Category Archives: Upgrading

MAP Toolkit Licensing Continued

Continuing yesterday’s post regarding  the licensing issues I discovered using the MAP Toolkit, I was able to resolve the issue without much difficulty.  The license was showing in the MAP Toolkit as developer edition.  We have volume licensing so I am sure now that wrong installer was selected at the time of install because we do not use keys as they are populated by the installer.

To correct the problem, we ran the installer on the server effected and selected ‘Edition Upgrade’ and selected the media.  When prompted for a product key, we had to fool the installer with some trickeration.  On a separate VM, we installed SQL Server using our Enterprise media which generated a key code in the box at the same point in the installation.  We then typed that key into our real installation and proceeded with the ‘Edition Update’ thus allowing the installer to realize that we were licensed for a different version.  This successfully updated our edition to Enterprise as this was the license purchased for this server.

However, after stopping and restarting SQL Server to get the new version to register we noticed that the SQL Agent was failing with no errors noted in the SQL error log or the Agent log.  We ran the ‘Repair’ from the installation center (shown in figure 1) to make sure that there was no corruption with the previous edition.  That did not resolve the problem.  When running the agent from the command line we got a different error  that pointed us to the login being incorrect.  Somehow running the Edition Update locked out the AD account which is used only by this service on this server so a user could not have been to blame (or should not be able to).  Once unlocking that account, SQL Server Enterprise Edition was running smoothly!  Enjoy!

Installer

Figure 1 – Edition Upgrade

Microsoft License Advisor

Looking to upgrade to SQL Server 2012 but you are not sure how much it costs or how the licensing works?  Try the Microsoft License Advisor.  Even if you are not upgrading, this is a fun little utility especially if you want to see what everyone else is paying.  If you want some real fun look at what charities and academia pays for their licenses.  Enjoy!

Updating SQL Server 2012 to SP1

With service pack 1 being released during SQL PASS Summit 2012, I did not get the chance to update my personal laptop.  This is great timing as I have just purchased developer on my laptop.  You can download the slipstream version or just the service pack separately.  Are you curious as to what is new in SP1, then check this link out?  It is also a good idea to read the release notes, which I always recommend but rarely do, unfortunately.  It is similar to reading the directions, men rarely do that.

Here is the visual upgrade guide, quite simple really, so much so that even I can do it.

The update completed easily and successfully.  Enjoy!

SQL Server 2012, Maybe?

On Wednesday of this week we spoke with Microsoft again about licensing for SQL Server 2012.  Apparently there was some confusion when we had the discussion back in March with management’s understanding of how it worked.  However, it still seems clear to me that reducing our Oracle footprint makes financially more sense.

In addition we are now being asked to prepare a proof of concept comparing the migration of ArcGIS SDE on Oracle currently to SQL Server or PostgreSQL.  I will be building a machine with each and running some tests.  Does anyone know any downsides to PostgreSQL compared to our beloved SQL Server that I can point out?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Legal Apocalypse, Administration Insanity

Does anyone read the EULA (End-user license agreement) during software installations?  I know I do not, who can?  Lawyers. 

We were just informed today that before installing any software, updates, or patches onto our desktops or servers we must have approval from our legal department.  So on patch Tuesday, I may have to wait a few weeks to get approval if the patch has a EULA thereby putting my servers in jeopardy of the legal department?

We have also heard that they would notify us of any requested changes to the EULA.  Now that is funny!  Let’s review this, an organization with around 600 employees dictating to Microsoft the wording in THEIR EULA.  Is today April 1st?  No, well then this will be interesting to say the least.  I wonder if me commenting on this might bring legal action upon me?

The IT department has just been run aground by red tape.  Enjoy!

Removing a Perfectly Good Cluster, Step One

Today we embark on a somewhat sad journey.  A couple of days ago, I told you a story about a vendor and the miscommunication of specifications.  Today the chickens have come home to roost.  We must replace the SQL Server 2008R2 clusters with 2008 clusters.  These were perfectly good clusters, fine tuned and ready to burst out of the starting gate and win the triple crown, well you understand what I mean.  I’ve grown attached to these clusters as they were the first ones that I have ever personally built from the purchase order to production.

Today, we will uninstall both of the SQL Server nodes and then begin the reinstallation of the previous version.  We will run the installer on the passive node first.  In the installer go to the maintenance section and choose “Remove node from a SQL Server failover cluster.”  After this is complete then we will go to the active node and go through the same process.  Tomorrow we will look at the reinstallation of SQL Server 2008 SP3.  Enjoy!

Vendor Rant, Starting Over

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog series to bring you a rant.  Now wait don’t click away just yet.  There is a lesson here somewhere, I hope.

