End of support for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
Organisations choose Microsoft’s SQL Server and Windows Server to run their complex data requirements such as data warehousing, Web-enabled databases or e-commerce. SQL Server accommodates for different workloads and demands to suit an organisation’s specific needs. End of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is less than a year away, so it’s important to start planning for the future to maintain and improve your business functions and for your data to remain secure.
What’s happening and when
Extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ends 9th July 2019.
While Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ends on 14 January 2020.
What happens if you do nothing
When a product no longer has support regular security updates stop. This leaves organisations vulnerable to cyber threats, like the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack that affected the NHS’s unsupported Windows XP systems. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated and regular, running apps and data on unsupported versions create significant security and compliance risks.
With the introduction of the new GDPR regulations this year – the maximum fine that can be imposed following a data breach is 4% of turnover or 20M Euros. Therefore ensuring all systems, especially database servers are fully patched and supported becomes particularly important, as the financial penalty following a breach could be substantial.
The end of support is an opportunity to take a closer look at your SQL Server and Windows Server assets. Is your current situation a forgotten part of your IT estate i.e. it just works, and no one gives it a second thought? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Is it safe? – Are the back-ups reliable? Are the back-ups tested? Is it patched correctly or is data at risk due to unsupported software?
- Is it efficient? – Do you have poorly configured databases
- Is it a potential can of worms? – Co-hosting services and legacy systems can become complex and inefficient.
- Is it over licensed? – Are you wasting money on ineffective licensing?
All is not lost. On 12th July 2018, Microsoft announced that free Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will be available in Azure virtual machines.
Move to Azure
Migrate to Azure, get free Extended Security Updates
End of support can be an ideal time to transform your IT estate with the cloud. However, it can be a race against time to upgrade everything before the end of support happens.
This is why Microsoft has made extended Security Updates available, for free, in Azure for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server. This will give you an extra three years after the end of support deadline to help secure your workloads. You can host workloads to Azure with no application code change and near zero downtime to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. This gives you more time to plan your move to newer versions such as SQL Server 2017 or Windows Server 2016.
Staying on premise?
Upgrade on-premises environments and stay protected
Upgrading to the latest version of SQL Server and Windows Server is recommended for apps and data that you want to keep running on-premises. This will ensure that you to get the strongest security and latest innovation.
For on-premises servers that need more time to upgrade, you will be able to purchase Extended Security Updates for three more years. This option is available to customers with Software Assurance or Subscription licenses under an Enterprise Agreement enrolment and can be purchased annually to cover only the servers that require the updates.
You can use existing licences and the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save when you migrate SQL Server and Windows Server environments to Azure Virtual Machines or to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. With this benefit, customers with Software Assurance save up to 55% on the cost of running SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure.