Determine Migration Approach

The best migration strategy for you depends on such factors as the cost of the effort, the type of business you do, the size of your databases, and available resources.

The following table highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each migration approach:




When used

Parallel With Replication

Easy fallback to earlier release. You do not need to rebuild previous release databases.

Minimal system down time.

Can be complex in OLTP environments.

Replication Server must be set up, requiring extra hardware and software.

This approach is best for large 7x24 production databases, maintaining high availability, when:

  • Rebuilding a release database can take too long.

  • The system may have a large number of transactions and complex Transact-SQL queries with subqueries.

Cutover Without Replication

Can be executed with minimal resource demands.

Highest risk. Requires down time for critical migration tasks.

Recovery can be time consuming in a production environment.

This approach is good for resource-constrained environments. It is appropriate for large organizations only if you are able to schedule sufficient downtime, for instance, a long weekend.

Phased Cutover

Low risk with low development overhead.

Especially conducive to testing.

May require additional resources—either more memory or a second system.

Requires tighter coordination with application groups and database owners.

If neither of the other two approaches seems appropriate, you can use a phased cutover.

For more information on these approaches, see the following sections: