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Upgrade from SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL Server 2012 or 2014 or 2016

Our organization wants to upgrade from SQL Server 2008 R2 ==> SQL Server 2012 or 2014 or 2016

We are not sure what version we should go for.
We don't use too many of the new features on the SQL server but would like to have a version that is supported by Microsoft for a a longer time

I am thinking that we can go for a stable version lets say 2012 SP3 or 2014 SP2.

What might be the potential issues that might happen and that we need to take care of from the application standpoint and from installation standpoint.

PS. Right now we are using Windows Server 2008 R2 for hosting the SQL server.

Please help as I am not sure which one to choose. You can give me some good pointers.
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Arikkan
Asked:
Arikkan
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3 Solutions
 
Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
>>a version that is supported by Microsoft for a a longer time

The longest will be 2016!

If you are using plain old features, they will work correctly even in 2016 because it is (mostly) the same code as it was in 2014 and possibly 2012.
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ArikkanAuthor Commented:
We are thinking that 2016 will have service packs soon and we will have to make changes to every server even after installation. So should we go with 2014 SP2 or 2012 SP4 ?

I know that 2014 will not work on windiws server 2008R2. Besides that are there any issues that we know of ?

And which version is more popular by user reviews ? i am not sure of that..... any ideas
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Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
>>I know that 2014 will not work on windiws server 2008R2

I have this setup for one of my clients and it is working!

Again, I would go the latest. All products needs to be patched every so often.
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ZberteocCommented:
I would also go for the latest stable version, which is SQL 2016. Don't worry about the patches, think of 2016 version as a 2012 with SP10 on steroids :) Any improvements and bug fixes that were needed in the product evolution will be included in the last version/pack anyway. I agree that there will be SPs for 2016 down the road but applying them should not prevent(scare) you from using the latest version.

When it comes to OS, I would do an upgrade for that too. Later versions of Windows than 2008 are better suited and overall more optimized for using the later versions of SQL server. You wouldn't buy a car with a brand new engine but on an old frame, even rusty maybe, would you? :)
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ArikkanAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone.

@Éric Moreau: Thanks for your valuable insight and answers.

@Zberteoc: You are right. I did a full comparison and 2016 has many new features.

I will go with 2016 :-)
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ArikkanAuthor Commented:
Thanks to you both. :-)
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ArikkanAuthor Commented:
By any chance do you know about how SQL server is going to change the local backups. I know that they are dropping support for Tape backup.

This will be bad for Network admins who are using tape backups.

Is there any other change for local backups in SQL server?
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Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
I haven't heard (neither searched) for anything specific to backups to tapes. I always do my backups to disk (before moving them elsewhere) or azure.
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ArikkanAuthor Commented:
I might be misinterpreting it and Not sure how much of this is true but......

See this link:
http://sql2016only.blogspot.com/2015/06/sql-server-managed-backup-server.html

Supportability
The following support limitations and considerations are specific to SQL Server 2016:
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage service is the only supported backup storage option. Backups to disk or tape are not supported.



But on MS documentation I can see this link. This mentions the steps to backup the DB to Disk/Tape:
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms191209.aspx


This in this MS documentation they mention something else:
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms179313.aspx

  • Note:
  • Support for tape backup devices will be removed in a future version of SQL Server. Avoid using this feature in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use this feature.


Its a bit confusing.
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ArikkanAuthor Commented:
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