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anadi11 avatar image
anadi11 asked

Upgrading to a new server

I have an older SQL 2005 box on Windows Server 2003 (32-bit). I would like to upgrade to a new machine. What are the checklist items for recommendation on new hardware/configuration/data migration plan?
databaseserver
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Not mandatory to go to 64bit Windows but HIGHLY advised to do so. Go 64bit on OS and on SQL Server and you will see a great deal of performance gains due to better usage of your resources.
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thanks a lot guys! i am looking to upgrade the OS as well as SQL server. so,if I am upgrading to SQL 2008,is it mandatory to go to a 64-bit Windows version. We dont have a dedicated hardware supplier and there is no specific OPS team to name. This upgrade is a project that just started brewing as our customer base is picking up.
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So much of this is relevant today with the end of extended support of SQL Server 2005.
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Tim avatar image
Tim answered
RAM, RAM, RAM, and More RAM. I have upgraded hundreds of databases from SQL 2000 to 2005 and 2008. Going from 32-bit to x64. After consulting with the application vendor or running upgrade adviser against the DB I have always had a successful migration. The main points to have to consider are connections to your databases and make sure they are all updated when you migrate to new hardware. When a machine name changes it can have a huge impact to your environment unless you are using aliases. You will need to check all your jobs, DTS, SSIS, etc and make sure they can all connect to the new server. Also make sure you migrate all the users. This is really an open ended question as this could be a very simple task or you could be looking at months worth of work depending on your environment. From a hardware perspective you just really need to make sure you have enough iron to handle your load and that it is configured to best practices. You want LOTS of RAM, plenty of CPU, and FAST disks. You also want enough disks to split logs, data, tempdb, and backups to separate disks with as many spindles as you need to handle your load. I literally could type for hours on this subject.
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+1 - it is a never ending story once you get going, I had to stop myself too!
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"More RAM than a field of sheep" - Dave Lister, Red Dwarf.
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@WilliamD, yes indeed.
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WilliamD avatar image
WilliamD answered
This all depends upon load of the current system and expected load/growth of the new system. If it is a one to one swap and no growth is anticipated, I would go for a server with similar spec to the old machine. RAM, CPU and Disks will all be better by default through hardware advancements since the last system was built, so it is a matter of taking your current baseline and seeing that it will be fulfilled. You have not mentioned what the current spec is, or what system you are looking at implementing. Are you wanting to upgrade the OS and SQL Server too, or just put a new engine inside the car?? If you are just replacing aging hardware and cannot upgrade the rest, you would be best off installing a fresh box and taking a backup of all user dbs and restoring them on the new box. Don't forget to take any jobs/permissions/ssis packages/reports/cubes with you if necessary. Do you have a dedicated hardware supplier? DELL, IBM, HP? Do you have a central OPS Team that is responsible for hardware orders? You could start by talking to them about what you are wanting to do and go from there. If you can, post what you have and what you want to upgrade in a little more detail and we will help where we can.
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+1 - Details are needed to give this user a solid answer to take to their boss. I could come up with an of a couple thousand bucks to 100k all depending on requirements. Does the new environment need HA, DR, etc? Oh my how this simple little question could generate a novel.
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TimothyAWiseman avatar image
TimothyAWiseman answered
As both WilliamD and TRAD have said, this is a topic that could fill chapters, but let me add just a little to what they have already said (all of which I agree with, incidentally): Plan for the downtime. If you have a large dedicated maintenance window this may not affect the rest of the company very much, but if this is a critical production database then even short periods of downtime may have a very large impact on the company and may need extensive planning to mitigate. Similarly, be generous in estimating how long you be down. Maybe it is just me, but personally I very frequently underestimate how long a task will take. How significant this server is and how long it can be down may also affect your migration plan. If you can declare a stop time for working with the server then data migration may be (almost) as simple as making and restoring backups. If the server downtime needs to be minimized and new records will be added the entire time on the other hand, you may have to do something more elaborate.
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ThomasRushton avatar image
ThomasRushton answered
One question that you will get asked, is *why* you would like to upgrade to a new machine? What are the issues facing you at the moment? Are they likely to increase, or is it a static problem? What will you gain? What's the benefit, financially? What's the cost, financially, direct & indirect? What are the risks of upgrading? What are the risks of not upgrading? Oh, and if you're supporting 3rd party applications, make sure that they support the version of SQL Server you propose. Bear in mind that you will have to justify your proposal / recommendation to the bean-counters!
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I have prepared a handy-ish checklist of some things to think about when doing server upgrades... http://thelonedba.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/sql-server-upgrades-ahoy/ Let me know if I've missed anything!
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