MS SQL server upgrade independent of Server version.

Thank you in advance,
I'd like to know if it is possible to upgrade the MS SQL server independent of a Windows Server version.
I have a legacy client with Windows Server 2008 R2. They of course have their SQL embedded as a 2008 R2 version of SQL as well.
This is a difficult client, and just for grins I'd like to know if SQL can be upgraded separately from the OS.
Thank you for your help regarding this.
amrad6 .Asked:
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bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
basically, do you mean if you can install the latest version of SQL Server 2017 on the Windows 2008 R2? correct?
amrad6 .Author Commented:
Yes this is correct. Thank you.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Yes, you can install more recent  MSSQL releases instead of or in addition to that one release. You are bound to some OS releases - if too much apart from each other, you might have issues. For W2008r2 you should be able to go up to the current MSSQL release, though.
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SQL 2016, 2017 and 2019 is not supported on Windows 2008 R2. You need to be on Windows 2012/Windows 8 or higher. It looks like the latest supported version of SQL on Windows 2008 R2 is SQL 2014.

Windows 2008 R2 gets it last update January 14, 2020. At this point, you should really be planning to replace Windows 2008 R2 too. So, yes you can upgrade SQL by itself, but at this time I don't think it makes sense to do so. It would have made more sense to upgrade just SQL 2+ years ago.
amrad6 .Author Commented:
Thank you both for your info. I've done a bit of research and have found the following from MS:

"You can upgrade instances of SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012 (11.x), SQL Server 2014 (12.x), or SQL Server 2016 (13.x), to SQL Server 2017. Before running SQL Server Setup to upgrade to SQL Server 2017, review the following articles about the upgrade process and the release notes. "


From that info I believe it would appear that 08 R2 will go to 16 or 17. Please confirm if this appears to be the case.

Many thanks,
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
please check here for a summary.

it is true that i didn't find official statement saying SQL Server 2016/17/19 is officially supported on Windows 2008 R2. but technically, i don't see the point of why not supported. per my experience, the standard features should be running but some enterprise features such as clustering support may be limited or not supported at all.

you may give it a try.
My links and the link by bbao both indicate that SQL 2014 is the last version supported on Windows 2008 R2. SQL 2016 is not supported.
If you were on Windows 2012, then you could upgrade SQL 2008 R2 to any version up to and including SQL 2019.
Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution GuideCommented:

Straight to the point, SQL Server 2008 R2 can be upgraded to SQL Server 2017 provided that the Server OS support SQL Server 2017.
Since Windows Server 2008 R2 doesn't support SQL Server 2017, you can't upgrade it in your current server..
But let's say, you have SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2012, then you can upgrade your SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL Server 2017.
Hope this clarifies..

>> I'd like to know if it is possible to upgrade the MS SQL server independent of a Windows Server version

No, SQL Server depends upon Windows Server version.
amrad6 .Author Commented:
Thank you all for your clarifications. SQL 2014 it is.

Rergarding implementation:
There is only one physical server in this infrastructure which the client wishes to maintain.
Can I install a second instance of SQL on one server.
The scenario is:
MS SQL 2008 R2 AND MS SQL 2014 on MS Server 2008 R2 Small Business migration on one physical machine.
(Once finished with the migration, the SQL 2008 R2 would be abandoned.)
And, if possible, can the "Copy Database Wizard Method" be used (courtesy Mr. Vitor Montalvao)
Thank you
Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution GuideCommented:
>> Can I install a second instance of SQL on one server

Nope, you can't have SQL Server 2014 instance on MS Server 2008 R2, you would need a minimum of Windows Server 2012 to have SQL Server 2014 instance installed out..

Kindly try creating a new server with Windows Server 2012 or above to install SQL Server 2014 instance and then you can do the Migration as you have specified above..
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
> There is only one physical server in this infrastructure

if the W2K8R2 server must be kept with current installation, you can actually enable Hyper-V and install a Windows Server 2012 VM on it, then install SQL 2016 on top of it.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Raja, 2014 is supported.

So the answer is yes, you can install 2014 as a second instance, move or copy the DB over, and than decomission the old instance. You will have to change the DB connection string, because the new instance requires to have a different name than the old one. You also need one of the SQL Browser services runng to allow indentifying instances by name.
Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution GuideCommented:
Thanks Qlemo for correcting, seems like I checked SQL Server 2017 by mistake..

Sorry, amrad6 for the confusion earlier.
You can install SQL Serve 2014 on Windows Server 2008 R2 and then migrate as you have mentioned above..
Of course, this is almost 2019. Time to get off physical servers and Windows 2008 R2! :-) If I was going to pay someone to upgrade SQL, and then turn around a year later and have to upgrade the OS, I would want to at least consider moving to an OS with a longer support term so that I wasn't throwing money and time at a short term fix.
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