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Upgrade process overview (SharePoint Foundation 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

You can choose between two basic upgrade approaches when you upgrade from Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010: in-place upgrade and database attach upgrade. An in-place upgrade is used to upgrade all Microsoft SharePoint sites on the same hardware. A database attach upgrade enables you to move your content to a new farm or new hardware. You can also combine these two types of upgrade in hybrid approaches that reduce downtime during an upgrade.

For more information about these approaches, see Determine upgrade approach (SharePoint Foundation 2010).

This article helps you understand the steps that are involved in performing upgrades by using these approaches so that you can plan your upgrade process. For detailed information about how to use one of these upgrade processes, see the following topics:

In this article:

Important Important:

It is important that the server administrator communicate with site owners and users about what to expect during an upgrade. The administrator should inform them about downtime and the risk that the upgrade may take longer than expected or that some sites may need some rework after upgrade. For more information, see Create a communication plan (SharePoint Foundation 2010).

In-place upgrade

An in-place upgrade takes place on the same hardware as your previous version installation. When you run an in-place upgrade, the process upgrades the complete installation in a fixed order.

The following steps explain what happens as the in-place upgrade process runs:

  1. After the server administrator performs all pre-upgrade steps, the administrator runs Setup for SharePoint Foundation 2010 on the server that runs the SharePoint Central Administration Web site. Because the previous version was installed, an in-place upgrade is automatically selected.

  2. After Setup runs on the server that hosts the Central Administration Web site, the server administrator runs Setup on the remaining front-end Web servers and application servers in the farm.

  3. The server administrator runs the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard on the server that hosts the Central Administration Web site. This server, the configuration database, the services, and the content databases are upgraded sequentially.

    When the configuration wizard finishes, the Central Administration Web site opens. A timer job schedules the upgrade process to run for each site collection. The upgrade process timer job upgrades each site collection. After all sites are upgraded, the upgrade process ends.

  4. The server administrator runs the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard on all the other servers in the farm.

    In-place upgrade process
  5. The server administrator confirms that the upgrade has finished successfully.

  6. If Visual Upgrade is being used, the server administrator or site owner previews sites in the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 look. When the administrator or site owner is ready, he or she completes the change to the SharePoint Foundation 2010 look.

Database attach upgrade

A database attach upgrade enables you to move to new hardware or a new farm. During a database attach upgrade, you detach all the content databases from an existing farm and then attach the databases to a new server farm installation. When you attach the databases to the new server farm, the upgrade process runs and upgrades the data in place.

The following steps explain what happens during a database attach upgrade:

  1. The server administrator sets up and configures a new SharePoint Foundation 2010 farm. The administrator transfers all customizations to the new farm and tests the environment.

    For more information about how to configure the new environment, see Prepare the new SharePoint Foundation 2010 environment for a database attach upgrade.

  2. The server administrator detaches the content databases from the old Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 farm and takes the old farm offline (for example, by changing the load balancer or IIS Web applications to stop service requests, or by turning off all the components and services on each server computer in the farm).

  3. The server administrator attaches the content databases to the new farm and upgrades the content.

    Database migration upgrade process
  4. The server administrator confirms that the upgrade has finished successfully and then configures the new farm to start serving requests at the new URL.

Hybrid approach 1: Read-only databases

This approach gives users continuous read-only access to their data while you upgrade. The content databases in the original farm are set to read-only, and copies of the databases are upgraded on a new farm.

The following steps explain what happens during a database attach upgrade with read-only databases:

  1. The server administrator sets up and configures a new SharePoint Foundation 2010 farm. The administrator transfers all customizations to the new farm and tests the environment.

  2. The server administrator changes the content databases to read-only. The administrator then uses SQL Server to back up the content databases on the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 farm and restore them to the new farm.

    Read-only databases upgrade process - part1
  3. The server administrator attaches the new copies of the content databases, and the upgrade process runs and upgrades the content.

    Read-only databases upgrade process - part2
  4. After the upgrade process runs, the server administrator confirms that the upgrade has finished successfully. The administrator then configures the new farm to start serving requests at the new URL and takes the original farm offline (for example, by changing the load balancer or IIS Web applications to stop service requests, or by turning off all the components and services on each server computer in the farm).

Hybrid approach 2: Detach databases

This approach enables you to speed up the upgrade process by detaching and attaching databases to upgrade multiple databases at the same time. It is an in-place upgrade because you are upgrading the original farm; however, you can also use another farm to perform the upgrade and then attach the upgraded databases to your original farm. Note that the original farm cannot serve requests during the upgrade process. As in a standard in-place upgrade, users cannot access their content while the upgrade is in progress.

The following steps explain what happens during an in-place upgrade with detached databases:

  1. The server administrator takes the original farm offline (for example, by changing the load balancer or IIS Web applications to stop service requests, or by turning off all of the components and services on each server computer in the farm).

  2. The server administrator detaches the content databases from the original farm.

  3. The server administrator runs an in-place upgrade on the original farm servers, services, and configuration database.

  4. The server administrator attaches the content databases to the original farm and upgrades the content.

    Detach databases upgrade process  - part1

Alternatively, you can use a separate, temporary small farm to perform the upgrade. In this approach, you attach the databases to the original farm after they have been upgraded.

The following steps explain what happens during an in-place upgrade with detached databases and a temporary small farm to upgrade the content databases:

  1. The server administrator sets up a temporary small farm that is running the new version. Then the administrator takes the original farm offline (for example, by changing the load balancer or IIS Web applications to stop service requests, or by turning off all the components and services on each server computer in the farm).

  2. The server administrator detaches the content databases from the original farm.

  3. The server administrator runs an in-place upgrade on the original farm to upgrade the servers, services, and configuration database.

  4. The server administrator attaches the content databases to the temporary small farm and upgrades them in parallel.

  5. The server administrator reattaches the content databases to the original farm.

    Detach databases upgrade process  - part2
  6. The server administrator confirms that the upgrade has finished successfully.

  7. If Visual Upgrade is being used, the server administrator or site owner previews sites in the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 look. When the administrator or site owner is ready, he or she completes the change to the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 look.

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