Friday, November 13, 2009

Doing a Database Attach Upgrade to SharePoint 2010

A database attach upgrade to SharePoint 2010 is, in my opinion, a cleaner process than doing an in-place upgrade. It goes like this:
  • Create a new SharePoint 2010 farm. This is like doing a clean install of Windows when a new version comes out. You are starting with a fresh copy of the software. The disadvantage, of course, is that you lose your farm level configuration settings.
  • Manually transfer server side customizations to the new farm and test them
  • Detach your databases from the existing SharePoint 2007 farm and back them up. This is where the downtime starts. As soon as you detach your databases, SharePoint will be down.
  • Attach the databases to the new SharePoint farm.
The advantages of doing a database attach upgrade to a new SharePoint 2010 farm are as follows:
  • There is generally less downtime and the upgrade process is faster
  • If you happen to have multiple farms and want to consolidate them into one farm, you can do this with a database attach upgrade
  • You can upgrade several databases at the same time
The disadvantages of doing a database attach upgrade are as follows:
  • Server and farm level settings must be manually setup on the farm
  • Server side customizations do not transfer and have to be upgraded manually
  • You cannot upgrade a search database using this method
There is a nice set of technical diagrams from Microsoft on TechNet here:

The technical diagrams go into detail about two possible hybrid methods. I will be covering those in a future post.

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