Top 4 Reasons to Upgrade to SQL Server 2012


If you’re a long time SQL shop, and have been running SQL Server 2000, 2005 or 2008 for many years, you may have asked yourself, "Is it time to upgrade?"

Well, we can emphatically answer, "Yes!"

Here are our top four reasons to move up and out of the older versions and into SQL 2012.

Reason 1 - End of Life

SQL Server 2000 and 2005 are still widely used, and with good reason. SQL Server 2000 was one of the best product releases from Microsoft.

However, SQL Server 2000 is now 12 years old. On April 9, 2013, SQL Server 2000 will no longer be supported by Microsoft. But that alone is not necessarily justification to upgrade. If a SQL Server has been running fine for many years and hasn't required vendor support, then then there is a good chance it will continue to run for many more years.

A more significant issue is that the hardware on which these SQL Server instances run is in many cases reaching its end of life. Old hardware is much less forgiving than old software. Hardware wears out. Old disks crash. Over time, components can become unstable.

Many of these older systems have to have upgraded hardware, and you may have trouble getting the old OS and SQL to run on some of the latest 64bit hardware. And if you are upgrading the hardware you should also upgrade the SQL Server platform to give you the maximum potential life for your new investment.

Reason 2 - SQL Server 2012 Licensing

SQL Server 2012 changes the way in which SQL Server is licensed.

  • SQL Server 2012 changes from per socket based licensing to per core based licenses. Modern CPUs can have eight or more cores. This can represent a dramatic increase in the number of licenses required and potentially a dramatic increase in license costs.
  • SQL Server Enterprise licensing is changing so "per seat" based licensing is no longer an option. Per core is the only option – which may again represent a dramatic increase in licensing costs.

While some licensing arrangements, such as software assurance, may mitigate some of the impact of these changes you should definitely speak to your license provider to understand how these changes will affect your organization.

Moving to SQL Server 2008 R2 now may give you the window needed to take cost optimization measures such as consolidation before upgrading to SQL Server 2012.

Reason 3 - Upgrade Paths

A technical limitation is that SQL Server 2000 will have no direct upgrade path to SQL Server 2012. This means upgrades from 2000 to 2012 will have to undergo additional steps to upgrade to either SQL Server 2005 or 2008 temporarily.

This may be manageable for small upgrades but a lot of extra planning and testing will need to be undertaken to upgrade at scale. Taking the benefits discussed above into consideration, an upgrade now to get you onto the current version may well be worthwhile to avoid a more complicated upgrade path in future.

Reason 4 – SQL Server 2012 is Awesome!

The other three reasons are good for business, but when you compare the enhancements in 2012 to the older versions – this version is awesome! You’ll quickly see that it has the full implementation of the BI suite, and it iss simple to implement security, auditing and encryption.

Oh and don’t forget the refined interface. Most people only use a small portion of the SQL product. But put the whole SQL suite together, Database, SSAS, SSRS, SSIS, Data Mining, integration to SharePoint, Excel 2010, and Power Pivot --and it’s seamless and consistent.

And those are the best reasons of all - Seamless and Consistent.

If you’re thinking about a migration or new implementation, give us a call at Learn iT! We offer the full SQL 2012 course lineup, and can get you and your team up to speed and on your way to understanding what makes SQL 2012 the most exciting database platform available.