Are you (or is your team) nervous about SQL Server 2008?

As you may know, I have been heavily involved in testing a lot of the new features in SQL Server 2008, and am likely as excited as anybody about its release.  Since I work at a fairly progressive company, I spoke with two of my superiors today – independently – and I was surprised at the results.  My proposal was, for the project that we are currently working on, that we hit the ground running by deploying SQL Server 2008 when we are ready to launch.  Based, of course, on successful testing and adequate performance of RC0 (when we get it) in the meantime, and that the product ships on time.

My immediate superior was all for it.  Having attended one of my presentations on the new features, he knew about some of the benefits we would enjoy pretty much right out of the box — page/row/backup compression, filtered indexes, date columns, change data capture, the list goes on.  And he is all for deploying the next CTP to our QA environment for serious functionality / load testing and analysis, with the intention of being on the "early adopter" side of the curve when the product ships.

His boss, however, is a lot more cautious.  Not only is he uninterested in deploying SQL Server 2008 right away; he is not even interested in looking at it until SP1 is out, and tested, and has about a month of serious market penetration.  Which, by rough calculations, based on the TPC benchmark publication date and the new servicing model, should be sometime in February or March of next year.

All of this stemming from the long-standing tradition of never installing a dot-oh release of a Microsoft product.  Personally, I found the RTM of SQL Server 2005 a hell of a lot more stable than SP2. (And SP1, IIRC, did little in terms of "fixing" anything except that they finished the database mirroring functionality.)  Service packs in SQL Server 2000 don't exactly give us great confidence, either. YMMV.

What I was hoping for was a balanced response, somewhere in the middle.  Like, okay, we won't deploy the day it is out, but we will perform all the necessary tests, including upgrade scenarios, and consider it within a few months of release.  For me, 9 months is a LONG time to wait (and no, it has nothing to do with having children :-)).  But are you facing similar superstition?  Do you feel that way yourself?  I am curious how others are progressing in the "let's upgrade" battle.  Tell me your stories!  Do you align with my boss' boss?  Or do you have any suggestions for changing his mind?

Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him. If I've helped you out, consider thanking me with a coffee. :-)

9 Responses

  1. Chris Wood says:

    I would like SQL2008 somewhere just so I can use Policy Management on our SQL2005 servers to stop some of the stuuf the analysts do at this time like BACKUP LOG with TRUNCATE_ONLY.

  2. Denis Gobo says:

    We were going to move 6 boxes to 2008 this year…..however we will wait till June 2009 since that is when we will get new hardware.
    We changed fiscal years so the hardware can be bought a lot sooner. Nobody wants to upgrade now and then move to new hardware a year later. Like this we can do it in 1 shot (one of the DBs is over a terabyte in size)

  3. Omer van Kloeten says:

    We're going to wait until SP1 comes out. The rule of thumb is to never use Microsoft products in production environments before either their SP1 comes out or a similarly long period of time goes by since the launch.
    Also, we've taken a long, hard look at what 2008 has to offer in comparison to what 2005 (which we now use) does and it's not that big of a difference for us.
    We really don't mind waiting.

  4. noeldr says:

    The short answer is: Normally, nobody wants to be the guinea pig 😀

  5. Kevin Devine says:

    Right now, the company I work for is half 2000 and half 2005.  It is annoying that the 2000 servers have not be upgraded, but I have been told they are waiting for 2008.  Will we go to 2008 right out the gate, I doubt it, since the SQL Servers need to be up all the time, but I do believe some production boxes will be upgraded before SP1.

  6. Jeff says:

    I work for a global fortune 500 and we just in April got the last of our 2000 databases moved over to 2005. a couple had to be put into 2000 compatibility mode until we dig in and fix a couple queries.
    2008 while on my radar is not on any operations radar at all. This is also because things like SQL reporting andd sharepoint integration wasn't introduced until Sp2 and so we are really not looking seriously at it until it is released and probably a service pack

  7. Zack Jones says:

    I'm in the process of planning a multiple database upgrade from SQL Server 2000 to 2005. I suggested that we wait and just upgrade from 2000 to 2008 but the customer won't go for it. I guess in some ways that's good for me — a year or two from now I'll be doing the same upgrade only from 2005 to 2008 :).

  8. Fabiano Neves Amorim says:

    Hello Aaron.
    I've a lot of clients who use this role to wait SP1, one good way to convince them is talking about how the new features can make ther live better(make more money). For instance: How data compression can save a lot of space in there storages and how much cust to turn off the computer to add one new processor and so on.
    Unfortunately is hard to change to new, as always.

  9. Uri Dimant says:

    Hi Aaron
    I work for pretty big company (1000 workers in main branch) and for me to convince our bosses to upgrade to  SQL Server 2005 was very painful and took about a year migrating our system to SQL Server 2005 SP1. At present , my boss won't hear a word SQL Server 2008 till SP1 will be released. I did also a few presentations  to show them new features  and tried to expalin how it would help us with system but without any success. In my opinion ( I tried to understand them) for largest companies it is much hard to test/migrate the system as small/middle comoanies do, I mean , it does matter of time, it does matter of HR and etc.
    On the other hand , it depends on personal quality of the head of department or whoever makes decisons.In our copmany , there are some folks who try to be on top of technology and open to give a chance for new product , however  there are so many people who think in the way like if it does work , then do not touch it!!!. I do not accept that way , but I do not have enough power to change the 'world' (Eric Clapton)…