SQL Server 2014: Are You Ready to Upgrade? Thinking About an Upgrade to SQL Server 2014?
Ask Yourself These 5 QUESTIONS to Determine if Your Organization is Ready to Take the Plunge.
hat Version of SQL Server W are You Currently Using?
If you’re still using SQL Server 2008 or earlier, you should definitely consider an upgrade. • Mainstream support for SQL Server 2008 ended in July 2015 and SQL Server 2016 is already on the horizon. The further your database lags behind, the more resource-intensive your upgrade will be when you do move forward. • Extended support for SQL Server 2005 will end in April 2016, which means the end of all technical support and security fixes. You’re leaving the health and security of your data to chance if you don’t upgrade before then. • If you’re using a version of SQL Server older than 2005, consider this your warning: Your data is at risk! You are in serious danger of losing your data to cyber security threats as well as technical issues. The time to upgrade is now!
re Your Business Stakeholders A On Board with the Upgrade?
o You Have a Need for These D New SQL Server 2014 Features?
Microsoft has included tons of useful new features in SQL Server 2014. If your organization is in need of any of these features, an upgrade would be wise.
The 4 SQL Server 2014 Features You Need to Know 1. Hekaton: An enterprise feature, Hekaton is a big plus for businesses concerned with large-scale transaction processing.
2. Encrypted backups: A tremendous asset for organizations concerned with security. (Hint: This should be ALL organizations.)
3. Clustered columnstore indexes: Provide query execution performance that benefit data warehouse administrators and business analysts.
Gaining buy-in from other business stakeholders upfront can save you time and frustration down the line. From database administrators and business intelligence analysts to CIOs and other executives, everyone who has a stake in the upgrade should be kept informed from start to finish.
4. Improved cardinality estimation: Results in
1. Inform your stakeholders of the risks of upgrading to SQL Server 2014, as well as potential risks of NOT upgrading.
For more information about these four important new features of SQL Server 2014, read Dan Buskirk’s White Paper, “Migrating to SQL Server 2014? Four New Features You Need to Understand.”
2. Communicate your upgrade plan and timeline to your IT staff and business stakeholders. 3. Keep all stakeholders informed of successes as well as potential issues.
better execution plans — an important advantage to analysts and business intelligence architects concerned with the performance of large, complex queries.
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SQL Server 2014: Are You Ready to Upgrade?
Do You Have an Upgrade Plan in Place?
It is imperative that you create and test your upgrade plan before you begin the upgrade. You can find a detailed upgrade planning checklist on page 425 of Microsoft’s comprehensive SQL Server 2014 Upgrade Technical Guide.
Your Upgrade Approach: In Place or Side by Side?
Is Your Staff Ready for the Upgrade?
What good is having access to all the new SQL Server 2014 new features and performance enhancements if your staff isn’t prepared to leverage them? Before the upgrade begins, you need to consider the type of training your staff will need in order to successfully work with SQL Server 2014. Training is the best way to ensure your staff can hit the ground running as soon as your SQL Server 2014 database goes online.
Your upgrade strategy will many aspects of your upgrade plan, including how long the upgrade takes, the cost of your upgrade, and aspects of your risk mitigation plan.
In-Place Upgrade The Good: Typically faster and requires less planning than a side-by-side upgrade.
The Bad: While the upgrade itself is faster, there will be some downtime when the server is offline during the upgrade. You also effectively eliminate your safety net post-upgrade, as there is no simple rollback protocol.
Side-by-Side Upgrade The Good: You can test in the actual upgrade environment instead of a test environment. There is less downtime during the actual upgrade. Your Safety Net: It’s easy to roll back to the earlier version if something goes wrong.
The Bad: Typically takes more planning so the upgrade takes longer from start to finish.
The Bottom Line: SQL Server experts overwhelmingly agree that a side-by-side upgrade is the best approach when upgrading SQL Server. The risks of an in-place upgrade simply don’t outweigh the advantages.
SQL Server 2014 Performance Enhancements Training Learning Tree training provides in-depth knowledge on a wealth of SQL Server 2014 new features designed to improve the performance of mission-critical OLTP systems, including Hekaton, native compiled stored procedures and delayed durability. Visit LearningTree.com/2111
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