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- Organizations running an SQL database rely heavily on it to function properly for business continuity purposes – an upgrade can be costly if it results in major downtime and significant application rework.
- Upgrading a database can be done two different ways and is highly dependent on the versions, components, and applications the organization runs.
- The offering provided in 2008 R2 is very similar to that of 2008, but significant benefits do exist for organizations that fit into certain groups – understand where you stand, then assess and decide accordingly.
- SQL 2008 R2 drastically improves the Business Intelligence offering of SQL Server 2008. Organizations that require BI functionality but lack the budget to implement third-party tools should seriously consider upgrading.
- Application testing and creating an upgrade process are where the majority of IT pros spent effort throughout the planning phase of the upgrade, regardless of what version of SQL they were moving from.
- Licensing has become more expensive in comparison to the schema available under SQL Server 2008 – organizations that wish to continue using the unlimited licensing setup of SQL 2008 should stay with their current setup, or move to SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition at $57,498.
Impact and Result
- Involve executives and employees throughout the project to effectively communicate strategies and solicit cooperation.
- Thoroughly test business critical apps before upgrading, to ensure minimal downtime and post-upgrade rework.
- Use Microsoft’s provided tools, such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit and Upgrade Advisor, to get the organization through the upgrade process with minimal hiccups.
1. Put together a steering committee and dedicated upgrade team.
Build a business case for the upgrade and achieve executive buy-in.
2. Log issues and resolutions with the upgrade.
Ensure the upgrade goes smoothly, and that future upgrades go forward with less issues.
3. Consider upgrading the SQL database.
Yield BI savings and leverage the Software Assurance agreement.
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