Upgrading from Windows Azure Websites Update 4 to Update 6 with SQL Server Standard

As you may have known, Windows Azure Websites installations that uses SQL Server Standard Edition for data storage will have issues getting updated to Update 6 as the SQL scripts included in this update used SQL Server Enterprise Edition specific features. I’ve reported this issue to Microsoft on the Windows Azure Pack forums and have privately conversed with a few people inside Microsoft who are responsible for the Azure Pack Websites product following the public post.

As of writing, I have worked out a procedure that I have came up by myself via trial and error when dealing with upgrading Windows Azure Websites from Update 4 to Update 6 with SQL Server Standard Edition as the database storage. These are the following steps you’ll have to take when upgrading your Websites installation if you have SQL Server Standard as your database storage. These steps should not be followed if you are using SQL Server Enterprise or Express Editions as the scripts included in April’s update correctly handle the upgrade process for those two editions. With that warning noted above, these are the steps I have came up with so far:

  1. Download the patch to Update 6 from github
  2. Extract the contents of the patch to a temporary directory
  3. Install the Windows Azure Pack Websites v2 Update 6 from Microsoft Update or from your local WSUS server if you synchronize them that way
  4. Immediately after installation of Windows Azure Pack Websites Update 6, run the PatchWebSites.ps1 PowerShell script. The script may prompt you something about execution policies, accept it.
  5. When prompted to begin patching, hit ENTER. After hitting enter, you’ll need to wait. Since we’re patching the Update during the phase where the WebSitesUpdate service is downloading updated packages, the service will continue to download such packages and restart.
  6. Use the event viewer to monitor the progress of the upgrade. The event log path you should be looking at is Windows\WebSitesUpdate\Operational

I hope these steps above helps with fellow System Administrators they’re upgrading their existing Websites installations from Update 4 to Update 6 with SQL Server Standard as their database backend. Of course, prior to upgrading your websites installation to newer revisions, it’s advisable make backups of your relevant databases and machine state for all of the machines in the web farm.

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