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If you have any questions not answered below, please contact us using the form below, phone us, or use our live chat during office hours. We'd be happy to hear from you, and our advice is free and confidential.

For more info, you might want to look at our Microsoft SQL Server Support page, our Microsoft SQL Server Licence Questions,  our Microsoft SQL Server Version Guide or you might want to refer back to our FAQs index.

Which SQL Server versions do you support?

The Xynomix team are familiar with all recent versions of Microsoft SQL Server, including SQL Server 2016, and SQL Server 2014 as well as versions 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005. We even cover older versions: we have a client running SQL Server 6.5, which was released in 1996.

Why should I upgrade my SQL Server system?

Upgrading SQL Server provides better performance than previous versions and generally gives you with greater flexibility than with previous versions. It's a way to 'future-proof' the applications you run on the database, and obviously you get access to new features.

Also, upgrading older SQL Server environments usually comes at more of a cost than upgrading more recent ones in two ways: the time required to complete the upgrade and the amount of manual development required. So our advice is that it's better sooner than later.

What High Availability (HA) options are available to me?

There are different types of HA options available for different editions of SQL Server. In all versions there has always been a traditional clustering option. Nonetheless, should your existing infrastructure prevent traditional clustering, mirroring or AlwaysOn are two of the most common methods of providing HA in new and existing systems.

Is my disaster recovery (DR) solution good enough?

This depends entirely on how valuable a database system is. In some cases a nightly backup is enough, whereas in others, a hot standby system at a separate site is necessary. Xynomix can help with any of these SQL Server Disaster Recovery scenarios and can advise on an interim compromise that keeps your business running, should it be in the throes of disaster. Call us for some free advice if you're in an emergency situation!

Should I use mirroring in SQL Server 2012, 2014 and 2016?

This depends on how long you want to use it, and if you plan to upgrade SQL Server. According to Microsoft: 'These features are scheduled to be removed in a future release of SQL Server. Deprecated features should not be used in new applications.' For more information about deprecated features in SQL Server 2016, please see this link from Microsoft.

What is 'AlwaysOn'?

SQL Server AlwaysOn provides a high-availability and disaster-recovery solution. It makes use of existing SQL Server features, particularly failover clustering, and provides new capabilities such as availability groups. It's aim is 24×7×365 database availability.

How can I keep an eye on my SQL Server system on a day-to-day basis?

It's vital that you have a monitoring system that will alert you to problems - or potential problems - with your SQL Server system. Our monitoring solution can run during working hours as well as out of hours to ensure there's a rapid response to any database problem before it becomes system critical.

Is my SQL Server system under performing? Can it be optimised?

The overall performance of a system is determined by various aspects of the complete system: hardware, operating system, network, SQL Server and application servers. We're able to analyse various aspects of SQL Server to determine where the bottlenecks lie and provide recommendations where possible. Contact us to find out more about what we can offer, or visit our SQL Server Performance Monitoring and Tuning page.

What is database partitioning?

You might be familiar with the term partitioning – meaning splitting into separate parts - if you’ve ever installed more than one operating system on a disk drive. When it comes to database partitioning it still means “splitting”, but it’s also a way to improve performance and user experience.

It’s about how data can be “drilled down” in to, and made more meaningful by applying different search criteria or transformations to it. This data is then retrieved without gathering all the surrounding non-relevant data. For example, a list of contacts might be categorised alphabetically, but you might only be interested in contacts who joined the list in the last month from a particular area. So the database only retrieves these. By partitioning the data, it is split in to smaller, more useful and less cumbersome chunks. It has the advantage of improving performance, availability and ease of access, in line with the goals of the business.