For most Microsoft IT professionals, migrating or updating a native mode SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) installation from one version to another is a rare, if not once-in-a-lifetime, event – and probably one you would prefer a root canal to. Because software upgrades of all types tend to get postponed as long as possible, if you find yourself finally tasked with such an upgrade, several unpleasant things are likely true:
- The effort is in crisis mode, driven by software (SSRS, OS) going off support, hardware becoming unreliable, or a line-of-business application that must itself be upgraded but cannot be until SSRS is.
- The current installation was not done by you and whomever did is long gone, so you are not that familiar with it and would frankly rather not be. SSRS is not your “thing”.
- The current installation is poorly documented, if at all.
- The current installation is encrusted with obsolete and unused components.
- Non-SSRS software and/or databases are running on the same server.
- There is a vague awareness that the upgrade may have an impact on other applications and users’ workflows, but no facts on just how.
- If the upgrade fails, heads (most likely yours) will roll, but if it succeeds, you will be viewed as just doing your job.
What a prospect! Is your resume up to date?
While you need to manage getting the credit you deserve if you carry off this challenge, Tallan – a Microsoft Gold partner – can greatly improve the chance that you will carry it off. Unlike you, upgrade challenges like this are our bread and butter. We have successfully planned and carried them out across a range of clients and permutations of old and new versions of SSRS, and have learned a few things in the process.
At the risk of increasing your pulse, the fact is there are a large number of factors to consider, research and plan for in such an upgrade. It’s just not realistic to expect someone (like you) who doesn’t do this for a living to know about them all. That’s why it is lucky you have found your way here. We have codified our knowledge and discoveries on SSRS migration in a whitepaper that we guarantee you’ll find far more substantive than the average free whitepaper. While not a cookbook, with its guidance you will have taken the first step towards a seamless migration and, hopefully, hero status. And we will have introduced ourselves.
The whitepaper focuses particularly on native mode, on-prem upgrade from SSRS 2008R2 to SSRS 2016, a very common scenario these days. Even if your scenario does not exactly meet this use case, the vast bulk of the information presented will still be helpful.
In addition, we want to make you aware of a current Microsoft promotion involving SQL Server 2008R2 (including SSRS). You probably know that, per Microsoft’s product lifecycle, 2008R2 is going off Extended Support. That means no more support, most notably no more security patches. If that’s what you’re running, you can get your company three more years of Extended Support, for free, if you move your 2008R2 installation to Azure IAAS – i.e. virtual machines. Such a migration is low risk and gives you more time to plan an upgrade and to consider other architectural forms for it, such as Power BI Report Server.