016

James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger (JamesSerra.com) and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.


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