SQL Server 2008 arrives

At the moment WIT run a collection of SQL 2000 and 2005 servers that host around a hundred databases of varying size and importance to the institution. The lion’s share of those databases are currently on the older SQL Server 2000, so several months ago, with the end of mainstream support for that product approaching, we started making plans for migration.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the development of the latest version, SQL Server 2008, since it was announced, and trialing pre-release versions. SQL Server 2008 offers a number of advantages over previous versions and the migration path from SQL 2000 to 2005 or 2008 is much the same, so we’ve opted to take those databases that are currently on SQL 2000 straight to 2008, rather than moving them twice.

SQL Server 2008

Last week, we were fortunate to have Microsoft’s Andrew Fryer spending a day with us, discussing our migration plans. Since none of our databases do anything especially odd (not that some of them aren’t complex), SQL Server 2008’s comprehensive Upgrade Advisor was able to tell us that we didn’t need to make any changes to the databases before moving them to the new version.

There are some things that Upgrade Advisor suggests for after the migration, such as re-writing DTS packages using the SSIS technology that replaced DTS in SQL Server 2005, but existing DTS packages will work in SQL Server 2008, so our advice is that the time to migrate from DTS to SSIS is when you need to alter a package.

This week SQL Server 2008 has been released to manufacture, so we’ll be moving forward with building production and test systems with the finished code. We’ve planned a setup which provides higher availability and better disaster recovery than we’ve previously implemented, and we’re looking forward to taking advantage of some of the new features (I’m especially looking forward to working with the SQL Server PowerShell functionality!).

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About Jonathan

Windows Server infrastructure administrator at Newcastle University since 1999. Microsoft MVP for Cloud and Datacenter Management (& previously for PowerShell). Member of the Microsoft Technical Community Council. Co-founder of the NEBytes user group. @jonoble on Twitter.

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