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We are currently hosting our ArcSDE geodatabase on SQL Server 2008 SP3.

I was wondering if there'd be any type of performance boost if we jumped up to 2008 R2?

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    What version of ArcGIS are you using? What geometry storage type are you using? Even if there is no performance benefit, the native geometry implementation at R2 is probably better, and you're more likely to have compatibility with modern ArcGIS releases. As a rule, the best way to find out if you'll have a performance improvement is to benchmark a representative sample in both releases on a test host under identical load; it's the only way to be sure. – Vince Oct 28 '14 at 1:34
  • Is there option to go to SQL server 2012 (even in your test environment)? – Mapperz Oct 28 '14 at 1:50
  • @Vince Currently running 10.1 SP1 and storage is high precision ESRI Binary. – geogeogeo Oct 29 '14 at 3:47
  • @Mappers do you know if you can install 2012 right on top of 2008? We have a large amount of version that we can not get delete. – geogeogeo Oct 29 '14 at 3:55
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There are no known issues of performance degradation with upgrading to SQL SERVER 2008 R2. In the recent times the only bug that I can think of is [NIM082657:When working with an SQL Server 2012 geodatabase and Geometry or Geography type data, ArcMap drawing performance is slower than it was using SQL Server 2008. This affects all rendering and editing operations]

Be cautious, check the compatibility page for your ArcGIS version, take a backup and upgrade to SQL SERVER 2008R2

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