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This chapter is from the book

Finalizing the SQL Server 2008 Installation or Upgrade

Once the installation or upgrade of SQL Server 2008 is complete, it is beneficial to review the following tasks in order to finalize the installation.

Reviewing SQL Server 2008 Logs

When the installation or upgrade is complete, it is best practice to review the setup log file, review the Windows application log, and review SQL Server logs for any issues or warnings. As noted earlier, the location to the SQL Server 2008 installation setup file can be found on the Complete page during the final stages of the installation or upgrade.

Downloading and Installing Updates

Even though the Windows Server 2008 system may be configured to automatically obtain server updates, it is still a best practice to check for missing SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 service packs and critical fixes. These outstanding service packs and critical fixes can be installed with Microsoft Update or a software distribution tool such as System Center 2007 Configuration Manager.

Hardening the SQL Server Installation

Another important step to finalize the SQL Server 2008 installation or upgrade is hardening the SQL Server implementation. There are a number of tasks that should be completed in order to harden the SQL Server installation. Some of these tasked include using Policy Based Management to reduce the surface attack area, enabling a Windows Server 2008 advanced firewall, and leveraging the SQL Server Configuration Manager Tool to disable unnecessary protocols and features.

Items to Consider After an Upgrade

This section describes additional items to take into consideration after an upgrade to SQL Server 2008 is complete.

Running SQL Server Management Studio for the First Time

After the upgrade is complete and you launch SQL Server Management Studio for the first time, you will be prompted to import customized user settings from SQL Server 2005 Management Studio. Click Yes or No and be aware that some SQL Server 2008 default settings might be changed after you import your customized settings.

Choosing the Database Compatibility Level After the Upgrade

When SQL Server systems are upgraded to SQL Server 2008, it is beneficial to understand how compatibility level settings affect databases. The compatibility levels include

  • SQL Server 2008—Version 100
  • SQL Server 2005—Version 90
  • SQL Server 2000—Version 80

If you select one of these options, the database behaviors are to be compatible with that specified version of SQL Server. This setting only affects a specific database and not all databases associated with a SQL Server instance.

The settings can be changed by right-clicking a database and specifying the compatibility level on the Database Options page or by using the ALTER DATABASE command. The following Transact-SQL sample illustrates how to change the compatibility level.

Alter Database <database name>
Set Compatibility_Level =<80 | 90 | 100>

From a best-practice perspective, it is recommended to change the database to single-user mode before changing the database compatibility settings. This prevents inconsistent results if active queries are executed.

Additional Post-Upgrade Tasks

  • Update Statistics on all users and system databases.
  • Execute DBCC_UPDATEUSAGE on all databases to ensure that all databases have the correct row and page counts.
  • With SQL Server 2008, queries on partitioned tables and indexes are processed differently. Therefore, it is recommended to remove the USE PLAN hint from the query.
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