Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008R2 ends in July 2019. With so many databases still using these versions, upgrade planning should be on everyone's current to-do list.

Microsoft's investment in tooling in this space will certainly help to ease the pain normally involved with upgrades. The required toolkit for any DBA planning their upgrades from SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008R2 should include:

  • Database Migration Assistant (DMA) - to help you plan and identify the correct target version.
  • Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA) - to make it easier to do A/B testing between options to check performance.
  • Database Migration Service (DMS) - to move your DB to Azure SQL DB with almost zero downtime


In this session you will see how each of these tools can be used to reduce the risk involved in your upgrade or migration.

You will see how DMA hugely enhances the old Upgrade Advisor functionality and can even be used to help plan the required Service Tier if you are moving to Azure SQL Database. It can also be used to complete the migration of schema and/or data between your old database and your new one.

DMS can enhance the migration part when moving to an Azure PaaS database or Managed Instance by providing an online migration component. This can help you achieve your migration with minimal application downtime.

The DEA provides a way to perform multiple A/B tests of your database performance between your current platform and the target one being considered. The reports can highlight any changes in performance, query plans, or compatibility issues from non-schema sources such as dynamic queries.

This session will provide you with the confidence to move away from SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008R2 with greater confidence.

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