Upgrade the database major version by migrating data

This page describes how to migrate your data to an instance running a later version of SQL Server. Before proceeding with this method, consider upgrading the database major version in-place.

Plan a major version upgrade

  1. Choose a target major version and edition.

    See the list of versions that Cloud SQL supports.

  2. Consider the features offered in each SQL Server version and address incompatibilities.

    New major versions introduce incompatible changes that might require you to modify the application code, the schema, or the database settings before you can upgrade your database instance. Review the release notes of your target major version to determine the incompatibilities that you need to address. If you're skipping major versions, address the incompatibilities listed for each version that you're skipping.

  3. Test the upgrade with a dry run.

    Perform a dry run of the end-to-end upgrade process with a test instance before you upgrade the production database. You might want to test the upgrade using a clone instead of your production database to avoid any performance impact from the export on your production workload.

    In addition to validating that the upgrade completes successfully, run tests to understand the expected downtime of the upgrade, confirm your upgrade workflow, and ensure that the application behaves as expected on the upgraded database. If you haven't enabled automatic storage increases, take note of the disk storage used by the upgraded dry run instance to determine whether you need to increase the storage capacity for the production instance before upgrading.

  4. Decide when you want to upgrade.

Migrate your data

Migrating entails exporting the data from the source instance to a BAK file and importing the data into the target instance.

To migrate your data to a Cloud SQL instance running a more recent database version, follow these steps:

  1. Create the target instance with the desired SQL Server version.

    Make sure the target instance has:

    • Sufficient storage to hold all of the current instance's data.
    • The same authorized networks as the current instance. Learn more.
    • The same user accounts, with the same SQL Server privileges and passwords.

    For more information, see Creating an instance.

  2. Confirm that you can connect to the new instance with your local SQL Server tools and update them, if necessary.

  3. Export the current instance's data to a SQL Server BAK file by following the instructions in Export data to a BAK file.

    Do not export the sqlserver system database. The sqlserver database is the default database you connect to before you create any other databases. After you create another database, switch to the new database to create tables and insert data. Don't use the sqlserver database for your application's data.

  4. Create a Cloud Storage bucket if needed, and upload your BAK file to the bucket.

  5. Import the data to the target instance by following the instructions in Import from a BAK file.

  6. Update your applications to connect to the new instance.

  7. Upgrade the database compatibility level.

  8. When you're confident that your new instance is operating successfully, delete the old instance.

What's next