Developers around the world are rejoicing as the highly anticipated release of SQL Server 2022 has made its way to public preview. With it comes a slew of enhancements to the software many people have come to know and love, and it’s ready for meaningful utilization for years to come. However, if you learned about this announcement directly from Microsoft (SQL Server 2022 Overview), within just the first few minutes of the announcement, Microsoft made it clear that a lot of these enhancements have already been tried, tested, and implemented in many software stacks across the world, thanks to how bleeding edge the Azure Cloud is made to be. With that in mind, in this blog we will briefly touch on what comes in the 2022 SQL Server upgrade, and what it would look like to get on SQL Server 2022 and utilize it for the foreseeable future. In contrast, we will also go over what there is to gain from migrating our SQL Server to be on the Azure stack to then leverage Azure SQL Database and what operations could look like there instead.
SQL Server 2022
New Feature Overview
SQL Server 2022’s new features fall in to 3 overarching categories: disaster recovery, Azure Synapse integration, and built-in query intelligence.
Provided below is a brief overview of each feature, with more details on each feature being available here: SQL Server 2022 Features
- Can now do failover from SQL Server 2022 to Azure SQL Managed Instance
- Disaster Recovery can be set up as a managed Service with an Azure SQL Managed Instance configured as the disaster recovery site
- Availability Groups and Distributed availability groups will be deployed and configured automatically for higher uptime through disaster
- Ability to restore a version-less Azure SQL Managed Instance Database back to SQL Server
Azure Synapse Integration
- Enablement of ETL-free, near real time reporting and analytics over operational data
- No longer need to Schedule ETL on operational data before running analytics on it
- Additional visibility over SQL Server Data in context of the entire data estate
- Able to create a link between SQL Pools in Synapse and SQL Server
- Power BI Visualization built in
- No need for repeated extraction from the Data Lake that hosts source data
- Core compute system powering SQL Server upgraded to provide built-in query intelligence and parameter sensitive plan optimization
- Multiple stored procedure execution plans can be cached
What does Upgrading to SQL Server 2022 look like?
Well, we can see there are some clear advantages to upgrading to SQL Server 2022! Microsoft makes it pretty easy for customers too, by providing simple instructions for multiple starting environment scenarios: Upgrade to different edition – SQL Server | Microsoft Docs. With the upgrade bringing advanced features after just following about 10 steps to upgrade, it seems like a simple choice forward – but let’s explore what the implications are of continuing with this process.
Summary of SQL Server Upgrade
SQL Server has almost yearly releases. As a result, each year owners can look forward to receiving the latest and greatest updates.
However, this implies that yearly we are manually upgrading the software that hosts our business-critical data; which, even with the best of Database Administrators in charge, the possibility for error during the upgrade becomes more and more possible. Depending on how you upgrade, you might experience some down time, and there’s always a degree of corporate bureaucracy that slows down the retrieval and implementation of new server licenses. However, there’s no need to run away from upgrading at this point, as most teams are mature enough today to know how to prevent any damage during an upgrade and understand common upgrade patterns to keep uptime for customers going while testing out the new changes.
Where things get a little more interesting is when you don’t upgrade each year, which is a little more relatable to the modern company approach. The risk being that Microsoft will stop supporting your version of SQL Server after a few iterations. At an extreme level, Microsoft just recently cut support for SQL Server 2012 – but at a minor level, if you visit the SQL Docs area of Microsoft’s documentation pages, you can see that they only have detailed notes and information logged starting at SQL Server 2016! Each year, it gets harder and harder to receive support for the dated versions. So, by continuing down the SQL Server Path, you will see constant updates, but you are responsible for them. You are responsible for knowing the differences between versions, and you are responsible for making sure you can scale all the infrastructure that supports your SQL Server. The room for error increases over having reputable experts manage this for your company, and the conversation whether to migrate to a cloud solution will happen again the next time a SQL Version becomes deprecated, and one gets released.
To see which SQL Server versions have the most compatibility with an upgrade to another version, you may search through official Microsoft documentation here: Which SQL Server Versions can be upgraded directly to SQL Server 2022
At BlueGranite, we have experience discovering and implementing best practice Jobs-to-be-Done procedures within your organization. If you need advice and guidance on the current standing or future enhancements of your setup, let BlueGranite offer some words of wisdom, contact us today!