Reasons not to upgrade to SQL Server 2012

As exciting as SQL Server 2012 is, with its multitude of new features, it’s not always possible to upgrade right away.  Here are some reasons that may cause you to delay your upgrade:

Training – Your developers and dba’s will need to learn the new features of SQL Server 2012.  Finding the time for them to carve out and take away from their other tasks could take a while

Licensing – You will have to spend money to purchase new licenses.  For earlier SQL Server versions, you bought one license per physical processor regardless of how many CPU cores it had.  If you chose your server hardware smartly, you could buy eight CPU cores for the cost of one SQL Server license and save enough in licensing fees to pay for the new server.  To license SQL Server 2012 for that same server, you’ll need eight core licenses.  The new core license fees are less than the previous per-CPU fees, but, if you do the math, Microsoft has conspicuously increased SQL Server’s price

New server purchases – Usually the purchase of a new server or two is required in order to test out SQL Server 2012, and then more servers to upgrade just a portion of your databases (since rarely will you upgrade everything at once and you usually don’t want to mix two versions of SQL Server on the same server)

Certification by hosting company – Many companies are at the mercy of their hosting company to certify the use of SQL Server 2012 before it can be installed into production

Certification by 3rd-party applications – Chances are you are running at least one large application from a 3rd-party, and you can’t upgrade the databases it uses to SQL Server 2012 until the 3rd-party gives the ok

Testing – Of course you must test all the databases on the new version.  This takes time and you may be too busy to get to it

More info:

When Will You Upgrade to SQL Server 2012?

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
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5 Responses to Reasons not to upgrade to SQL Server 2012

  1. Rick Davis says:

    The biggest barriers I can see are 3rd Party apps and Hosting (if your business uses hosting).

    Training does not need to be completed straight away, not for an upgrade at least. This can be put off for a while as most of the features for 2005 and 2008 will still work.

    Licensing – always the case with any upgrade, a business can either afford it or not.

    New Servers – If you have any virtualisation within your business, there is no need to purchase new servers simply for Dev and Test purposes. If you do not have virtualisation, then yes, new servers (or old servers repurposed) are a must.

    Testing – Same as licensing, this is always going to be required for any upgrade, so would have been part of your plans anyway.

    The biggest wait for most businesses was for SP1, which is now out, so I expect more businesses to be migrating over the next 6-12 months (It can take this long to get the ball rolling in some places, I know, the place I am currently, they have only just upgraded servers to 2008 R2!).

  2. Emil Glownia says:

    Hi James,

    I find the first two points points a little bit misleading in.

    Training… I don’t think anyone has to learn any new features if they don’t want to. Licensing is obviously as always more complex so those with software assurance have lower cost but also let’s bear in mind that 4 core Enterprise Edition is cheaper than 2008 R2 per server enterprise edition and 6 cores is slightly more expensive and 8 cores is more expensive.

    and obviously it is all about having reasons to upgrade and compare them against reasons not to upgrade…. on BI side there are lots of reasons to upgrade 😉


  3. Emil Glownia says:

    Nice blog posts, short and concrete which is what I like 😉