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After upgrading ArcGIS for Server to version 10.4, services that consume data in geodatabases in SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 no longer function.
ArcGIS Server logs show messages indicating "Connection was attempted with an older version of SQL Server client communications software that is not supported."
Beginning with ArcGIS 10.4, SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 are no longer supported.
Upgrade to SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014, which are supported at ArcGIS 10.4
Customers who must continue to have access to their SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 geodatabases while planning their upgrade to SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014, can upgrade the SQL Server client on the ArcGIS for Server machine to SQL Server 2012 Native Client or Microsoft ODBC Driver 11, and restart the ArcGIS Server Windows service.
If a customer has moved to ArcGIS 10.4, but has connections to older geodatabases in SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Esri Support will attempt to reproduce the issue with SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014. If the issue cannot be reproduced on a supported version of SQL Server, the customer will be asked to update their version of SQL Server. Also, customers who move to ArcGIS 10.4 but are still using SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 will not be able to create a new geodatabase until they upgrade SQL Server to a supported release.