Farewell old friend–time to say goodbye to SQL Server 2005

It always nice to see historic aircraft , and vintage cars out and about rather than stuck in museums, the noise and even the smell of castor oil add to this nostalgia. However keeping them going requires a lot of effort  and keeping them current with modern rules means that a Fokker triplane will need a proper seat harness, radio etc. and my mates Porsche 356 now runs on unleaded fuel. 


Keeping software current means patching and possibly bolting on add-ons which can affect performance and make management more of an issue and I would argue that you don’t get the same feeling of pride and a job well done from looking after old software.  Getting hold of the bits in bot scenarios can be tricky as manufacturers cease production.  With old cars and planes this can lead to small engineering firms recreating new parts and at the extreme complete replicas.  However I can’t see many people writing their own hot fixes and service patches!


I mention all of this because SQL Server 2005 is now coming to the end of its life.  The key event is the 2nd anniversary of the release of its successor SQL Server 2008 and this occurs on 12th April 2011 and the implications of this are:

  • Paid support (charged on an hourly basis per incident). Customers will no longer receive no-charge incident support and warranty claims, and won’t be able to request design changes or features.
  • Security updates support at no additional cost.
  • Non-security related hotfix support will require a separate Extended Hotfix Support Agreement to be purchased within 90 days of the end of Mainstream Support – July 11th, 2011.

Full details of the support arrangements for SQL Server are here (you’ll need to click on the SQL Server 2005 tab)

What you decide to do about this is of course up to you. However while I can see the fun in maintaining and restoring an old car or plane I can’t see the justification for running databases on SQL Server 2005 unless:

  • the database/application was itself upgraded from SQL Server 2000 and you are still running it in SQL Server 2000 compatibility mode
  • You have a third party application that itself is only supported on SQL Server 2005. Actually I don’t see how this works, unless the application vendor has plans to purchase extended support.

You will at this point tell me you don’t have software assurance and you can’t justify the upgrade.  However there is so much extra stuff in SQL Server 2008 R2  that you can just turn on without upgrading:

  • Policy based management to do for SQL Server what group policy does for desktop in active directory
  • Resource governor to manage memory and cpu when an instance of SQL Server is under pressure and decide which application/ group of users wins
  • compression of databases and backups
  • database level encryption and sophisticated auditing to keep SQL Server current with the latest standards for governance, risk and compliance
  • improvements to analysis services which can in some circumstances make your cubes run 10x faster with no design changes
  • complete re-architecting of reporting services to improve reporting speeds and provide self service reporting with sophisticated charts, gauges and maps.

The upgrade from SQL Server 2005 to 2008 should be a straightforward process but it is still important to run the application/database through the upgrade advisor and there are a couple of other useful links here..

TechNet Upgrading to SQL Server 2008 R2

SQL Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Advisor

SQL Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Guide

As ever I am interested in your upgrade stories and why you feel you can’t upgrade so ping me I have polo shirts with SQL Server 2008 R2 on even if you can’ put it on your server yet