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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS upgrade? in Technical; Now stop me if I'm wrong but isn't the advice from Capita when upgrading, say from SQL 2008 to SQL ...
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    SIMS upgrade?

    Now stop me if I'm wrong but isn't the advice from Capita when upgrading, say from SQL 2008 to SQL 2012, is to install an instance of SQL 2012 (side by side) on the same box and then migrate using dbattach? Why not just upgrade the 2008 instance to 2012?

    I've done this on a snapped version of our SIMS box and it seem to work fine? Is there some reason why we shouldn't do it?

    Let me know

    Dave O

    VMWare consultant to the stars

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    nickbro's Avatar
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    Dunno why they do it like that but it's what they advise, it probs a way of making sure that it's a clean install of SQL. Usually the connection string changes as well, in our case the LA set it up so it's sims_2005/sims_2008/sims_2008r2 (sql server version). Hopefully will make the 2012 jump in the summer

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Roll back - it's your get out of jail free card. If installing a new version of SQL f00ks up, you can stick on 2008. Also, pretty sure you can't rename the instance during the upgrade.

    Plus Clean installs are always better then upgrades.

  4. 2 Thanks to matt40k:

    Rawns (12th April 2013), vikpaw (14th April 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Roll back - it's your get out of jail free card. If installing a new version of SQL f00ks up, you can stick on 2008. Also, pretty sure you can't rename the instance during the upgrade.

    Plus Clean installs are always better then upgrades.
    Not sure what you're getting at here

    a) As I mentioned in my original post the machine was snapshot so rolling back to a state without 2012 takes just a few seconds no failed installs, no need for side by side installs etc (my "get out of jail free card" if you like)
    b) Why would you want to rename the instance? ours is called <machine name>\SIMS and can stay that way no need to change connect.ini etc
    c) Possibly clean install might be better but, this is one of Microsoft 's flagship products so they would not be offering an upgrade path if they had not fully tested it.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    a - well lucky you 90% of schools won't have a snapshot - and even if they do... well when was the last time you did a restore from a snapshot? Not everyone is so lucky with regards to backups. Advise to the public (such as this public forum) should be generic enough to prevent problems with those less lucky (with backups).

    b - because la\capita\support units have to manage large number of schools and how do you quickly tell if it's upgraded? open connection, what's it say, server\sims2012 - oh you're upgrade. Also you get the roll back ability.

    c - Don't make me laugh, even if Microsoft said yer, 100% proof - would Capita say that as well? You seem quite determined to do it, so by all means be my guest. Personally I agree with Capitas and Microsoft advise about doing a fresh install.

    Also I can change my INI to point to the old instance of SQL faster then I can restore to a snapshot - not to mention most schools, the SIMS server isn't just SIMS so restoring the WHOLE server whole = data loss and I've dealt with too many faulty SQL installs to try and unpick another due to poor planning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    a - well lucky you 90% of schools won't have a snapshot - and even if they do... well when was the last time you did a restore from a snapshot? Not everyone is so lucky with regards to backups. Advise to the public (such as this public forum) should be generic enough to prevent problems with those less lucky (with backups).

    b - because la\capita\support units have to manage large number of schools and how do you quickly tell if it's upgraded? open connection, what's it say, server\sims2012 - oh you're upgrade. Also you get the roll back ability.

    c - Don't make me laugh, even if Microsoft said yer, 100% proof - would Capita say that as well? You seem quite determined to do it, so by all means be my guest. Personally I agree with Capitas and Microsoft advise about doing a fresh install.

    Also I can change my INI to point to the old instance of SQL faster then I can restore to a snapshot - not to mention most schools, the SIMS server isn't just SIMS so restoring the WHOLE server whole = data loss and I've dealt with too many faulty SQL installs to try and unpick another due to poor planning.
    Interesting response.

    I take it you have a limited knowledge of virtualisation and in particular VMWare virtualisation. If we accept that limit then I think we can dispense with the inferred slights eluded to in this section. By the way the last time I restored from a snapshot was yesterday

    I am bemused by your second point. The only conclusion I can draw is that either you get the LA to do your SIMS upgrades and the nuances of SQL server and SIMS remain a black art to you or you work for an LA which is even more worrying.

    As to your third point, this is the reason for the post. I am merely trying to acertain if there are any technical reasons why an in place upgrade is not recommended. Your personal opinion about Microsofts credence is, I think, irrelevant.

