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How Long Before You Upgrade?


How Long Before You Upgrade?

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Eric M Russell
Eric M Russell
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I wish Microsoft had called this latest release SQL Server 2012 R2. Now those of us not planning to use v2014 in the forseeable future look like fuddy-duddies.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Summer90
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Eric M Russell (4/14/2014)
I wish Microsoft had called this latest release SQL Server 2012 R2. Now those of us not planning to use v2014 in the forseeable future look like fuddy-duddies.


I am glad they aren't. To me it was too confusing naming it similar. I always make double check with vendors... do you support SQL2008 OR SQL2008R2... Once we had a vendor say yes we support SQL2008R2... when what they heard is SQL2008.... we had a 2008R2 server all built and ready in R2 and when they arrived.. nope... only SQL2008... then... 6 months later the opposite happened... sure we support SQL2008... was going to put their dbs on SQL2008 we already had... they arrrive... and low and behold no they only support SQl2008R2... jeesh.
Dave Poole
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GDPR says that all reasonable precautions must be taken to protect personal data taking into account state-of-the-art and cost. A 17 year old DB platform is not state of the art and it's probably running on a similar vintage operating system. Think of the security patches that have occurred since that combination went out of extended support.

Even if that system does not contain personal information it is a potential weak point that could be used as a backdoor into other systems. €20million or 4% of organisation revenue should provide the leverage to upgrade or deprecate

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I think this is an even more important question now that we're entering what, bi-yearly or is it now yearly release cycles? Does anyone know how the CAL licencing works these days (we use SQL Express, currently 2016, so doesn't apply - small company, small databases - but may at some point)? If we get SQL 2017 Standard with an additional 10 CALs (Core licensing is way out of our price range) can these CALs be moved to SQL 2018/19 when upgraded, or is that a new set of CALs and 2017's are essentially useless?

Not that we'd go with such an upgrade path. To answer the original question I would expect at least 5 years service out of a version. Personally I look at each new release and see what it offers. We'd still be on 2012 if not for the native JSON parsing that 2016 SP1 introduced.
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Newbie poster here but long time voyeur!

What are people’s experiences in jumping over versions when upgrading? We are currently looking at going from 2008R2 to 2016 for a number of applications. As far as I can see the 2016 Migration Assistant (upgrade advisor!) doesn't even consider 2008R2. Would you upgrade to 2012/2014 and then do a separate upgrade to 2016 or just go straight to 2016?
jkolstad
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After spending 6 months justifying upgrades to management we finally received approval to upgrade SQL Server and the hardware needed. In January 2017, we were still running an instance of 2K and 2005 on a second server. When my supervisor notified the purchasing agent to make the deal, he received an email back that said, "this purchase was not going to be made to until the 4th quarter of 2018 at the very earliest."

Within 2 weeks, I signed on with another company.
Eric M Russell
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How long until a database server needs to be upgraded really depends on the rate of data growth and usage patterns.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Jeff Moden
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jkolstad - Friday, November 10, 2017 6:13 AM
After spending 6 months justifying upgrades to management we finally received approval to upgrade SQL Server and the hardware needed. In January 2017, we were still running an instance of 2K and 2005 on a second server. When my supervisor notified the purchasing agent to make the deal, he received an email back that said, "this purchase was not going to be made to until the 4th quarter of 2018 at the very earliest."

Within 2 weeks, I signed on with another company.

We went through a similar thing when we upgraded from 2005 to 2012 on all new hardware. We went from 128GB of RAM to 256G. We went from 16 CPU core to 32. We went for just standard cache to monster 3TB cache that holds ALL of the databases on our main server.

What did we get for all that effort? We saw mostly little to no change in performance on anything having to do with the GUI (as I expected because of the singleton lookup nature of GUI code) and only a couple of "nightly runs" saw an improvement and that was only 2X in performance (which is also what I expected). Save none, everyone but me was thrilled with the occasional 2X in performance.

We just got done writing some of the nightly run code, We were actually able to do in only 600 lines of set based code what our predecessors took thousand of lines of code to do. Without too much effort, it now runs at 70X. You can't buy hardware to do that.

Performance is in the code and you're not always going to get your way for hardware. Instead of copping out because of hardware, you should have stayed and fixed all the bad code because that's where the real performance is.

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Eric M Russell
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Jeff Moden - Friday, November 10, 2017 9:17 AM
...
Performance is in the code and you're not always going to get your way for hardware. Instead of copping out because of hardware, you should have stayed and fixed all the bad code because that's where the real performance is.

This is so true. I think of it as "inside the box" versus "outside the box" optimization. We can also think it as "nature" (the inherent logical design of the database) versus "nurture" the physical infrastructure that the database resides in and other external events that can effect it. From my experience, it's the nature or internal design of the database that imposes the greatest limits, but that's also the easiest aspect to change, so long as the DBA has the knowledge and inclination.



"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Summer90
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Today we just upgraded a small system from Win2008R2/SQL 2008R2 to Win2012/SQL 2014. SQL 2014 is the latest version of SQL Server that the vendor has certified.
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