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Upgrade or Wait

Lots of debate and disagreement on my recommendation to wait for SQL Server 2008 instead of upgrading to SQL Server 2005 now. What's funny is that I wrote the recommendation a few weeks ago and the day before I scheduled it to release, MS announced a Feb date for 2008.

I can agree that people are nervous about SS2K8, and Microsoft could definitely mess it up at RTM. After all, they have issues with service packs in quite a few of their products (SS2K SP3 became SP3a, Ss2K5 SP2 got rereleased), but I don't think they well. My thoughts were that based on past history, SS2K8 is really a "R2" product, a point release, but they've included enough features, like the policy stuff, that they can sell it as a new version. While I don't agree with that as a customer, I can see why they do it.

So while I think you should wait to upgrade if you haven't already done so, I don't think you should ignore 2005 completely. It's a good platform to do some testing on and get ready for 2008. I doubt 2008 functions much differently, so 2005 can help you prepare, test DTS->SSIS upgrades, etc. and then I'd upgrade next spring, prob late March, early April. That way you can wait until 2014 to upgrade again instead of being pushed out of 2005 in 2011.

Also, if you want to upgrade every other release, because you want a fairly stable platform, I'd get on the 2000/2008/2014 cycle, not the 7.0/2005/2011 cycle. The latter are the "1.0"s of each version of the platform. If you go back to 6.0/6.5, you'd much rather have gone from 6.5 -> 2000 than 6.0->7.0

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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