    To your final point. Yes I'm sure you are very adept at editing a text file thank you for sharing that. As to your experiences of "dealt with too many faulty SQL installs" my heart goes out to you.

    In the absence of any sensible response I shall have to resort to contacting Capita directly.
    Last edited by Dave_O; 12th April 2013 at 04:57 PM.

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    ROFL!!! Sorry, not a professional response, but you have amused me so. Anyway, seeming as you have amused me let me expand a little.

    Yes, I have very limited understand of virtualisation - I work in a place where there are people who know far more then you and most people on here do about VMWare. My limited understanding is a snapshot is taken at the raw data level and allows you to restore data at a particular point in this, this does, as I understand have a few limitations which is why most people also take backups at a file level. In this scenario I would image you would snapshot the server prior to installation, then restore it to this snapshot should it fail. This has two problems. One, it requires no-one else to be using the server as any changes would be lost. The second would be that this server would be a dedicated SIMS server with no other applications install - shouldn't be a problem for you as your smart and would have lots of isolated servers for each application such as Active Directory. This presents your first problem with your idea, because you must deny people access to the server whilst you install SQL 2012 you must do this out-of-hours as teachers have a 52 week contract and denying them access is a problem - unless you don't care. By doing a separate install you can do this without affecting the end-users.

    You're response to my answer to b shows your lack of understanding at working at scale. Let me explain, the example given would be advise issued to the 1st line support who has a max of 5mins to resolve an issue\answers a question before they must pass the call to 2nd line support. Most questions will come from primary schools - I'm sure this isn't a surprise but there are more primary schools in the UK then there are secondary schools and most of them, things like check that you are upgraded gets left to the poor office lady. You appear to have also missed the 2nd point to this answer with regards to the roll back. As I have said, other schools will not have such a good setup as yours and therefore a good rollback will be required.

    I agree my answer to C could do with some facts to back it up, however I have limited by to factors, firstly, I am not allow to disclose information about clients, secondary I can't be arse to waste my time google the Microsoft official upgrade recommendation and then cutting out bits like the limitations then cross referencing it with examples about how people have had problems. It does however show your believe in Microsoft and I
    applaud you. I have often heard how rubbish Microsoft is and how much linux is better when in actual fact it was user error - in fact when I was supporting schools 90% of time it was because they didn't follow the instructions. This is why I jump head first into topics like this that get me slated, because I know for fact they read these and think, hey, I can do that!! But they don't have your backup... in fact they don't have a working backup or they haven't check it works correctly anyway, fact is in the 4 years I supported over 350 schools with mixed levels of support (telephone only all the way up to fully managed) - I have only ever had 1 school lose the SIMS database - not bad when you think most of them are telephone only and running on RM workstations backing up to DVDs and are over 5 years old!!

    Anyway, post what Capita says, if it does recommend upgrading I'm sure @Rawns and the others will be only too happy to jump on them to correct them. I would image you'll get a canned response (quoting a KB) from them and if you phone them they nice helpdesk person might say they upgraded and it worked fine, but don't hold me too it kinda thing. If your really lucky they tell you to listen to me!! Like I said before, I can't force you, post Capita yer upgrade email, then do it, then post again saying it worked. Just hope we don't see any SQL errors later else you'll know what we'll say

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    Paragraph 1

    A few things

    "Yes, I have very limited understand of virtualisation"

    - not arguing with that one

    "This has two problems. One, it requires no-one else to be using the server as any changes would be lost."

    - why would I do an upgrade when there are people working on the box? Doing a side by side installation requires some down time while the dbs are moved. Even the junior schools we support understand that there are periods of discontinuity (we mainly do upgrades for them out of hours and by negotiation)

    " teachers have a 52 week contract "

    - term time is 39 weeks there are 3 half terms, 2 x 2 week breaks and a 6 week holiday.


    Paragraph 2

    Mainly irrelevant to the original question but

    "You're response to my answer to b shows your lack of understanding at working at scale."

    - did 2nd line support for Oracle for 5 years

    Paragraph 3

    Not sure where you're going with this?

    Paragraph 4

    Again not sure what this is contributing to the original question other than offering a warning.

