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Should somebody not yet on SQL 2008 wait for SQL 2008 R2, since it's near release?

I've got a client that hasn't yet moved to SQL Server 2008. Considering that R2 is relatively close to release, would it be better to wait?

On the money side of things, Microsoft doesn't appear to offer any kind of "upgrade" pricing for SQL Server. I can't find anything that tells me that moving from 2005 to 2008 would be cheaper than starting with 2008 from scratch. Is that right? And if that is right, do you think somebody buying 2008 now would not get any credit whatsoever towards a 2008 R2 license?

Last, money aside, what would be technical reasons to wait for R2?


UPDATE: Thanks for your answers so far. I'm still wondering: If we pulled the trigger and went SQL 2008 now, would there be any credit towards SQL 2008 R2, or would it be full-cost all over again?

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asked Oct 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM in Default

Chris W Rea gravatar image

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4 answers: sort voted first

As is so often with databases, the ultimate answer is, it depends.

When considered any technology purchase, the ultimate question for a business is what is the return on investment. I find SQL Server 2008 to be a major improvement over 2005 that pays for itself quickly in terms of reduced developer time and being able to handle many issues more gracefully than 2005. I believe 2008 will have a good ROI for most 2005 shops.

And if 2008 is a good investment for your shop, than R2 is still far enough away (especially if like many companies you have a policy of waiting for the first service pack before upgrading to a new product...) to justify the move now. If money is especially constrained or else 2008 does not look like a good ROI for your particular shop, then certainly wait for R2 and then perform the same evaluation.

There are legacy applications still running SQL Server 2000 (and earlier) because the ROI is still not there for the upgrade, especially if the application requires relatively little upgrading or tweaking. For those shops, this may be the correct business decision. For active development, I think the ROI is huge, but if the application has been unchanged for years and anticipates no changes in the near future upgrading may be a waste of money.

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answered Oct 17, 2009 at 02:51 PM

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The differences between 2008 & R2 are likely to be exceedingly small, outside the BI area. I wouldn't hesitate to make a move to 2008 now and plan on upgrading to R2 as the opportunity presented itself.

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answered Oct 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Grant Fritchey gravatar image

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I think Timothy has an excellent answer. The thing I'll mention is that things that are new in R2 (not in SS2K8) will be 1.0 features. Not necessarily what you want to implement. Things that were new in SS2K8, will be slightly more mature, but I wouldn't count on that. Bugs will be fixed, but I'm not sure how much maturity went into some of the things like Spatial, Filestream, etc.

However, if you wait for R2, which is looking to release late Q1, early Q2, then you are delaying your deployment until next summer, depending on testing. If you are thinking to move, I would look at SS2K8, but really make sure there's a reason for you to move off 2005. Are there specific features you need?

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answered Oct 18, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Steve Jones - Editor gravatar image

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check out sql2008r2.com for the list of new features. You can't know if they need the new version if you are not familiar with the new features.

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answered Oct 31, 2009 at 06:32 PM

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asked: Oct 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM

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Last Updated: Oct 20, 2009 at 11:00 PM