Starting to Use SQL Server 2017

We’ll have a new version of SQL Server this year. If you missed the Data Amp keynote, in it Scott Gu announced the name as SQL Server 2017, which I assume means we’ll have installable RTM bits sometime this year. Maybe in June, maybe August, maybe later. In any case, there are some interesting changes coming, though not a ton. We will get a new platform (Linux) and certainly some nice improvements in a few areas, but overall a limited release. Given this will be a year or so after the last one, that’s not surprising.

This rapid release cycle means that all of us will support more versions of SQL Server. I don’t know many organizations that wholesale upgrade all their servers. The last time I saw that at any size was in SQL Server 2000, and even then it was painful. Since then it seems many organizations will add some instances of new versions, but continue to support old versions. The more people I talk to, the more I think the ten year rule does exist in many companies. I met someone years ago that said their company (Fortune 100) expected any server installed to run for ten years. Period.

That seems to be the case. Lots of people still have SQL 2005, or at least SQL 2008 instances. A few SQL 2000, and certainly newer versions, but a mix. Keep that in mind, as most of your companies will move forward with new work even as you support old server. This week I wanted to ask, when do you think you’ll have SQL Server 2017 in production.

Realistically, when will you have a 2017 platform running a live workload. I don’t care how big or small, Windows or Linux, bare metal or in a container. When will you start to use resumable index rebuilds, graph structures, adaptive query processing or more? Will it be in 2017? 2018? For budget or other reasons, later than that?

I’m at an interesting place. We still run SQL 2008 at SQLServerCentral, and it works fine. The site needs a basic relational system, though certainly some of the T-SQL changes in 2012+ would be welcome and make some code easier to write. The thing is, code is already written and most things work. We’re debating going to 2016, but I wonder if we shouldn’t just aim at 2017, get one more version ahead, and delay the next upgrade for another decade. I’m certainly tempted as most of the work we through at the database is simple relational work that really would run on SQL 2000 if it had to.

Regardless of when you might upgrade, are you interested in doing so? Anything catch your eye in the new version? Or have you not even bothered to pay attention? All valid answers, and I’m interested in your view of the new platform.

Steve Jones

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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