How Stack Overflow upgraded from Windows Server 2012

Warning: This post is long. While working through this massive server upgrade/migration process, tears were shed, many cuss words were said, along with a general feeling of frustration, which ultimately culminated into extreme happiness once the migration was completed. The scale and complexity of the implementation factor into the length of this post, and I’ll share my thought process on how this was executed, so here goes. Last year, when we upgraded to SQL Server 2017 we didn’t make any changes to the operating system on our main production servers.

How we upgraded Stack Overflow to SQL Server 2017

This post has been rattling around in my head for months, and with SQL Server 2019 on the horizon, I figured I’d finally put my thoughts down, especially since I know we might hit some of the same issues when we upgrade. A quick background, when I became the DBA at Stack Overflow, we had various versions of SQL Server in place — the majority were at some level of SQL Server 2016, each with a different CU or SP installed.

Pivoting yet again - New blog and domain

Almost a year ago, in November 2017, I moved back into a more technical role at Stack Overflow and became a Database Administrator. During this time, I have wanted to relaunch my blog, as it’s been over three years since I really wrote anything (yes, I’m terrible). Well, that time has finally come. After spending a few weeks, looking at various options to replace Wordpress, I finally decided on using Hugo and Netlify.

Ch Ch Ch Changes are afoot

Well it’s been an interesting couple months and there are quite a few changes going on in my life, but before I get into what’s coming up, I feel that I need to give a bit of an overview of my journey thus far. I never thought about becoming a developer. When I was growing up, I loved school (yeah, I’m weird), I loved math and science (even weirder), I was going to be a doctor, work on genetics, or something similar.

Using powershell to fix server space issues

A few weeks ago, we were running into severe disk space and memory issues on our development servers at work. Our set-up is a bit odd, we have 3 servers - one for the transactions, one for the web interface, and the final one for reporting. Using transactional replication we have databases that can exist on all 3 servers. Yes, it’s can be a real nightmare to maintain, but anyone who works with replication already knows this.