Two of Microsoft’s most popular products will soon reach End of Support with support – SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on 9 July 2019 and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ending on 14 January 2020.

Following an initial announcement earlier this year, Microsoft has subsequently released a comprehensive FAQ detailing exactly what options effected customers have.

As per their Lifecycle Policy Microsoft’s products are supported for 10 years, 5 years of Mainstream Support and 5 years of Extended Support. Once End of Support is reached a product will receive no further patches or security updates, which could potentially cause compliance and security risks.

Three End of Support options

Microsoft has provided three End of Support options for both Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008:

  1. Upgrade to the latest or more recent version of Microsoft’s Software. Either on-premise (new license, Software Assurance) or on Azure (Azure Hybrid Benefit).
  2. Extended Security Updates in Azure. Customers can move affected 2008 workloads to Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) and will receive access to Extended Security Updates for three years following End of Support deadlines for free.
  3. Extended Security Updates for on-premises environments will be made available for on-premise or hosted workloads. Customers with active Software Assurance under an Enterprise Agreement (EA, EAS, SCE) will be able to purchase Extended Security Updates annually for three years after the End of Support deadline.

The recently released FAQ provides important clarification on the above options, including but not limited to the following:

What do Extended Security Updates include?

For SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2: Extended Security Updates include the provision of Security Updates and Bulletins rated “critical” for a maximum of three years after 9 July 2019.

Is Software Assurance required to take advantage of Extended Security Updates?

Software Assurance is required for customers to purchase Extended Security Updates on-premises. On Azure, customers do not need Software Assurance to get free Extended Security Updates, but Software Assurance is required to take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit.

How much will the Extended Security Updates cost?

On-premises: Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates for 75% of the Enterprise Agreement license cost annually. Customers pay for only the servers they need to cover, so they can reduce costs each year as they upgrade parts of their environment.

When will the Extended Security Updates offer be available?

In Azure: Customers can begin migrating workloads to Azure virtual machines immediately and apply regular security updates until the End of Support deadline, at which time Extended Security Updates will become available, ensuring continuous coverage.

On-premises or hosted environments: Extended Security Updates will be available for purchase as we approach the end-of-support deadline (specific dates to be announced later). The delivery of Extended Security Updates will begin immediately after the End of Support deadline.

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Written by Tom McEwing

Tom is one of our Microsoft Licensing Specialists who advises our customers on how to get the most from their Microsoft volume licensing and contracts.