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Is there a tool from Amazon or Microsoft to automatically upgrade an ec2 instance's sql server 2008 to 2012? Or do I have to create a new instance and then import all the databases?

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Clarification: the database is on EC2, correct? Not RDS? – David Csonka Jul 18 '12 at 14:40
It is an EC2 instance of Windows 2008 R2 – Robert Louis Murphy Jul 18 '12 at 16:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

One of the joys of EC2 is that you can create instances so easily, for the tiny cost of a few hours of runtime. I've had so many system upgrades (win/mac/unix) go wrong that I would recommend doing a test run on a different instance no matter what.

But to answer your question, I know of no Amazon tools for updating an instance from 08 to 12. Microsoft's website contains enough Notes and Cautions that I would be careful with any tools from them as well.

That web page does say specifically:

Upgrade of an earlier version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2012 is not supported on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core SP1.

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