Choosing the Best Migration Option for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2

You’ve been through enough end-of-support migrations and updates at this point to know that they’re usually a blessing in disguise. Being forced to update may be an organizational headache, but at least you’ll come out of it with some shiny, modern capabilities.

The SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 end of extended support July 9, 2019 will be no exception. Needless to say, a great deal has changed since SQL Server 2008 was introduced 10 years ago, and you will almost certainly find this update brings better database performance and reliability.

You know you have to update to a newer version of SQL, so now the question is — which one? Here are your options:

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance

You can move to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance with minimal application changes to start enjoying a “version-free” platform. Obviously, this comes with all the cloud-related benefits you’d expect, like the avoidance of future migrations, dynamic scalability, and a pay-for-what-you-use billing approach.

If you’re not familiar with Managed Instance, it’s a new resource type in SQL Database that streamlines the migration of SQL Server workloads and combines the best of SQL Server with all the benefits of a fully managed database service.

And as we recently announced, Microsoft has chosen Codero as one of a select group of Datacenter Optimization Partners to pro-actively support and manage Azure SQL Database Managed Instance as part of a pilot program. That means you’ll receive back-end management from Microsoft to stay up to date on OS patches, build out redundancy, and get high availability guarantees. Meanwhile Codero will provide pro-active, premium management to ensure your database keeps up with your organizational growth and ever-changing demands.

If you haven’t considered hosting your database in the cloud, it’s well worth a look. Microsoft has found that customers experience up to 30 times improved throughput and latency and up to 100 times faster queries and reports thanks to Managed Instance’s in-memory technologies. They also enjoy up to 406 percent ROI versus on-premise or hosted databases.

Azure Virtual Machines (VMs)

You can also migrate your database to a newer version of SQL Server operating on an Azure VM. If you choose to do this and use Codero infrastructure, we’ll give you three years of Extended Security Updates at no additional charge. You can then upgrade to SQL Server 2017 or the latest version on a dedicated server when you’re ready.

As a word of caution, Microsoft notes the following:

When you upgrade to SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2016 from older versions of SQL Server, you should consider whether changes are needed. We recommend that you address all dependencies on features not supported by the new version of SQL Server as part of your migration project.

These compatibility issues, which also apply to SQL Server 2017 upgrades, are precisely why Microsoft created Azure SQL Database Managed Instance to be highly compatible with SQL Server for easy migration and onboarding. If you want to make your migration simple, it may be worth using a managed instance instead of Azure VM.

SQL Server 2017

The third course of action is to upgrade to SQL Server 2017. This will mean making application changes, as mentioned above, but may be your preference if you want to continue hosting your database on-premise or in one of Codero’s world-class data centers.

Choosing to host your SQL Server 2017 database with us means getting greater security, performance, availability, and innovation with cloud analytics. We will also pro-actively manage your database so you can focus exclusively on using your data, rather than securing it or making it load faster.

Work with the Azure Experts

Choosing where to host your database is a big decision, and we know you don’t take it lightly. Our team is full of experts on all your Azure- and server-hosted SQL options, and we can help you select the environment that’s best for your organization based on your operational needs and goals.

What’s more, we’ll make migration easy. We’ve completed more than a 1,000 server-to-Azure migrations this year alone and have a longstanding relationship with Microsoft, so you know you’re in good hands, whatever option you choose.

Chat with us to find out which SQL Server 2008 upgrade path is right for you.