The Work of the Ancients

I was reading a post from someone recently where they noted that they didn’t worry to much about the architecture of the system since it wouldn’t likely last very long. The poster had a comment that many systems are replaced inside of a few years.

In my experience, that’s not usually the case. In fact, while I don’t expect many applications I’ve worked on to last for 25 years, I suspect many of them will exist for ten years or more, especially if they are receiving regular development resources. With that in mind, I wanted to see how your databases are faring these days. I suspect a database might last longer than a particular application, as it seems most organizations are loathe to ever let data go.

What’s the age of your oldest, regularly used database?

I’m looking for an age in years. If the answer is less than one, I’m not sure I’d call that old at all. I am sure many of your  systems are older, and might have changed, but let us know the year when the system went into production.

I can tell you the SQLServerCentral systems are old in some ways, not so old in others. We’ve grown from one database to three over the years. The oldest database is circa 2003. Some of the data from that one was migrated to other databases around 2007. We’ve got data in the system since 2001, but we’ve certainly changed structures and storage over the years.

I’d guess that most of you that are working in companies that are older than ten years will have a database that’s at least that old. However let us know this week, and if you have any interesting notes, feel free to share them.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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4 Responses to The Work of the Ancients

  1. Out of the 18 databases on our 2 servers, 14 traces back to SQL 2000 days (prior to me working here).

    I know one system I worked on in 1999 to 2001, still uses the same basic database structure, but with continued development support and been upgraded over the years.


  2. yazalpizar says:

    From our 14 databases, the oldest ones date back to ~12 years. I was not around at the moment but I’m pretty sure first ones were created under SQL2000


  3. Darrell says:

    At my current location we have our “money maker” which is just over 10 years. At my previous location we had several that were over 12 years old.


  4. thomasrushton says:

    Prior location: considering I migrated some of the databases off’f SQL7 when I joined, I would say that they are 15 years old. And still going. Shortly after doing that migration, I met someone who had worked there about 10 years earlier, and he remembered developing them in about 1999-2000, and was surprised that they were still in use.


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