The year: 2005.
What was happening with the Brent Ozar Unlimited® crew?
I was working on the help desk for a small company while attending Fox Valley Tech College to earn my associate degree. I think I still wanted to go into programming at that point in time! I’d never been to a user group meeting or posted on a forum. I wasn’t even a runner!
Brent took his first full-time DBA gig at Southern Wine & Spirits. He worked on his first cluster and his first 1 TB+ database. He’d never written about Perfmon or attended a conference.
Kendra worked for a dot-com in Seattle. She spent a lot of time with 32-bit servers, automating installs, restores, and configuration of SQL Server for large environments.
Doug was working on a VB6 app for insurance adjusters. At home he had a smokin’ PC with a 1.0 GHz AMD Athlon and a 19” CRT monitor. He and his wife didn’t have kids yet, and he surprised her with a trip to Venice for Christmas.
Jeremiah was (don’t laugh) a developer. While sitting on the bench, he decided to revise the company’s project management software. He rapidly prototyped a new system using SQL Server instead of Access and the .NET Framework with an ORM instead of ad hoc SQL written in VBScript and classic ASP.
The Technology World
Star Wars Episode III was released. YouTube was launched. The Xbox 360 was released.
And, after long last, Microsoft released SQL Server 2005. It had been a long five years since SQL Server 2000. There were drastic changes between the two editions. DMVs (dynamic management views), CLR, hot-add memory, ranking functions, and the XML data type were introduced. Database Mirroring, a new HA feature, was available as of SP1. SQL Server Management Studio: need I say more? These were big changes!
Jump in the time machine. 9 years later, I’m writing this blog post. It’s January, and a new year is beginning.
I’ve finished college, I’ve moved up from the help desk (way up), I’ve been to – and spoken at – a couple user group meetings just in the last month, and I’ve run a couple marathons.
Brent? He’s done OK. He’s attained Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) status in SQL Server. He’s gone from DBA to software evangelist to consultant. He’s spoken all over the world.
Kendra has also attained MCM status and become a consultant. She’s learned a lot about hardware, query tuning, and when it pays to upgrade your environment instead of sinking countless people-hours into solving a problem.
Doug is the newest member of the Brent Ozar Unlimited® crew. He’s spent his 9 years learning everything he knows about SQL Server, and becoming a blogger, presenter, and user group leader.
Jeremiah used his software project to set the course for his career. He learned he had a knack for databases, and he ran with it. He too has become a successful consultant, blogger, and speaker.
Technology? It’s changed a bit, too.
Our iPads are now as powerful as Doug’s computer was back in the day. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched this year. Instead of carrying around a phone, a laptop, a camera, and scanner, we carry one smartphone that does everything.
SQL Server, 9 Years, and You
SQL Server has changed dramatically, too!
SQL Server 2012 has been out for well over a year, and SP1 was released in 2013. This release brought some big changes. Internally, the way memory is handled was changed, improving operations and efficiency. There are improved T-SQL functions, such as more windowing functions. AlwaysOn Availability Groups were introduced as the latest HA/DR technology. With a GUI, Extended Events is ready to take over Profiler’s job. Columnstore indexes were introduced to make data warehouse storage and retrieval more efficient.
What’s next? We’re awaiting word on a release date for SQL Server 2014. This release is going to have the usual improvements, and then some. There’s a new method for cardinality estimation. A new engine is being introduced – In-Memory OLTP. Backups can be done directly to “the cloud” in Windows Azure. Clustered columnstore indexes will be updateable. There’s more – check out my recent webcast!
Let Me Ask You a Question
And let’s focus on your job. Are you still using the same laptop you did in 2005? If you’re on call, are you still using the same phone – or, help us all, the same pager – you had 9 years ago? Has your company’s main business application undergone change since then?
You have a newer laptop. You have a newer phone. The applications have been updated, or changed entirely. Why are you still on SQL Server 2005?
Yes, the process of testing a database upgrade is time-consuming. But it’s well worth it. The changes to the internals and the new features available are nothing but positive. And let’s not forget that in just over two years – Microsoft is currently stating April 12, 2016 – extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends.
Start making plans to upgrade today, and reap the benefits!