Prepare for Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2015 Upgrade

This article brings together a checklist to be considered, if you are planning to upgrade your existing TFS environment to Team Foundation Server 2015. I have also included some articles which talks about the new features and compatibility with different client / server components.

What is New in TFS 2015

Team Foundation Server 2015 introduces major feature changes which includes Team Project renaming, Build vNext and addition of several extensibility capabilities. You might want to take a glance at the new features and plan on how to leverage them, post the upgrade. I am including below, some good reads that will help to get an overview of the new additions to TFS 2015.

· Here is a short summary of the new features in TFS 2015 by Brian Harry.

· Overview of Team Build 2015 here.

· Team Project rename can be found here .

· A complete list of “What’s new in TFS 2015” can be found here and here.

· New features in Visual Studio 2015 here.

Supported Upgrade paths

You can upgrade from any of the following earlier releases:

· Team Foundation Server 2013 RTM and all update levels.

· Team Foundation Server 2012 RTM and all update levels.

· Team Foundation Server 2010 with Service Pack 1

Consider using TFS Pre-Upgrade Tool if collection database size > 1 TB

· If your deployment of TFS has one or more collections that exceeds 1 TB in size, consider running the TFS PreUpgrade tool to reduce downtime. This tool can be used if you are planning to upgrade from TFS 2013 update 4 or 5. The PreUpgrade tool is capable of handling most part of the database schema changes while your TFS 2013 is online, and hence can considerably reduce the downtime required for upgrade. More information about the PreUpgradeTool can be found here

· Download TfsPreUpgrade tool from here

Pre- Upgrade Checklist

· System Requirements and Client compatibility for TFS 2015 is explained here . Most of the requirements are similar if you are upgrading from TFS 2013, but hardware/software changes might be required if you are upgrading from 2010 /2012 version.

· TFS 2015 introduces big changes to the database schema to enable new features, specifically like team project renaming. Hence the upgrade process can be a bit slow.

· ALM rangers guide on the new elements that influence the upgrade here. You can also find short lead/ long lead checklists and preparations in this article.

· Check the set value for SQL database growth. The databases would grow considerably during the upgrade process, also check the disk space available for TFS related databases as well as the Temp database. Auto growth should be set to a % value rather than a low fixed value, as it may cause the database to grow frequently during the upgrade and slow down the whole process.

· Check the SQL server performance. If you see performance issues, you might want to consider making the changes described in this blog. However, as mentioned in the blog itself, the effect of these changes would vary for different setups hence make these changes only if really necessary.

· Check the wellness of TFS databases. Here is a list of best practices blog on this.

· Do a test upgrade – this will help to get a rough estimate of the time taken for the upgrade, and also identify any roadblocks that might come up during the actual upgrade process.

· Here is a post upgrade checklist for TFS.

Compatibility for previous versions of TFS Build

TFS 2015 supports the below versions of team build:

  • TFS 2015 Build Agent
    TFS 2015 Xaml Controller
    TFS 2013 Xaml Controller
    TFS 2010 Xaml Controller

You may consider using an older build version if you plan to continue using the earlier Xaml builds.

Useful download Links

· Team Explorer Everywhere 2015

· TFS 2015 Power tools

· Agents for Microsoft Visual Studio 2015

· Pre Upgrade Tool

Hope this information helps!

Content created by – Sreeraj Rajendran
Content reviewed by – Romit Gulati

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