Chapter 1: Installing or Upgrading to the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine


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This chapter describes the step-by-step process for installing a clean version of SQL Server 2008 Database Engine and/or upgrading an existing SQL Server Database Engine implementation to SQL Server 2008. In addition, this chapter covers how to leverage the planning tools to ensure a successful installation, upgrade, or transition.

Even though the SQL Server 2008 installation process is very intuitive and has been simplified, a DBA must make several key decisions to ensure that the completed installation or upgrade will meet the needs of the organization. For example, is it beneficial to upgrade an existing SQL Server implementation to SQL Server 2008, or is it preferred to conduct a clean install from scratch? What are the ramifications of these alternatives? Will you lose your existing SQL Server settings, databases, and configurations? This chapter covers these prerequisite planning tasks to address the questions and concerns of DBAs.

In addition, this chapter also covers the hardware and software prerequisites, supported SQL Server 2008 upgrade paths, supported Windows operating systems for running SQL Server 2008, and benefits of running SQL Server 2008 on the highly anticipated Windows Server 2008 family of operating systems.

What’s New for Installation with SQL Server 2008?

SQL Server continues to deliver a robust experience when installing or upgrading to SQL Server 2008. Moreover, SQL Server 2008 introduces significant enhancements to make the installation or upgrade process even more simple and seamless compared to its predecessors. The new installation features for SQL Server 2008 consist of the following:

  • A new SQL Server 2008 Installation Center landing page, which includes a tremendous number of options for planning, installing, and maintaining a SQL Server implementation. The Installation Center is also a one-stop shop for planning and reviewing SQL Server documentation before getting started.

  • A new planning tool known as the System Configuration Checker, which checks for conditions that could impede a SQL Server installation prior to the actual installation.

  • Another great planning tool is the newly refined Install Upgrade Advisor. The Install Upgrade Advisor tool allows a DBA to fully analyze existing SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000 installations for issues that may surface when upgrading to SQL Server 2008. By fixing these issues before conducting the upgrade, an organization will have a smoother experience when transitioning to SQL Server 2008.

  • New maintenance tasks have been introduced in the installation process, which allow DBAs to either repair a corrupt SQL Server 2008 installation or conduct a Feature Upgrade. The Feature Upgrade tool is a wizard that allows organizations to upgrade or change their existing edition of SQL Server 2008 after the initial installation or upgrade is complete.

  • A discovery report that will provide a detailed report of all SQL Server 2000, 2005, and 2008 components, features, and settings associated with an installation.

  • The potential to automate SQL Server installations by using an existing configuration file.

  • An Advanced Cluster Preparation tool, which streamlines and prepares a SQL Server 2008 failover cluster installation—which is typically deemed a very difficult task in the industry.

  • A tool that will allow for a smooth transition of packages by automatically upgrading them from SQL Server 2005 to the SQL Server 2008 Integration Services format.

Deprecated SQL Server 2008 Database Engine Elements

Not only is it essential to understand the new features and functionality associated with the Database Engine, but it is equally important to understand older elements that have been deprecated in SQL Server 2008. Let’s examine the list of deprecated elements that are no longer supported or associated with the Database Engine.

  • The DUMP statement associated with backups has been deprecated and replaced with BACKUP.

  • The LOAD statement associated with restores has been replaced with RESTORE.

  • BACKUP LOG WITH NO_LOG and BACKUP LOG WITH TRUNCATE_ONLY are no longer available as the transaction log is automatically truncated with the database using the Simple recovery model.

  • The sp_addalias procedure has been removed.

  • SQL Server 60, 65, and 70 compatibility levels are no longer supported. Databases must at least maintain a compatibility level of 80.

  • The sp_addgroup, sp_dropgroup, and sp_helpgroup stored procedures have been replaced with roles.

  • Sample databases such as Northwind, Pubs, and AdventureWorks are no longer included as optional installation features with the installation program. If you want to use the sample databases, they are offered as out-of-band downloads from Microsoft’s samples website.

  • The Surface Area Configuration (SAC) tool has been replaced with Policy Based Management.

  • Remote servers have been replaced with Linked servers.


The preceding bullets itemize the main features deprecated with the Database Engine. However, for a full list of each item, review the topic “Deprecated Database Engine Features and Discontinued Database Engine Functionality in SQL Server 2008” in SQL Server Books Online (BOL).

Preplanning and Preparing a SQL Server 2008 Server Database Engine Installation

Before you begin the actual installation of SQL Server 2008 Database Engine, you must make several decisions concerning preliminary tasks. How well you plan these steps will determine how successful your installation is—as many of these decisions cannot be changed after the installation is complete.

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