Why upgrade or migrate to higher versions of SQL server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012 or 2014?
SQL server 2008 R2 or higher versions provides an enterprise data platform with great benefits which include, Minimizing business disruptions by increasing availability and scalability while significantly lowering IT costs. Gaining deeper business insight through richer end-user analytics and reporting tools that result in a faster return on investment. Accelerating the development time of line-of-business applications by up to 40 percent with Visual Studio and Microsoft .NET integration, including 50 to 70 percent code reduction for most scenarios. Reducing data management complexity and ease of manageability.
There are many new latest features available with each newer version of SQL Server which include some cool features like Multi-Server management, Resource Governor, Master Data Services, CDC, etc in SQL Server 2008 R2, AlwaysON Availability Groups, Enhanced Fail-Over clustering, Extended Events, from SQL Server 2012 onwards, In-Memory OLTP in SQL Server 2014 onwards. Also there has been huge improvement related to Business intelligence which include Dataware house support, SQL Server Reporting Service, SQL Server Analysis Services and Integration Services, PowerPivot and Self-Service BI, etc.
The upgrade or migration to higher versions of SQL Server has been made easier with new setup or installation interface which provides lot of options like repair, add cluster instance, add node to add additional nodes to SQL Server failover clustering instance, etc. Also, from SQL Server 2008 R2 onwards, Service Packs or Cumulative Updates can be uninstalled too. The logging also has been improved which provides more details regarding failure of in place upgrades or failure of service packs or Cumulative updates. Also, slip-streaming feature allows DBAs to merge the base RTM SQL Server media with Service Packs and apply to avoid any known issues and to keep the installation to complete smoothly as long as all the pre-requisites are fulfilled.
With each newer version release of SQL Server, support for older versions become outdated and new service packs or Cumulative updates will not be released for older versions. When there is any major problems, it may turn difficult to get support from Microsoft for older versions of SQL Server. Running with older versions of SQL Server instances poses great risk and threat to security or availability of the data during crisis, so it is always advisable to run with latest versions of SQL Servers which are consistent.
This is applicable on below versions of SQL Server
SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2014
Hope this was helpful.
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