SQL Server Upgrade Recommendations and Best Practices Part 2: SQL Server 6.5 to 2000 Critical Upgrade Decisions and Redundant Upgrade Architecture

Second, the availability of a ‘clean’ production SQL Server 2000 server is beneficial in order to move forward with an issue-free server. Too often, a server with multiple software installations can quickly become a suspect for unexplainable server behavior due to the previous software installations, drivers and subsequent files. Unfortunately, application un-installs are rarely as clean as expected. Typically, the un-install leaves remnants in the registry that can cause more problems in the long term as opposed to instilling confidence in the environment with a clean Windows and SQL Server installation.

For some companies, the needed hardware and software are not an issue while at other organizations the additional hardware can become a major challenge. Ideally, a new piece of hardware that is properly tested should be introduced to the environment as the SQL Server 2000 Production server. It is always in your best interest as a DBA to ensure that production hardware is under warranty with the manufacturer in case a critical problem occurs. Too often production hardware is not under warranty, then low and behold a serious problem occurs that requires expensive equipment replacements and labor that a warranty would have easily resolved.

If a situation arises and hardware is not available in your organization or the budget, consider a short term lease for a temporary server. Another option may be to build a server or use a PC depending on the database’s size. Although this may not be the ideal option, it may resolve the issues at hand and provide the needed level of comfort from a redundancy perspective. Be sure to incorporate these components into your plan as critical steps in order to properly address your upgrade and move forward with the proper hardware and software configurations.

Conclusion

An upgrade is a significant event in your organization and must be planned for accordingly. Planning will ensure confidence in moving forward with the upgraded system or have the ability to revert to the previous system in case an issue arises. As such, a comprehensive project plan should be developed in order to achieve proper technical decision making that is critical to the success of the upgrade. Needless to say, sufficient testing is also required to ensure the selected configurations are meeting your business needs. This confidence can be achieved with the Redundant Upgrade Architecture to ensure a clean SQL Server 2000 server is introduced into the production environment as well as the ability to revert to the SQL Server 6.5 environment when necessary. Good luck!

Resources

  1. Successful Project Management for Database Administrators – Jeremy Kadlec – http://www.edgewoodsolutions.com/resources/presentations.asp – November 2002 – SQL PASS 2002 Seattle Community Summit – Accessed 01.28.2003
  2. SQL Server 2000 Books Online – Microsoft Corporation – Published January 2003 – Accessed 01.28.2003
  3. Upgrading to SQL Server 2000 – Microsoft Corporation – http://www.microsoft.com/sql/howtobuy/Upgrade_to_SQL_Server_2000.doc – Published September 2000 – Accessed 01.28.2003

About the Author – Jeremy Kadlec

Jeremy Kadlec is the Principal Database Engineer at Edgewood Solutions, (www.edgewoodsolutions.com) a technology services company delivering full spectrum Microsoft SQL Server Services on the east coast of the United States primarily in the Washington DC and Boston areas. Jeremy can be reached at 410.591.4683 or mailto:jeremyk@edgewoodsolutions.com

Learn more about how Edgewood Solutions delivers ‘databases at their finest’ at www.edgewoodsolutions.com.

Copyright © 2002-2003 Edgewood Solutions All Rights Reserved

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