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How Long Before You Upgrade?

April 11, 2014
It’s 2014. SQL Server 2000 is 14 years old, but there are still quite of you managing instances. SQL Server 2005 is 9 years old, and I’m sure more of you still deal with that version. I know because I work for a software vendor and I’m constantly asked if our software will run against those two versions.
For many of you, however, if you’re managing a SQL Server 2000 instance, it might only be 9 or 10 years old. Your company might still have been installing SQL Server 2000 in 2005. The same is true for SQL Serve 2008. I wouldn’t be surprised to find companies still setting up 2005 instances in 2008 or even 2009.
Companies don’t care much about versions. They tend to mostly care about databases getting the job done, and sometimes, support. Many organizations don’t see value in upgrading too often because of the overhead. I suspect many managers would prefer to get many years usage out of a platform before they change in order to minimize work that doesn’t add value to their business.
The question this week asks you about the longevity of your database instances. Think about the average instance, or even the majority of your applications and how long they will remain on a particular version.
How many years will you run a platform before you upgrade it?
Years ago I heard someone at a large Fortune 100 company say their stated policy was to get 10 years of service out of a database server. At the time I thought that was a long time, but the more I think about it, the more I think that might be a minimum amount of time I’d want from a platform.
Let us know this week what you experience, and perhaps what you’d prefer.
Steve Jones
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