Migrating a Maintenance Plan from One SQL Server to Another

Have you ever had to migrate
all of the SQL Server objects from one machine to another SQL Server box? If
you have, you probably have found that Microsoft has not provided a method to
build a migration script for a maintenance plan. Since there is no easy way to
migrate a maintenance plan, most DBAs just recreate all their maintenance plans
on the new SQL Server machine. In this article I will show you a method to
migrate a maintenance plan from one SQL Server machine to another.

The process I have developed
for migrating a maintenance plan is not a simple point and click method. There
are a number of steps, both automated and manual, to perform the migration of a
maintenance plan. I will walk you through each step. Keep in mind that these
steps outline only how to migrate a single maintenance plan. If you want to migrate
multiple migration plans then you will need to run through these steps multiple

Step 1 – Determine
Maintenance Plans on Source Server

This step will determine the maintenance plans that are on the
source SQL Server machine. SQL Server has provided the sp_help_maintenance_plan
stored procedure (SP) which will display a single maintenance plan or all of
the maintenance plans. The syntax for calling this SP is:

sp_help_maintenance_plan [ [ @plan_id = ] 'plan_id' ]

If you specify a plan_id then only that plan
will be displayed. If no plan_id is passed then this SP will return all maintenance

Remember maintenance plans are stored in the
msdb database. This SP is also stored in the msdb database. To display all
the maintenance plans on a server you would execute the following command:

exec msdb.dbo.sp_help_maintenance_plan

This command returns output that displays
the plan_id, plan name, and a few other columns. On my server the following is

From this output you can see that I have two
maintenance plans. One called “Backup All Databases” and another called
“Backup Master.” The “All ad-hoc plans” is a system generated plan, that SQL
Server generated, note the plan_id.

Step 2 – Determine SQL
Server Agent Job Id for Specific Maintenance Plan

From the output displayed by
executing the sp_help_maintenance_plan you can determine the plan_id’s for each
plan on your source SQL Server machine. Next I need to determine which plan_id
I wish to migrate, then issue the following SP replacing <plan_id> with
the plan I am going to migrate:

exec msdb.dbo.sp_help_maintenance_plan '<plan_id>'

This command will identify
the databases that are referenced in the maintenance plan and the job_id assigned
to SQL Server agent Job associated with the plan_id.

From my server I have chosen
to display the information associated with the "Backup All Databases”
maintenance plan, therefore I would execute the following command:

exec msdb.dbo.sp_help_maintenance_plan 'E6B082F1-6CFD-4DDB-8B31-B031192B02AD'

When I execute the above
command I get the following output:

Step 3 – Determine Name
of SQL Server Agent Job

From the output generated in
step 2, we can see for maintenance plan_id ‘ E6B082F1-6CFD-4DDB-8B31-B031192B02AD’
the SQL Server Agent job associated with this plan has a job_id of ‘3E19AB39-0F94-465D-909A-1115997C1173’.
Passing this job_id to the ‘sp_help_job’ SP I can determine which SQL Agent job
name is associated with this maintenance_plan (plan_id).

When I execute following

exec msdb.dbo.sp_help_job '3E19AB39-0F94-465D-909A-1115997C1173'

I get the following output:

From this output you can see
that the job name is ‘DB Backup Job for DB Maintenance Plan ‘Backup All

Gregory Larsen
Gregory Larsen
Gregory A. Larsen is a DBA at Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Greg is responsible for maintaining SQL Server and other database management software. Greg works with customers and developers to design and implement database changes, and solve database/application related problems. Greg builds homegrown solutions to simplify and streamline common database management tasks, such as capacity management.

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