Monthly Archives: January 2013

SQL Cluster in place upgrade

This weekend our super cluster took a leap into the future. I upgraded a beefy (64cores 256GB RAM per node) SQL cluster from 2008 R2 to 2012 SP1.

First, during the week we ran upgrade adviser on each instance to weed out any potential problems. We found that normal users with 2008 SSMS were able to connect to 2012 SP1 without issue. More advanced users needed 2012 to use SSIS and newer features. That allowed us to proceeded with the upgrade earlier that we thought we could.

Second, I made sure to pickup a fresh set of install files with SP1 included. That saved me quite a bit of time and and handful of shoddy progress bars. Then I proceeded to step 1. Our preferred configuration is active-active-passive (AAP). That made it easy to get started Friday afternoon and get a feel for any errors that might occur before everyone left for the day.


Notice that SSIS doesn’t actually get upgraded. It just gets a copy of itself installed to the 110 folder and leaves the old service running. The same goes for other shared features.

Step two is where we have to take an outage. With only one node and set of binaries upgraded and valid to fail-over to the install should pick the right node to bounce the instance to.

Step three we take another outage on the other instance. Again, we hope the install does pick the “best available” node to make it’s home.

Step four is just some cleanup. Analysis services got upgraded and didn’t appear to have any problems. We have SSIS setup for filesystem packages so I had to maintain the share and replication. The new location is in the 110\DTS\Packages folder instead of the 100 folder. I also had to maintain the DCOM privileges in this new location. That is done using the component services snap-in.

Another issue I ran into was our 3rd party backup software. It simply needed it’s install re-ran to configure the extended sp’s it uses.

After all that I checked to make sure KERBEROS was working because we have had problems with that in the past. Users checked out several queries and some packages and found everything to be in order.

Easy as pie right? I am posting this before everyone hits the newly upgraded servers. Hopefully they don’t point out any errors I have made.

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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in SQL Admin