Are there any issues to be aware of when installing an instance of previous version of SQL Server AFTER installation of a newer version? e.g. Installing 2008 to a server with an existing 2012 instance?

I can find not statements specific to that circumstance, but it seems risky.


Installing an older version of the database engine should be fine and completely separate (though the superstitious side of me would prefer to do it the other way around).

Don't install client tools or anything - keep it to the engine. If you need visual studio, BIDS, SSDT, SSIS etc., good luck...

Use the latest version of SQL Server Configuration Manager to manage the instances on the box, since newer versions are typically backwards compatible.


Use a Virtual Machine. Never trust Microsoft not to break other things Microsoft creates. Even professionals refuse to run SQL Server on the metal.

This is one of the reasons I’m a huge fan of VMs. I never run SQL Server in the base machine, only in VMs. - Brent Ozar

Then you'll also get point-in-time recovery.

That said, it is supported with this caveat

SQL Server Sysprep does not support side by side installation of prepared instances of SQL Server 2012 with earlier versions of SQL Server on the same computer. For example, you cannot prepare a SQL Server 2008 R2 instance side by side with a prepared instance of SQL Server 2012. However, you can install multiple prepared instances of the same major version of SQL Server side by side on the same computer. For more information, see Considerations for Installing SQL Server Using SysPrep.

SQL Server 2012 cannot be installed side-by-side with earlier versions of SQL Server on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core SP1. For more information on Server Core installations, see Install SQL Server 2012 on Server Core.

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