SQL Server Upgrade Checklist

by | Mar 7, 2019 | UpgradeSeries | 0 comments

SQL Server Upgrades Made Easy

Last week, I wrapped up the delivery of a 4-part webinar series giving tips about SQL Server upgrades. I talked about how critical a SQL Server Upgrade Checklist is to the success of your SQL Server upgrade projects and promised a checklist. Here it is! This is a free download, no e-mail address required.

Check out our SQL Server Upgrades Made Easy webinar series.

Why a SQL Server Upgrade Checklist?

Frankly, why not?! Pilots use checklists. Surgeons use checklists. The military uses them. Checklists help make sure no routine steps are missed, and they can make life a lot easier when you end up in an abnormal situation! Sure, at Straight Path, we do SQL Server upgrades a lot – we are consultants, so we work with a lot of clients. But for the average DBA who stays with a company for a long time, you can’t go wrong making your own SQL Server upgrade checklist!  

When an upgrade goes bad? It can get ugly quick. Your checklist will keep your upgrade running smooth. We remind you of a few things like having the right team in place, having a rollback plan, setting up the right order of operations. Combine the SQL Server Upgrade Checklist with our SQL Server Build Guidelines (JON LINK!!!)  and you’ll be off to a good start.

So… Start with our SQL Server Upgrade Checklist if You Want!

I told you that you need to have one. I hope you agree. Rather than pontificate on the reasons why, I’ll give you a free “start” – you can download Straight Path’s SQL Server Upgrade Checklist. You’ll note the disclaimer in the download and below. This isn’t the end-all-be-all for your SQL Server upgrade steps. We can’t write a SQL Server upgrade checklist that covers every single scenario. This is really meant to be a start for you to start your own checklist. Just use it. You don’t need to mention us, steal what works, test it, throw away what doesn’t. Leave a comment with things you’d add and we’ll periodically update this document and maybe keep a running (UPDATED: ) log at the bottom. And maybe make a new post when we do update it so if you subscribe to the blog, you’ll see it.

Our goal here is to help you out where you are. Sure. We do consult for SQL Server upgrade projects. You can always set up a free meeting to chat with me if you think you need a little help. But seriously, evaluate your needs, do your checklist yourself and see if you even need the help first! You may not!

An Excerpt from The Checklist

From the intro. There are very few paragraphs in this. It’s mostly checkmark bullets!

SQL Server upgrades don’t have to be stressful! In 2019, Straight Path’s founder, Mike Walsh, walked folks through the things to consider before, during, and after a SQL Server Upgrade process. You can watch the videos of this series over at our blog at the SQL Server Upgrades Made Easy page. (JON!! LINK)

This document can help you get on the way to having a SQL Server Upgrade checklist. You’ll need to cut and paste from this, add in the details about your own environment, test all the steps to be sure they work right for you and use this as a guide for your own checklist creation process. But please, take all you can from this and use this as the baseline for your own checklist! If you have a good rollback plan, you may physically have a second chance to do your upgrade right! Don’t burn the goodwill of your users and management by doing a SQL Server upgrade without planning!

At Straight Path, we help a lot of folks with SQL Server upgrades. We still double and triple check the basics and rely on checklists for success!
This document won’t answer your questions and do the steps for you! It would never end! It’s to get you thinking of the questions to ask and steps to do! Look to our blog and videos for some thoughts on possible answers to the steps!

For The Lawyers…

NOTE – AS ALWAYS – THIS IS A DOCUMENT FROM THE INTERNET WITH IDEAS FROM OUR TEAM AND BECAUSE YOU WILL BE ATTEMPTING THESE STEPS ON YOUR OWN AND INTERPRETATIONS MAY VARY, THIS IS OFFERED WITHOUT WARRANTY! YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY AND YOU SHOULD TEST THESE PROCEDURES AND STEPS AND MAKE SURE THEY WORK FOR YOU AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE ADDRESSING ALL RISKS UNIQUE TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS A GUIDE FOR YOU TO CREATE YOUR OWN CHECKLIST! IT COMES FROM OUR KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM AND THE MANY SUCCESSFUL UPGRADES WE’VE DONE! (Mike’s note – these really are the high level steps and some low level thoughts we use when we help someone do an upgrade)

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