Upgrade the Orion SQL Server without migration

Updated: December 6, 2018 | SolarWinds Upgrade Guide

Supports: Orion SQL Server for Orion Platform products

This guide details how to upgrade your SolarWinds Orion SQL database server to a new version of Microsoft SQL Server. This guide does not include migrating to a new server. To upgrade, you need administrator access and Microsoft software and documentation. For a full migration and upgrade guide, see Migrate the SolarWinds Orion SQL database to a new server.

You may need to upgrade if...

  • Orion products require a newer version of Microsoft SQL Server
  • The version of Microsoft SQL Server is deprecated by Microsoft
  • Performance requires an upgraded version of software and updated hardware

We recommend always using a dedicated server for the SolarWinds Orion SQL database.

We recommend using SQL Server Authentication with the sa login and password to ensure that Orion can always access the SolarWinds Orion database, even if it is hosted remotely on a separate server.

Prepare for the SQL server upgrade

Before backing up data and upgrading, make sure to review SolarWinds requirements. Specific Orion products support a limited set of Microsoft SQL database versions.

1. Review requirements and supported versions

Review the Orion Platform product requirements for supported Microsoft SQL Server version and hardware specifications:

You can also review this article for specific Microsoft SQL Server versions per Orion Platform product versions.

2. Determine any required hardware upgrades Determine any required hardware upgrades for additional memory, harddrive space, processor, and more.
3. Gather credentials Gather the local admin credentials for the current server.
4. Install SQL Management Studio Express (optional)

If you need software to perform database backups and maintenance, you can install SQL Management Studio Express for your specific version of Microsoft SQL on your Orion SQL database server.

Use the following links to download the installation for the latest version, which is backward compatible with older versions:

For additional versions, see this list at Microsoft.

Upgrade Microsoft SQL Server

These instructions only walk-through the upgrade of Microsoft SQL Server software. If you need to also migrate and upgrade products, see the following guides:

For details on how to determine the version, edition and update level of SQL Server and its components, see this Microsoft KB article (© 2017 Microsoft, available at https://support.microsoft.com, obtained on October 9, 2017).

1. Login to the SQL server as administrator Access the Orion SQL server using administrator credentials to install upgrades.
2. Stop Orion services

Open the Orion Service Manager on all pollers, and stop all services except the SQL service. The SQL Service needs to be running to make the necessary changes to the database.

3. Backup the SQL database

Back up your SolarWinds Orion SQL database. If you need help, please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.

If you have your database on a VM, create a snapshot or copy of your VM.

If using the SQL Management Studio Express, do the following:

  1. Open the SQL Management Studio Express on the Orion SQL server using your Windows credentials.
  2. From the Object explorer, expand Databases and locate the SolarWinds (Orion) database.
  3. Right-click on the Orion database and select Tasks then Backup.
  4. Create a backup of your SolarWinds SQL database.
  5. Save the backup to another server to save the data.
4. Upgrade Microsoft SQL on the server

Follow the instructions and installation guide from Microsoft for your SQL Server versions. You can locate upgrade and installation guides at Microsoft or review the software documentation that came with your software.

You do not need to run the Orion Configuration Wizard after the upgrade completes.

5. Start services Start your services on the main and additional polling servers.

Verify data and polling

Continue polling monitored nodes, servers, devices, and services in the Orion Web Console. Verify data populates and updates to the database.

To verify the installed SQL server version:

  1. In the Orion Web Console, select Settings > All Settings, and click Database Details under Details.
  2. Check the Software Version for the SQL database assigned and used by your Orion Platform.

You can also enter a database query of @@VERSION to list the SQL server version and additional information. For details, see this Microsoft KB article.


If you encounter any issues, search this knowledge base with the errors to locate solutions.

If an issue occurs you need additional help with, contact Support. We recommend gathering diagnostics, a screenshot of the issue, and any error codes you receive. Attach and add this information to your ticket. You may also want to gather additional diagnostics on your additional pollers and web servers.