Perform an in-place upgrade of a SQL Server edition on an Azure VM

This article describes how to change the edition of SQL Server on a Windows virtual machine in Azure.

The edition of SQL Server is determined by the product key, and is specified with the installation process. The edition dictates what features are available in the SQL Server product. You can change the SQL Server edition with the installation media and either downgrade to reduce cost or upgrade to enable more features.

If you updated the edition of SQL Server by using the installation media after registering with the SQL VM resource provider, then to update the Azure billing accordingly, you should set the SQL Server edition property of the SQL VM resource as follows:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Go to your SQL Server virtual machine resource.

  3. Under Settings, select Configure. Then select your desired edition of SQL Server from the drop-down list under Edition.

    Change edition metadata

  4. Review the warning that says you must change the SQL Server edition first, and that the edition property must match the SQL Server edition.

  5. Select Apply to apply your edition metadata changes.

Prerequisites

To do an in-place change of the edition of SQL Server, you need the following:

Upgrade an edition

Warning

Upgrading the edition of SQL Server will restart the service for SQL Server, along with any associated services, such as Analysis Services and R Services.

To upgrade SQL Server, obtain the SQL Server setup media for the desired edition of SQL Server, and then do the following:

  1. Open Setup.exe from the SQL Server installation media.

  2. Go to Maintenance and choose the Edition Upgrade option.

    Selection for upgrading the edition of SQL Server

  3. Select Next until you reach the Ready to upgrade edition page, and then select Upgrade. The setup window might stop responding for a few minutes while the change is taking effect. A Complete page will confirm that your edition upgrade is finished.

After the SQL Server edition is upgraded, modify the edition property of the SQL Server virtual machine in the Azure portal as shown earlier. This will update the metadata and billing associated with this VM.

Downgrade an edition

To downgrade the edition of SQL Server, you need to completely uninstall SQL Server, and reinstall it again with the desired edition setup media.

Warning

Uninstalling SQL Server might incur additional downtime.

You can downgrade the edition of SQL Server by following these steps:

  1. Back up all databases, including the system databases.
  2. Move system databases (master, model, and msdb) to a new location.
  3. Completely uninstall SQL Server and all associated services.
  4. Restart the virtual machine.
  5. Install SQL Server by using the media with the desired edition of SQL Server.
  6. Install the latest service packs and cumulative updates.
  7. Replace the new system databases that were created during installation with the system databases that you previously moved to a different location.

After the SQL Server edition is downgraded, modify the edition property of the SQL Server virtual machine in the Azure portal as shown earlier. This will update the metadata and billing associated with this VM.

Remarks

  • The edition property for the SQL Server VM must match the edition of the SQL Server instance installed for all SQL Server virtual machines, including both pay-as-you-go and bring-your-own-license types of licenses.
  • If you drop your SQL Server VM resource, you will go back to the hard-coded edition setting of the image.
  • The ability to change the edition is a feature of the SQL VM resource provider. Deploying an Azure Marketplace image through the Azure portal automatically registers a SQL Server VM with the resource provider. However, customers who are self-installing SQL Server will need to manually register their SQL Server VM.
  • Adding a SQL Server VM to an availability set requires re-creating the VM. Any VMs added to an availability set will go back to the default edition, and the edition will need to be modified again.

Next steps

For more information, see the following articles: