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Reasons to Upgrade


Reasons to Upgrade

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Reasons to Upgrade

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Dave Poole
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When I was a DBA my attitude was don't upgrade until SP1 is out. Every upgrade represented a huge risk and consequent huge investment in time and money for very little perceived business benefit.

Switching across to open-source and NOSQL, albeit with commercial support almost every support ticket is "Upgrade to version x+". Quite often the upgrades had breaking changes in them. We soon learned to build a robust test suite around our application and database. The test suite also shaped our application design for the better. The prime requirement is for anything you write to be testable and in a robust way. As long as you adhere to that discipline upgrades hold far fewer fears.

Upgrades to SQL Server have cost implications, particularly with licensing. The last survey of version usage I saw indicated that many people are still using SQL2008R2 or earlier. The licensing seemed over complicated at the time but compared to the current situation it was merely moderately obscure and quite reasonably priced. There is definitely a cost barrier to upgrade but do we have adequate automated testing and forward fixing processes to ensure that the barriers to upgrade are merely financial?

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Beatrix Kiddo
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Where I am we try to meet the requirements of the developers wherever possible, so the ones that asked for SQL 2017 were put on an upgrade path straight away. The stragglers will be required to move off SQL 2012 to either 2016 or 2017 by the end of the year (except where lack of vendor support prevents it).
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The age old question... to upgrade or not. I have to say since SQL 2008R2 I lean to not. 2008R2 is very stable and I don't see any features for any newer version as a we can utilize that. Last fall my boss asked me for a list of which systems I would target to upgrade and the licensing costs. It was very expensive to say the least. We have a mixed bag here... many on 2008R2 up to 16. It takes a LOT of man hours to upgrade a version with all of the testing that has to take place. Not to mention almost everything we have are purchased apps so you then are tied to what the vendor supports, installing/upgrading the application and the testing that goes with that as well. We have one system that we will be migrating from 2008R2 to 2016 by the end of the year. The only reason is because that is what the vendor supports and to have full Microsoft support since 2008R2 will fall out of support next year.
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