SQL Server Migration and Upgrades - Five Essential tips

Having worked on many migrations and upgrades of SQL Server instances (2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017), here are five essential tips which can be helpful as you are planning for a migration and upgrade.

  1. Understand your network and disk throughput - Accurately estimating the time required to get the data to its destination is important. This principle applies to both on-premises, to the cloud, and Data Center to Data Center migrations. It might seem like a simple step, but knowing how quickly your data can be transferred and restored can help dramatically from a planning perspective. Migrations often require the system to be offline to complete the process as well as application and network steps along the way. 
  2. Know your latency - When architecting your design, if you are setting up a High Availability / Failover cluster, ensure that your latency to any disaster recovery nodes is sufficient to support the seeding and data replication required to keep the node current. You may have problems if the response time between the locations is not adequate to support the data volumes. Sending simple pings to the servers and measuring the response times should provide this insight. Look for response times less than 10 ms.
  3. Validate your network ports - Make sure in advance that the port you will be running your SQL Server connections through (e.g., if you aren’t defaulting to 1433) has been configured in the firewall correctly. Avoid last-minute delays on the day of the migration by making sure the ports are open and connections can be made in advance.
  4. Lockdown your source databases - It is important to put your databases on your source into read-only mode or take the databases offline completely. This step avoids any potential rogue connections to the source database and Data Manipulation Language (DML) happening without your awareness.
  5. Plan to monitor after the upgrade is complete - SQL Server engines tend to get better with each version, but there is no guarantee that your execution plans will perform better. It is normal in some cases for the performance to decline after an upgrade. The key is to plan for monitoring time after the upgrade to identify any problem areas and swiftly resolve them.

Don’t let the prospect of upgrading scare you. Migrations and upgrades typically go very smoothly, as long as the planning and preparation have been done in advance.  

If you need assistance with your upgrade migration plan and resources, don't hesitate to contact our team at T7 Technologies. We'd love to hear how we can help you with your unique situation.  

For help planning or executing your SQL migration or upgrade, contact us today!

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