Migrating SharePoint to 64 Bit — The Databases

This is the second post on my migrating series and the first step in the process….

Because the impact on the users is to be minimized, this is taking place on A Friday night…Argh! Anyway that is how it goes in this business, it’s gonna be a long night.

So there are a couple of ways to upgrade the databases, in place keeping the same name, move the DBs to a server with the same name, or move the DBs to another server with a different name. I will spare the specific details, you can find specific information on TechNet here. I can see this decision being driven not by what might be the easiest or best but what hardware you may or may not have. No matter what method is chosen, unless you load the server OS or are the DBA, there isn’t a lot of involvement on the SharePoint side for this phase of the migration, at least they way it is being done. However, for me, this is the most risky and scariest part…

The process…
There isn’t any hardware to create a parallel environment or an extra database server to migrate to so the process was to do the migration in place with the current servers.

Don’t do anything in your environment until you TEST, TEST, TEST. When you think you have it TEST IT AGAIN! Remember, every environment is different with it’s own quirks and issues.

Here is what was was done:

  1. Full backup on the databases early enough for the backups to finish before starting. If you have to start a day or so before then start then.
  2. Stop the Farm.
  3. Run any transaction log backups on the databases
  4. Detach the databases from SQL (this might not be necessairy but it makes me feel better)
  5. The DBs are on SAN so the SAN was detached from the W2K3 server
  6. Reload the server with W2K8 and any post installation configurations for the environment
  7. Reattach the SAN to the server. W2K8 should see the disk and not be a problem (see notes)
  8. Load SQL 2008
  9. Reattach the DBs to SQL
  10. I would run a consistancy check on the DBs
  11. Restart the SharePoint Farm — TEST IT!

Some things to note:

  • You will want to record the SAN LUNs, size of volumes and their associated drive letter on the Windows 2003 server before restaging the server
  • When you reattach the SAN to the server with W2K8 the disks might look like foreign disks. you will need to import them
  • Check permissions on the reattached disks, local users will be orphaned but domain users and groups should be there and OK

Here are some commands to stop the services on the SharePoint servers….pretty basic and you probably know this already but here they are none-the-less.
To Stop

@echo off
@echo Stopping services...
iisreset /stop /noforce
net stop "Windows SharePoint Services Timer"
net stop "Windows SharePoint Services Administration"
net stop "Office SharePoint Server Search"
net stop "Windows SharePoint Services Search"
net stop "Windows SharePoint Services Tracing"

To start

@echo off
@echo Starting services...
net start "Windows SharePoint Services Tracing"
net start "Windows SharePoint Services Search"
net start "Office SharePoint Server Search"
net start "Windows SharePoint Services Administration"
net start "Windows SharePoint Services Timer"
iisreset /start

This should get you to 64 Bit SQL server. Remember it isn’t the only way to migrate to 64 Bit SQL Server and you need to TEST IT!

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