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SQL Upgrade (in place)

Currently running:
  • MS SQL Standard 2014 SP3 (64bit)
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter

I need to upgrade to SQL 2019 and (for a plethora of reasons), I'd like to do an upgrade-in-place. Could I setup a new server, install all new software, migrate my data, and then change around server names / IP addresses and such? Yes. And we've done that in the past. But it's a painful process that involves multiple folks from various other departments... and it has to be done in the wee hours.

If it's possible (and not a terribly egregious) mistake, I'd much prefer to do an in-place upgrade. It's a VM, so I can snapshot the system beforehand, providing a full recovery option.  My approach would be to take SQL Server offline, do a VM snapshot, upgrade, bring back online, test critical systems. If all is good, great. If not, I can restore the VM snapshot and regroup.

As this is the place to get "expert" advice, I'd really appreciate any thoughts the experts can provide. I have no concerns about actually installing the upgrade. I've been in the IT field for a long time and I've used SQL for many, many years, but not as a power-admin. And this is the first time I've considered this approach, so my experience is limited. As Clint Eastwood would say... "A man's got to know his limitations". So, here I am.
Microsoft SQL Server

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8/22/2022 - Mon

One of the usualy procedures is to just install a second instance on the same server. If all databases are moved, you can uninstall the older instance. If it is less impact, this is a different questions as moving the databases is the same procedure. 
Peter Chan

If you use the same SQL server version, you need to do proper DB backup by creating relevant schema .BAK files.

Then do Win server (2019) setup and SQL server setup. Re-create schemas using .BAK files.

Remember to do SQL server setup before any AD domain setup.


I wasn't clear enough in my original post (which I just edited ever so slightly). My question is primarily about doing an SQL upgrade in place. Is it necessary to create a "new" SQL instance and migrate the DB's? Or is it generally fine to upgrade an existing SQL instance to a newer version?
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James Murphy

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