The Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) takes care of the low-level drudgery associated with setting up, managing, and scaling a relational database. With support for multiple versions of MySQL, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server, RDS can be used in a wide variety of appliations.
Without RDS, upgrading to a new version of your chosen database engine can be a complex and time-consuming exercise. You need to find extra servers and storage to do a test upgrade, create and verify backups, test all of your applications, and then upgrade the production database.
We added SQL Server 2012 support to RDS late last year. Today we are introducing a new feature to allow you to perform an in-place upgrade of your SQL Server 2008 R2 database instances to SQL Server 2012 with just a few clicks.
To upgrade, select the target database instance in the AWS Management Console and initiate a Modify operation. Choose the SQL Server 2012 engine and click on Continue:
The upgrade is not reversible, so make sure that this is what you want to do:
There will be some downtime while the new database engine is installed. RDS will automatically take snapshots before the upgrade starts and after it completes.
It is always advisable to test your applications before upgrading to a new major version of a database. Amazon RDS makes that process easy. You can create a snapshot of the existing database instance (the one running SQL Server 2008 R2 in this case), create a new database running SQL Server 2012, and run your tests without having to buy any hardware.
As always, this feature is available now and you can start using it today!