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SQL 2008 R2 to 2012 Failover Cluster in-place upgrade

Posted on 2013-06-21
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Last Modified: 2013-06-24
Hi!

I'm planning to do an in-place upgrade of our SQL 2008 R2 Failover Cluster to 2012. If any of you have done this already, would you care to share?

Steps I've in mind:
1. Pause or evict (?) the passive node from the cluster
2. Upgrade Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 - reboot the server?
3. Upgrade SQL 2008 R2 to SQL server 2012
4. Restart the node
5. Make sure Failover Cluster settings are intact.
6. Failover cluster to this passive node (passive will then become active node)
7. Repeat #1 - 5 until the other node is upgraded
8. Test failover and failbacks few times.
9. Check database connectivity
10. Finish!

There may be some steps in between the above steps to carry out that I have no knowledge about. Please let me know what they are!

Thanks, Sharad
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Question by:sharad_rai
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by:didnthaveaname
didnthaveaname earned 1050 total points
ID: 39266368
I would take a look at this article first and foremost: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms191295.aspx - looks like you can do rolling upgrades relatively painlessly.
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by:sharad_rai
ID: 39266419
Thanks, the link is pretty useful.
What is the suggested method of backing up the nodes before going into the upgrade cycle?

- Sharad
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by:
didnthaveaname earned 1050 total points
ID: 39266976
I would imagine you just back up all of the databases on the passive nodes before you upgrade them (since the upgrade will upgrade the databases).  Technically speaking, you'll never be upgrading an active node, since you'll failover to an upgraded node before you upgrade the active node.

Where the link I posted gets me to thinking is where it mentions that upgraded nodes don't participate in the cluster until the cluster resource group ownership is moved to an upgraded  node, which, by default, automatically occurs during the upgrade of the next node after half of the nodes have been upgraded.  If this is a 2-node cluster, I would imagine there is going to be some manual intervention required.  I am, unfortunately, not going to be of a whole lot of use on the specifics as I avoid clusters like the plague (definitely intrigued by the 2012 availability groups, however).
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