Updated October 16, 2005If youre running SQL Server 2000 in your organization, you may be eagerly awaiting the release of SQL Server 2005. In fact, many enterprises are already planning their upgrade paths and are in the process of making initial preparations for the rollout of this long-awaited release. At the same time, its critical not to lose sight of the maintenance tasks necessary to keep your SQL Server 2000 installation running efficiently and securely.
One of the most important tasks you can perform is applying service packs to your installation. The most recent release from Microsoft, Service Pack 4, offers a number of performance, security and serviceability benefits to administrators. Heres the scoop from Microsoft on the benefits included in SP4:
- Improved performance for 64-bit systems with more than 31 processors
- Secure versions of the Visual Database Tools
- Additional registry entries to provide more granular control over security, metadata ad memory management
- Error reporting for selected instances
- Ability to rollback future hotfixes
One important note although SP4 provides you with the ability to rollback future hotfixes, it is not possible to rollback SP4 itself. Therefore, you should plan your upgrade carefully and test the impact in a non-production environment before rolling out the updated code to your production databases. Failure to do so could result in a time-consuming rebuild of your current system.
If you havent kept up on service packs and are running an older version of SQL Server 2000, it is NOT necessary to apply those service packs retroactively. Any system may be updated with SP4 and will receive fixes for all issues addressed by SP1, SP2, SP3 and SP3a at the time of SP4 application.
If youre ready to download, test and install SP4 on your SQL Server 2000 installation, you can download it from the Microsoft site or order a CD.