My old car – your MS SQL Server 2005

Sunset-car.pngI am the proud owner of a Nighthawk Black Pearl – Honda Accord EX Coupe V6 Manual Transmission. This is the best car I ever had. A piece of excellent machinery - low maintenance, great pick up and handling of the road, and makes for a smooth ride down the highway with windows down and sun roof popped open. Thanks to my friend Peter, car shopper extraordinaire, it was a steal.

Every year, new shiny Honda Accord models come out, all slick and trendy looking, and I still do not see why should I ditch my awesome car. New cars have fancy Bluetooth connections to the audio systems, built-in GPS systems and other marvelous features that I just don’t need to get me from point A to point B.

There are three reasons that would make me consider changing my car:

  • Maintenance starts to get expensive
  • Too many things stop working properly – electric windows openers, sun roof…
  • Honda stops making parts for my car

So far, it looks like I will keep my Accord until a door falls off. I’m guessing that many of my fellow IT people have a similar affinity for their SQL Server 2005. Your server runs great and what’s not to like?

  • Most software used by your company does not require new versions of SQL server
  • SQL Server is set, backed up (it is backed up right?) and you never have to worry about the server or the database
  • Little or no maintenance

But here is the deal: Microsoft is ending extended support for SQL Server 2005 on April 12th of 2016. That IS it people. SQL Server 2005 is headed for the Microsoft grave yard alongside Windows 3.1, Windows XP and SQL Server 2000 and their close relatives.

End of support means:

  • No more security updates
  • Compliance concerns
  • Higher maintenance costs

The ghost of SQL upgrades past will come to haunt you, from that time when you upgraded from 2000 to 2005. The thought of another upgrade – even 11 years later, may be giving your goosebumps.

Well, I am happy to report that Microsoft’s team has done a remarkable job making sure this does not happen again and starting with SQL Server 2008, Microsoft has managed to make all the engine enhancements and upgrades under the hood, without breaking legacy systems, (yes, this really happened).

Take a look at Microsoft’s current SQL Server architecture, as you can see, if your application communicates with SQL, migrating is a seamless operation:


Depending on your architecture and needs, you have two options for upgrading:

Upgrade your Windows Server and SQL Server Version

This is the traditional road to take. Get the latest Windows Server, install SQL Server 2014 and move your database. Moving to SQL Server 2008 will defeat the purpose because it won’t be long before you’re facing another end-of-support headache.

Adopt a cloud-based SQL platform (Migration to Azure)

Migrating to the cloud removes a lot of the challenges about the underlying infrastructure. Microsoft Azure supports SQL Server instances that can be scaled up as needed. The back-end servers and storage are managed for the user.

Now, after years of making confident assertions about new products and launches, I am relentlessly reminded of the first of Murphy’s Law : if anything can go wrong, it will. With that in mind, let me warn you:

You have to double check that all your stored procedures, functions, tables, jobs, user permissions and all other features can be migrated and work on the new version of SQL server you decide to move to.

We can help you assess your SQL Server options and create a plan to migrate to a version that is not buried or headed for the end-of-life graveyard.


About the Author:

Ana Del Campo is a Senior Technology and Systems Consultant for iCorps Technologies. Ana has over 20 years of technology experience. She is passionate about driving the on-time and within-budget delivery of complex IT, business and process improvement solutions.