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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Clustered SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 upgrade

    We are about to refresh some aging hardware, including a SQL 2005 2 node failover cluster. My preference would be to create a new cluster with SQL 2008 waiting on it, and transfer over the databases (less than 20 GB of actual databases), in order to do the hardware upgrade and SQL upgrade all in one shot. Due to a combination of the Enterprise Agreement we have with Microsoft (does not include SQL 2008), and my complete lack of salesmanship ability, I am not likely to get my way. Especially since according to the official documentation the in place upgrade does not look so bad. The question for you, is has anyone attempted this in place upgrade of a 2 node failover cluster from SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 or SQL 2008 R2? Any troubles with it (besides the back-out planning)?

  2. #2
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    Yes, I've tried to do three cluster upgrades from SQL 2005 to SQL 2008r2. The "in place upgrade" does not work correctly from 2005 to any other version due to the way that 2005 integrates itself into the cluster. Good backkups are all that saved me when I tried to upgrade SQL on the "live" cluster.

    The "relatively safe" way I've found is to break the existing cluster (leaving a single node SQL 2005 cluster). If you break away the passive node you'll reboot the active node (twice if you don't have node affinity set, five times if you have node affinity set) as you break down the cluster. Do NOTeven consider removing SQL from the passive node before breaking the cluster, that has been an outright train wreck for me.

    Once you break away the passive node (defect it from the cluster), reload the Operating System and then reinstall applications like SQL Server 2008r2on it. Because of the hinky things that SQL 2005 does with clusters, I wouldn't even try anything else unless I physically removed that server from the network first.

    When you have both single node SQL clusters (SQL 2005 and 2008r2) running, move the database from 2005 to 2008r2. After your applications have run successfully for a day or two, reformat the 2005 machine and join it to the new cluster. Add the SQL 2008r2 to the new node, which is a snap.

    -PatP
    Last edited by Pat Phelan; 01-24-11 at 18:19. Reason: fixed php tags
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm....Not quite the warm and fuzzy feeling I was hoping for, but maybe it will help. The way our Enterprise is going, we may well be on SQL 2011 before we get off SQL 2000.
    Thanks, Pat.

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