Upgrading SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate to General Availability

I have a client that wants to run on the latest and greatest version of SQL Server.  We have been testing on RCs (Release Candidate), and we are in the process of upgrading non-production environments to RTM GA (General Availability) as it was released today on June 1st, 2016 . When SQL Server 2014 RTM’ed (is that a word?) upgrades from the latest RC was supported.  I expect the same with SQL Server 2016. Currently, this isn’t specified in the SQL 2016 Release Notes.  I will update the post when it’s confirmed.  I am not a SQL Server MVP so I have one sending a message to their message board to see if we can get confirmation on if this upgrade will be supported.  Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend doing this with your live production instances of SQL Server until it is confirmed. Even, if this isn’t supported, I have a automated install process so it wouldn’t take us much time to start fresh.

Read The Release Notes

Please read the release notes. There actually might be a few things you need to complete before upgrading to GA especially if you are using Stretch Databases.

Everyone, should validate if they need to apply KB 3138367. msvcr120.dll should be version 12.0.40649.5 or higher.

Here are screen shots of validating that even Windows 2012 R2 Server with SQL 2016 RC3 needs the .NET update.

preKB3138367

Here I am applying KB 3138367.

KB3138367

KB3138367finished

This is restart number one for anyone who is counting at home.

validateKB3138367

This validates that msvcp120.dll is on the recommended version 12.00.40649.5 by the SQL Server 2016 Release Notes (Seriously, please read these..)

 

Questions You Should Ask Before Upgrading?

Does the business need to or wants to upgrade? Will this upgrade even be possible? Just because it was allowed in SQL 2014 doesn’t mean it will be possible with SQL Server 2016.  Will it be supported? Can I change editions from Evaluation to Developer (Now free in SQL 2016) or Enterprise, Standard?

Upgrading SQL Server 2016 RC3 to GA

The following are the screen shots. I will add some more detailed text in here tonight per step.

Upgrade1

Upgrade2

I am using the developer edition for testing here. It’s cool that I can flip from evaluation to developer mode.

Upgrade3

Upgrade4

Upgrade5

Upgrade6

Upgrade7

Here we can see that it is possible to upgrade RC3 as its detected as an existing upgradable version of SQL Server for SQL 2016 GA.

Upgrade8

Upgrade9

The instance ID changes even though we are able to keep the same named instance. This gets up a separate root folder for the SQL 2016 GA install.

Upgrade10_NotExpected

The server configuration caught be off guard as I expected seeing the database engine and sql agent services listed as well.

Upgrade11

Upgrade12

Upgrade12b

Upgrade13

 

Upgrade14_Finished
Upgrade14_SSMS

Finally, you can see the SQL 2016 RC3 Evaluation Edition was able to be upgraded to SQL Server 2016 GA. I was also able to change this from Evaluation Edition to Developer Edition as well.

  • Deepakjg

    Does this process create a new instance called MSSQLSERVER1601? If Yes, then is there no way to do an “in-place” upgrade of the default instance MSSQLSERVER?
    Thanks.

  • Hi Deepakjg,

    No, what was done in this blog post is a in-place upgrade. So, the default instance when the upgrade is successful will still be the default instance. What you will have is two folders in the root. One for MSSQLSERVER (existing default) and a new one for MSSQLSERVER1601. When your users connect they will still just use the default instance.

    This makes a rollback a whole lot easier. You still have the original bits in place that can be used.

    I Hope this helps you, Deepakjg.

  • John

    Deepakjg,

    No, this is a in-place upgrade. The upgrade process will utilize the instance id so you have a separate folder for installing the bits needed. This makes rollback process easier. You would still connect the exact same way using the default instance.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

  • Deepakjg

    Thanks. I ended up uninstalling and reinstalling SQL Server 2016.