We are trying to upgrade our Sp2013 Standard server with SP1. I read through the Technet document about 2 different recommended approach. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff806331(v=office.15).aspx

Inplace Upgrade:

1.Inplace without backward compatibility

2.Inplace with backward compatibility

Database Attach Upgrade:

I am testing in our Dev Environment first which includes 1 APP, 1 WFE, 1 Workflow, 1SQL Server.

My next step would be to take changes up to Qa and Finally to PROD.

I am preferebly going to take InPlace upgrade on this one. But between Inplace with and Without backward Compatibility which one is better suggested route, keeping in mind the PROD update in future involving minimum downtime and other factors related to SharePoint farm.

Your valuable input would be very helpful.

2 Answers 2


Generally you want to go with approach #1. Running with backwards compatibility for long periods of time is not recommended, and does not actually "upgrade" your farm (it does not upgrade the schema on the databases, for example).

Unless you have a very large farm in terms of number of servers, or have an unusual requirement to be able to leverage backwards compatibility, I would go with #1.

  • Trevor Do we have to update Workflow servers too. We have 3 dedicated workflow server. If yes how do we do that, since there is no sharepoint config wizard installed in the server? Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 12:51

As Per my Experience InPlace upgrade without backward compatibility. But we did a little change to reduce the down time. We have tons of Content DB with more than 10TB of data.

Here are the steps we followed.

  • Install bits(SP) on all SharePoint server
  • Now Run the Upgrade content-Database for each Content DB.
  • Now Run the Config Wizard, one by one on all SharePoint server

When you run the upgrade-content Database against content DB before COnfig wizard, you upgrade all content quickly. We run the 4 instance of Powershell on each SharePoint server so that Means 4 dbs upgrade at same time. Let's say you have 4 server and run upgrade DB on all servers then 20 DBs will upgraded at once.

But if you run config wizard and let it run then it will upgrade Db one by one. I hope you get my point.

Key thing always, Perform testing, testing and testing before applying to Production. Check my response here.Sp2013 Standard Server Sp1 Upgrade Roll Back Plan

  • Thank You for your response Waqas.How do we Run 4 instance of Powershell on each sp server at same time, can you make it little clear on that. Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 18:18
  • start 4 windows of powershell....from start menu > All programm > SharePoint Product > click on sharepoint powershell.repeat this for 4 times
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 18:21
  • Gotcha!!.Should i first start with App Server(CA installed) then Webfront end and rest of the server. What would be the best approach Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 18:23
  • really doesnot matter which ever server you run first....I would start the server having more ram....i would not do myself with 20 running instances...i will ask another Admin( in my case we have to upgrade more than 300 DB) :)
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 18:31
  • Waqas While installing Binary Files in Server, shoudl i do one at a time, or can i run installs on all servers at one time. Just installing the binary is taking too long. what do you recommend. Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 15:41

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