To give you some background, we have a vendor, henceforth known as XYZ, to whom we have worked with for several years on their financial package.  The package is currently in Oracle and it was decided that we could reduce costs by upgrading to the newest version of their package but migrating it to SQL Server to reduce our Oracle licenses which makes sound financial sense.  Being a predominantly Oracle shop, I have been masterminding the demise of Oracle for the year that I have been here quietly chipping away.

This project has been in the planning stages for several months.  During which time we order four identical super servers to be clustered into a production and development/acceptance active-passive clusters.  I cannot deny that I indeed was excited about this project whole heartedly because of the hardware as well as the chance to reduce the Oracle footprint and to champion SQL Server as the preferred database.  Plus, I have never built clusters from the ground up.

We took our time setting this servers up with Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise making sure that everything was well tuned.  Then we setup our SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise clusters on all four boxes even bringing in our Microsoft Premier Field Engineer to ensure a successful migration ensuring that best practices were in effect.  Most would view bringing in help as an insult to their pride, but I welcomed the learning opportunity and it helped with the learning of our green junior DBA who has no server or SQL experience.  In addition, whenever I can be around our PFE, I am the eager padawan and she is the jedi master especially since she has an extensive Oracle background as well.

Fast forward and these machines are ready to go and all of the specifications were discussed and communicated several times through planning meetings.  I even spoke with their DBAs during the install process to ensure that our settings were commensurate with the project.  Now on Thursday of this week, the day before we are to begin migrating some of the Oracle data to the development box, I discover on one of the documents that the only version supported is SQL Server 2008 SP3 running on Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise.  Hold the phone!

Rewind, notice I said we communicated several times that we were going to install SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise clusters on our new boxes and the vendor was compliant offering assistance if we needed it.  THEY NEVER MENTIONED THAT THEY DID NOT SUPPORT R2.  Now we have to uninstall R2 and install plain jane 2008 in effect putting us two versions behind and this project does not go live for another year after extensive testing.  We even offered to be a beta testing site so that they could certify and say that they supported R2 since we have a year of testing ahead of us.  DENIED!  They were not interested whatsoever since none of the third-party tools such as BOXI support R2, according to them.  Now I have to uninstall my beautiful creations and go backwards, this is progress.  :-(

The moral of the story is to get the vendor to verify and sign off that the version you are installing is indeed supported before you install it.  My supervisor and I thought by telling the vendor in the meetings that this would be evident.  Next time we will force the issue before proceeding.

Technology Days, SQL Server 2012

We interrupt my learning series on SQL Nexus to bring you my blog live from SQL Server 2012 Technology Days here at Microsoft Tampa with David Pless, Sr Premier Field Engineer.

If you are reading my blog regularly then you know all about my love for SQL Server learning, so obviously I had to attend this event. So far I have learned a few things to make this outing worth the drive for me. Oh who am I kidding, this is SQL Server training that in itself was worth the drive and a day out of the office.

Here are some things that I have learned today:

1. Server Core for 2012 is amazing and I am ready to deploy it when I return to the office!
2. PowerShell for 2012 will add functionality that makes it more attractive than the current GUI tools.
3. PowerShell is not the horrible tool that I thought it was….there is no reason for me not to use it more to be more efficient.

The day is not over yet so maybe there is still more awesomeness to come! Enjoy!

Want to See What’s New in SQL Server 2012?

When discussing SQL Server 2012 in the workplace, I have been asked several times for a summary of the new features as I am sure you have as well.  Want to find a good source to quote for your answers?  Well look no further:  What’s New in SQL Server 2012 (en-US) – TechNet Articles – United States (English) – TechNet Wiki.

Enjoy!

SQL Server 2012, Here We Come!

After meeting with Microsoft today to discuss our existing licenses and software assurance level, my organization gave SQL Server 2012 the green light!  With our existing software assurance agreement, we will be grandfathered in to the new structure.  Thus, when we renew our agreement in 2014, we will convert our existing processor based enterprise licenses to their equivalent core based licenses without additional penalty.  That conversion had management worried and there was  even discussion of staying on 2008 R2 for as long as feasibly possible, which no DBA wants to hear. 

With the grandfathering process, there will be a concerted push to build some new clusters so that they may be grandfathered in as well, especially since we found out that our new acceptance cluster did not count against our licenses if we had the appropriate MSDN licenses for our three SQL DBAs.  Personally, I was worried that the new licensing structure may derail some of management’s plans to reduce our Oracle footprint onto SQL Server.  If that had been derailed, my plans for global domination would have once again been thwarted by those darn meddling kids.  Or was that just old man Smithers channeling through me again?

Enjoy!

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