SQL Server upgrade – what’s there in 2014?


It is that time again about Upgrade with the announcement of SQL Server 2014 RTM, I believe the essential aspects of what’s new and changed with 2014 version during the upgrade scenario. As a DBA you must obtain the information about supported versions and edition upgrades from the previous versions, you may not upgrade your entire data platform but there is a brighter chance that you will tempted to upgrade existing databases for the purpose.

The following points must be noted even when you are considering the upgrade or use of SQL Server 2014 in your data platform environment.

  • Deprecated and discontinued features – important subject for the DBAs & Developers to overview what is changed and what is not supported with the code from previous versions.
  • Features functionality – before upgrading from an edition of previous/2014 to another edition of 2014, verify that functionality you are using is supported in the edition to which you are moving.
  • SQL Server 2014 supports upgrade from the following versions of SQL Server:
    • SQL Server 2005 SP4 or later
    • SQL Server 2008 SP3 or later
    • SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 or later
    • SQL Server 2012 SP1 or later
  • Authentication – make sure you have enabled Windows Authentication for SQL Server Agent and default configuration of SQL Server Agent service account is a member of SYSADMIN group in that instance.
  • Pre-requisites – hardware and software requirements are also important to see whether existing hardware can support 2014 or not. Otherwise you can ask the Hardware team to increase the CPU count or RAM or storage that can sustain the data growth. Best one to see Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2014.
  • You may not be able to start upgrade if the current server has any pending restart state from previous installations. So you need to restart the server to continue the upgrade. Also make sure Windows Installer service is not running during the upgrade.
  • Cross-version – the upgrade of cross version instances of 2014 are not supported, version numbers of Database Enginer, SSAS and SSRS must be same on that server.
  • Cross-platform – you cannot upgrade cross platform instance, such as 32-bit of previous version to 64-bit of 2014 using the Setup. The best option is to Detach & Attach the databases or backup and restore the databases from that 32-bit instance to 2014 instance. You need to create the logins and any other user objects within system databases – master & msdb.
  • Cross-edition – you can upgrade from Enterprise/Developer/Web/Workgroup/Express edition to Enterprise & Business Intelligence editions. But you cannot downgrade from Enterprise to Standard/Web/Workgroup edtions, better to use Backup and Restore strategy path.
  • New features – during the upgrade we cannot add any new features to the existing instance of SQL Server 2014. Once upgrade is completed you use ‘Add Features’ option from Installation Center to continue, to see more about this refer to Add Features to an Instance of SQL Server 2014 (Setup). link.
  • WOW mode failover clusters are not support, like in previous versions.
  • Upgrade from Evaluation edition of previous SQL Server version is not supported.

In coming days I will also blog about SQL Server 2014 support for SQL Server 2005. More to follow….