Should I Upgrade My SQL Server?

Should I upgrade my SQL Server

Table of Contents

Should I Upgrade My SQL Server?

Why fix an element of your business that’s still running fine? Many industries run on this idea—don’t fix it until it’s properly broken. When it comes to your server, you may have a similar approach. “Why would I upgrade my SQL server now, when everything is working just fine?” 

This is a common thought. Why pay to upgrade or replace something until you have no other choice? To consider this question, think of your out-of-date SQL server as your beloved, aging car. 

You might know how to run your old car, including all the tricks and switches to make it work the way you want. You may be able to turn up the heat or turn on the radio without taking your eyes off the road. The old dials might be comforting compared to the touchscreens in modern cars. 

But, if you are set in your ways and refuse to give up your old car, you could face excessive costs and put yourself at risk. If your business uses old technology and you’re wondering if you should upgrade your SQL server, it’s worth looking at why your old server could pose the same issues as your old car. 

More than Inconvenience

Staying with our car metaphor, you can equate a 10-year-old SQL server to a 40-year-old car. Even if you don’t use your classic car regularly, it will eventually pose issues with maintenance. 

The manufacturer of your old car may have stopped supporting it. As a result, it will likely be hard to find parts for servicing. The same can be true for older SQL servers. Given the older technology, finding technicians qualified to work on your equipment may be harder and harder. 

These problems are more than an inconvenience. Your business likely can’t afford downtime while you go looking for parts or techs with specialized skills. Beyond the lost time, it’s worth looking at what your business might miss by relying on older technology. 

Think About What’s Missing

Although there may be a long list of things you love about it, your beloved classic car will be missing features that have been added to newer models over the years. It will also be missing the fixes that have resolved known issues. 

Think of the safety features introduced to cars over the last 40 years. Even if you retrofit an old car with specific fixes or upgrades, it won’t compare to the safety of modern vehicles, and some of those upgrades – like replacing a carburetor with a fuel injection system – will be expensive and require extensive specialized expertise to maintain.

When you’re wondering, “Should I upgrade my SQL server”, it’s just as important to think about what’s missing. Each version of a new server offers new features and capabilities. While you might not have the bandwidth to implement new technology every time it comes out, waiting years to upgrade will cause you to miss key features that could help your business run more efficiently over time. 

Beyond the business functions that new SQL servers can offer, it’s important to acknowledge the primary risk of waiting too long to upgrade: server security. 

Red Light Warnings

Your car has red light warnings to help you know when something is wrong. If SQL servers had a panel of red lights, they would almost all be related to security. They would likely trigger common questions: “Is it an emergency? Do I need to upgrade my SQL server right now?”

Servers are susceptible to security breaches, leaving your data exposed to a wide range of issues, including ransomware attacks and more.

Just as new models of cars have new safety features to address known vulnerabilities, so too, do new servers have features that resolve known issues. Of course, it’s impractical to upgrade every time a new SQL server is released. 

Your database administrator likely uses patches to make sure it is compliant with current software and to reduce the risk of security breaches. 

You may wonder why you need to spend the money to upgrade if you can simply use patches to stay current with security concerns.

“Can’t we continue to patch?” you ask. “Do I need to upgrade my SQL server or can we just fix what we have?” 

Security patches are no longer a guaranteed solution when a SQL server reaches the end of its product life. Over time, you may be left with issues that can’t be easily fixed. In other words, the red light warning is justified—when you’re in the danger zone, it’s time to take action. 

Why the Resistance? 

With a final return to our car analogy, why are owners of old cars resistant to trading them in for an upgrade? In many cases, it’s about fear. They don’t want to let go of the past, they don’t know if they’ll ever reclaim the feelings they once had, driving their beloved car.  And honestly, that old car has a lot of charm, a lot of personality, and simplicity that can be lost in today’s fast-moving product development cycles.  Your database servers are similar.  

While the sentimentality isn’t exactly the same, it’s common to find resistance to upgrading SQL servers. Fear is common here, as well. Upgrading to a new system changes many elements of internal structures. A mountain of testing may be necessary.  If an upgrade fails, you may need to revert to the pre-upgrade state, which can be complicated.

In addition, any upgrade can result in mishaps, mistakes, and residual debris, including old settings that may get left behind, unnoticed. If they are missed, it can leave users frustrated from the experience. Even with the latest tools and techniques, any server upgrade creates a period of stress when the integrity of your data feels at risk.

Whenever your business data is at risk, even momentarily, it is normal to feel some degree of fear. If you’re wondering, “Do I have to upgrade my SQL server, or can it wait?”, the trick is to find the right support.

Find the Right Help

Just as you’d look for specialized help to service your older car, it’s important to find the right help for your SQL server needs. Be sure to do your research, ask for references, and check reviews. Find a trusted SQL professional who is up-to-date on the latest technology and industry trends.

If you’re wondering, “Should I upgrade my SQL server”, you’re not alone. Every business needs to decide how and when to upgrade to new technology. Rather than guess or feel pressure to meet compliance standards, reach out to trusted professionals who can advise if an upgrade is necessary and help you execute, if required.

At SQL Tailor Consulting, we help our clients trade guesswork for precision. Using diagnostic tools and techniques, we can get you on your best footing as you prepare for an upgrade.    

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your SQL server, eliminate slow queries, improve reliability, or resolve a longstanding database problem, we take a proven, strategic approach to your data issues. At SQL Tailor Consulting, we’re ready to tackle your pain points while optimizing overall system performance. 

To get your Microsoft SQL server running at peak speed or to determine if it’s time to upgrade your server call us for a free, no-obligation consult: 248-919-8086.  

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Picture of Joe Fleming (Farmington, MI)
Joe Fleming (Farmington, MI)

Your SQL Server Lifeline: Immediate Fixes, Ongoing Optimization | Save Costs & Boost Efficiency | Custom Packages | Veteran Expertise

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