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Moving to AWS EC2

SQLServerCentral has been stuck in the past for some time, but we’ve finally decided to move. I’ve been asking for this, and it’s usually a resource issue. However, earlier this year we started to debate and examine the costs, and decided to pursue a move to EC2. We have other infrastructure there, VPNs setup to connect, and this made the most sense.

I was excited. The last time we upgraded, we left SQL Server 2000 for SQL Server 2008 R2. That was a long time ago, and at the time, I wasn’t sure that 2008 R2 was a big change. We used the core engine only, and it didn’t seem that this was that cost effective a move for us. Now I wish we’d delayed another year and moved to 2012.

We’re moving into the current era, choosing to run on SQL Server 2017. I’ll have access to lots of the latest and greatest T-SQL, which will help with some of our complex reporting tasks.

Cutover

I didn’t do the work, but one of our engineers practiced a backup and restore, and then setup log shipping to limit the downtime. After a few days of testing, and a few of us running the new site through our own tests, we made the cutover.

Total downtime, about 35 minutes to quiesce the old system, get the last logs copied over, and then move networking.

And we’re live.

2018-03-28 10_14_07-ssc-db-n1 - Remote Desktop Connection

We have six Basic Availability Groups setup. We could potentially have issues with a failover in that it’s possible that a user does something in one BAG that doesn’t make it to the other side, but in practice, it’s not a concern. We don’t deal with sensitive information, and likely any data lots can be manually moved.

This was the most cost effective move for us, roughly equivalent hardware, though we moved from physical db servers at Rackspace to VMs in EC2. However, we’re now on modern versions of Windows, SQL, and more importantly, .NET. That last item was slowing some development items, so we can now start to move forward with future development.

The Voice of the DBA

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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