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When upgrading we normally create a new install and migrate databases over, but we are going to test out in-place upgrade from sql server 2008 to sql server 2008 r2 (standard) in our development environment. Question is can the upgrade steps for in-place be run without downtime or restricting access to the server? Users must be able to continue to work without issues. The purpose of this is to be a test run for a production upgrade. Should in-place be attempted in a production environment where users must be able to access the databases?

Thanks ahead of time.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

An in-place upgrade will stop SQL Server services so there will be interruption of services. I personally prefer to do a clean install such as you say you normally do. The downtime is minimized if you build your new server, detach the databases from the old, bring the new server up, then reattach the databases on the new server. Be sure you're bringing everything (logins, jobs, etc) over before making that swap.

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Upgrading from SQL 2008 to SQL 2008 R2 in a non-clustered system will require some downtime. If your production database is clustered you can do this as a rolling upgrade with minimal downtime.

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