When you’re getting ready to migrate to a new database platform like SQL Server 2016, you have essentially two different ways to get there: You can perform an in-place upgrade or a side-by-side upgrade. The two upgrade paths have very different characteristics. With an in-place upgrade you essentially install the new SQL Server 2016 release over the top of the old release. For SQL Server 2016, in-place upgrades are supported from the SQL Server 2008 release and higher. Side-by-side upgrades are quite different. With a side-by-side upgrade, you basically create an all-new SQL Server installation, and then restore the databases and settings from your old SQL Server installation to the new SQL server installation.
Each migration path has its own advantages and disadvantages, and different database professionals prefer one or the other for different reasons.
The in-place upgrade is quite a bit easier and faster overall because you don’t need to restore your system settings and all of your databases. However, there are disadvantages, as well. First of all, there will be downtime while the upgrade process is taking place. Further, if there is any corruption in the operating system or registry, it will be brought forward to the new release.
Side-by-side upgrades avoid these issues because you perform what is essentially a new installation of SQL Server 2016 in a new operating instance. When businesses opt for the side-by-side installation, they also choose to simultaneously upgrade their server platform and operating system environment--building a completely fresh and higher-performing installation. Of course, installing a new server platform, new operating system and new release of SQL Server--and then restoring all of your server settings and databases—will take longer than an in-place upgrade, but it can all be done offline while your older system continues to provide database services. You can then perform a quick cutover after the upgrade process is finished and the data is restored. Done right, the end result will be a modern and high-performance enterprise data platform.
Efficient Side-by-Side Migrations with HPE Support Services
When you do a side-by-side installation, you may not have to go it alone. Using a server such as the HPE Superdome X, for example, you can gain a significant increase in efficiency by leveraging some of the available HPE support services. HPE provides services that can help to get your new servers installed quickly and running optimally--vital for enterprise class server like the HPE Superdome X. By taking advantage of HPE resources you can reduce the internal resources required for your migration, freeing up those resources to work on other business priories. You can see an overview of HPE support services in Figure 1.
Figure 1 – HPE Support Service for the Superdome X
HPE’s support services for the Superdome X fall into four main areas:
- Advise: Before you begin the migration process, HP Technology Services can help you properly configure and size the system for your business’ database and virtualization workloads.
- Integrate: To help with the migration itself, HPE Implementation Services provides the installation, configuration and operational services required to get the system up and running quickly. In addition, HPE Education Services can help bring your own personnel up to speed with the new platform.
- Support: After you have finished the migration, and you’re in standard operating mode, HP Proactive Care Services and Data Center Care can proactively help to prevent problems and keep your systems operating efficiently.
- Flex: Finally, changing business requirements may require a change to systems and operations. HPE can assist with system changes like virtualization services and system partitioning to help you take full advantage of Superdome X’s capabilities over time.
HPE and Microsoft are the underwriters of this article.