SQL Server Upgrade Recommendations and Best Practices Part 1: Upgrade Overview and Project Planning

This article is the first of a multi-part series detailing the SQL Server Upgrade process from the technical, logistical and business perspective. In the coming weeks, expanded articles will be published in the following areas:

  • Part 1 – Upgrade Overview and Project Planning
  • SQL Server 6.5 and 7.0 Critical Upgrade Decisions and Redundant Upgrade Architecture
  • SQL Server 6.5 and 7.0 Upgrade Checklist and Application
  • Access Upgrades to SQL Server 2000
  • Upgrade from SQL Server 2000 to Yukon
  • Sybase, Oracle and Data Upgrades to SQL Server 2000
  • Post SQL Server 2000 Upgrade Recommendations

Introduction – SQL Server Upgrades

As the DBA in your organization, you are central to the success of the SQL Server environment. In the case of a system upgrade, you need to act as a ‘driver’ for an upgrade project to ensure success based on your technical expertise and role in the organization. Over this multi-part series, these articles will outline proven and recommended best practices for the upgrade process. This process is detailed from both technical and logistical perspectives which are both critical to the success of the project.

Needless to say, upgrading to SQL Server 2000 can be a daunting task based on the criticality of the systems, level of coordination and technical planning. As such, the series of articles will provide valuable explanations, charts and graphics to best illustrate the points to assist you in the project. With this being said, be prepared to work with new team members, wear new hats and resolve challenging issues in the course of upgrading to SQL Server 2000.

The motivation for this article is the realization that in many companies applications are in place, but the right tool for the job is not being leveraged. Too often, piece-meal applications are supporting business critical functions that cannot be leveraged to save time nor generate revenue. To further elaborate:

  • Companies are still running SQL Server 6.5 and limping along by having IT staff spending hours resolving server down, corruption and data integrity problems with minimal user productivity
  • Microsoft Access has grown from a desktop database to a department of users that are severely stressing the database ultimately leading to corruption and frustration
  • 3rd party Applications need to be upgraded in order to leverage new functionality released by the vendor and needed for the business
  • Microsoft Excel is being used to run business critical functions and important data is scattered across the organization and is sometimes mistakenly lost

The bottom line contribution by the DBAs for the business is to improve efficiency and accuracy for the user community as well as save time and money for the business. The DBAs win by being able focus on more challenging IT projects on the latest and greatest technology. I am sure you can agree this is a WIN-WIN scenario for everyone involved.


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