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upgrade from stand-alone to cluster server

I have been put in-charge to upgrade our current SQL7 database to SQL 2000 server. I originally wanted to install a Windows 2003 server cluster for High Availability, however the budget for that has been pushed back to Q1 2005. I would like to roll out SQL 2000 server now and upgrade to a clustered environment at a later date. Has anyone done this? Is this advisable?

to ‘upgrade’ really involves building a clustered pair of servers alongside your sql2000 production server and once you are happy with the cluster from an OS level, install SQL2k SP3 on the cluster. Test that this is functioning ok, and then migrate the databases from your production sql2k box to your new sql2k cluster…
I would not advise trying to upgrade a standalone server to a cluster-node even if that was possible… The only way of achieving reuse of the existing production server is to buy the same spec server as what you intend to buy for the cluster nodes. Then when it is time to get the cluster buy a single node plus the HDD array, get this all up and running. Then migrate the databases onto this node and then rebuild the standalone box and add it to the cluster… I wouldn’t advise this though, as it is much better to test the cluster thoroughly before it is live… it is not uncommon for a cluster build to go wrong the first time and to have to reformat the drives and start again… Twan
As Twan covered most of the part,http://www.sql-server-performance.com/upgrade_7_to_2000_sql_server_cluster.asp for related information. HTH Satya SKJ
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