The installation guidelines are covered in Chapter 2, so we focus this section mainly on upgrade strategies and considerations for the SQL Server 2008 database component.
A smooth upgrade requires a good plan. When you devise an upgrade plan, you need to break down the upgrade process into individual tasks. This plan should have sections for pre-upgrade tasks, upgrade tasks, and post-upgrade tasks:
Your pre-upgrade tasks should take into consideration SQL Server 2008 minimum hardware and software requirements. You should have an inventory of your applications that access the server, database-collation requirements, server dependencies, and legacy-systems requirements such as data-access methods. Your list should include database consistency checks and backup of all databases. Plans should be in place for testing the upgrade process and applications. You should have a thorough understanding of backward-compatibility issues and have workarounds or fixes identified. You should also use the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor, as described later in this chapter, to assist in identifying and resolving these issues.
The upgrade execution process should be a smooth execution of your well-documented and rehearsed plan. To reiterate the importance of this step, make sure you make a backup of all the databases before you execute the upgrade process.
Post-upgrade tasks should consist of reviewing the upgrade process, bringing the systems back online, monitoring, ...