    I have posted a job with Capita and await their response. If they offer some coherent reasons not to do an in-place upgrade, I will be sure to post the response on this thread.
    Last edited by Dave_O; 12th April 2013 at 06:55 PM.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    I don't know why I am bothering replying to someone who is clearly ignorant and stubborn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O
    term time is 39 weeks there are 3 half terms, 2 x 2 week breaks and a 6 week holiday.
    You haven't worked in a school for a very long time have you? YOU NEVER say to staff that they only work school time. There is ALWAYS someone wanting to use the system - except Christmas time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O
    did 2nd line support for Oracle for 5 years


    And? Did you just fix things that broke, or did actively engage in promoting the service such as minor changes like getting 1st line to resolve issues? Scale across multiple sites is not the same as scale of size of DB. I won't even ask why you moved to a school from such a place. I'm sure it was the career prospects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O
    If they offer some coherent reasons not to do an in-place upgrade, I will be sure to post the response on this thread.


    Post regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O
    some down time


    Bingo less downtime!!! A smoother rollback plan, no redundant files and overall cleaner. Most of the secondaries I know use this as a time to upgrade to Server 2012 after all it's simple with VMs and its a good way to keep the system clean and snappy.

    I'm guess your hostile towards me because I'm the enemy - either I remind me of your old job where you got a wall of "No" or you don't like your LA which is why you're with Capita - I'm only guessing, if it's the latter, let me know why you think Capita is better then your LA.

    PS: You might want to do a bit of research, such as the fact Discover or SOLUS3 isn't supported on SQL 2012 and that you have to continue running it on SQL 2008 but hey, don't let that little fact get in your way! After all you know everything!!

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    mat40k you gave an answer but have been bashed for your point of view, which from my primary school point of view fully agree with. I would move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    mat40k you gave an answer but have been bashed for your point of view, which from my primary school point of view fully agree with. I would move on.
    this,

    i typed something else but deleted it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    You haven't worked in a school for a very long time have you? YOU NEVER say to staff that they only work school time. There is ALWAYS someone wanting to use the system - except Christmas time.
    In schools - 3 years primary teaching 18 years in secondary teaching, 2 year LA advisor (part time) and 8 year IT manager. As to you being the enemy, no, just misguided.

    As for the PS bit, why is this relevant to me? As you have surmised from your posts above we run SOLUS 3 on a different server.

    "but hey, don't let that little fact get in your way! After all you know everything!!" - finally you're beginning to see the light.
    Last edited by Dave_O; 12th April 2013 at 10:48 PM.

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    I assume that Dave_O always wants to be right. I feel sorry for the school he works in and the staff, if this is his way dealing with things. I would like to think its just the way I read his posts and that he is not really a dictator!

    My understanding is that Capita suggest installing new SQL alongside old SQL is to provide an easy rollback method for anyone and everyone irrespective of the SIMS setup. This has been my recollection of the moved to sql2003 and sql2008. In the past I have also taken the opportunity to change my physical machines in the past, this time I will be going from physical to virtual SIMS servers. This also helps people who are moving to a new server at the same time as you install SQL2012 on your new server and leave your old server in place.

    Changing the instance name should not be problem assuming you use a redirected connect.ini if you do not then it could be a pain.

  15. Thanks to jayemm from:

    matt40k (13th April 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayemm View Post
    I assume that Dave_O always wants to be right. I feel sorry for the school he works in and the staff, if this is his way dealing with things. I would like to think its just the way I read his posts and that he is not really a dictator!

    My understanding is that Capita suggest installing new SQL alongside old SQL is to provide an easy rollback method for anyone and everyone irrespective of the SIMS setup. This has been my recollection of the moved to sql2003 and sql2008. In the past I have also taken the opportunity to change my physical machines in the past, this time I will be going from physical to virtual SIMS servers. This also helps people who are moving to a new server at the same time as you install SQL2012 on your new server and leave your old server in place.

    Changing the instance name should not be problem assuming you use a redirected connect.ini if you do not then it could be a pain.
    You ask any member of staff in school about me and ze vil be nice (or ze vil be punished!!)

    On a more serious note, thank you for the information.

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    With reference to this post. I was asked earlier to update on Capita's response to my original question. Their response was:-

    "Capita Case Ref: 1304-1182667 - 2354
    Hi David,
    Thank you for your update. Apologies, my last email should have been:
    With regards to the above case reference number. I have confirmed that there are no technical reasons why you should not do an in-place upgrade of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to 2012. However if there are any other products other than SIMS hosted on this SQL Instance/Server, then please could you ensure that they are also supported on Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

  18. Thanks to Dave_O from:

    vikpaw (21st April 2013)

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