Needed few clarifications on migrating my existing Tridion 2011 to Tridion 2013 SP1.

Firstly we do not want to disturb our existing environment unless we are sure that Tridion SP1 is working fine. So we are thinking of an approach where we purchase a new license and upgrade the Tridion 2011 databases to 2013 SP1 using the powershell scripts and install the Tridion package specifying the upgraded databases freshly instead of performing the long upgradation steps given in the Tridion documentation. After the install we will install all my extensions and tools once again. If everything works fine then in the end I'll once again update the current Tridion 2011 databases and switch those to the new Tridion 2013 SP1 in the content manager configuration settings.

This approach is mainly to avoid the downtime of our production environment and to make sure our installation doesn't screw our existing environment.

Please share your thoughts in this approach.

Thanks in advance.

  • The Content Delivery server upgrade is much more difficult to arrange/plan than the CMS upgrade. I've heard rumos of some backwards compatibility between a 2013 CD server and 2011 CMS server - although it might be unofficial, it might work and buy you the time to finish the CMS upgrade after the CD upgrade.
    – robrtc
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 11:33

2 Answers 2


The upgrade of production system should always be planned and tested, which is why I would expect you have something of a DTAP stream.

In that case you would first "experiment" with the upgrade on your Dev environment, then you can check if it's working in your Test and/or Acceptance environment and know you have a safe process which you can follow in your Production environment.

Depending on your contract you might already have the necessary licenses you require, else I would indeed recommend you get an additional license for your dev/test machine, to experiment with the upgrade before applying it yo your production environment.

I don't see what you mean with the lenghty upgrade process, in my opinion it is just as long as a new install. Although it never hurts just upgrading the database and installing a fresh CMS server. But in case you have extension installed and configurations set, you will still have to add those on your fresh install also.


Reviewing the documentation it would appear you first need to upgrade to Tridion 2011 SP1

You can upgrade to the current version of SDL Tridion from the following versions:

  • SDL Tridion 2013 SDL Tridion 2011 SP1 HR2 (Hotfix Rollup 2)
  • SDL Tridion 2011 SP1 HR1 (Hotfix Rollup 1)
  • SDL Tridion 2011 SP1
  • SDL Tridion 2009 SP1

As Bart mentions, if you have a DTAP setup (which is highly recommended), and a well planned upgrade (taking lessons from upgrading DEV & QA first), it need not interfere too much with your production environment. The upgrade itself can be performed in a very small window of time.

Have you considered a phased upgrade:

http://www.building-blocks.com/thinking/upgrading-to-sdl-tridion-2013-the-staged-upgrade/ (also applies to Tridion 2013 SP1)

Alternatively, spinning up a parallel environment, and then switching DNS entries for your content manager url's is a common approach, but may (depending on your agreement with SDL) require additional licences.

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