Change is something every person and organization must deal with over time. In the tech world, change means more advancements, more capabilities, and more to learn. Time for change may be now if your organization utilizes Microsoft's SQL Server and/or Windows Server 2008. The upcoming end of supports for these servers are great reasons to make the move to Azure.
EOS means that a company is ceasing support for a particular product or service. This is usually caused by upkeep costs rising; or equipment/practices being dated and outpaced by other technology on the market. You may continue using the now outdated hardware, but doing so may be risky.
What are the dangers of using technology past its EOS date?
The EOS dates for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 are July 9, 2019 and January 14, 2020 respectively. This means that now is the time to act. When researching more modern equipment, reasons for upgrading may be obvious, yet the prospect of change can be daunting. Microsoft lists three main factors to accept this change: security, compliance, and the ability to innovate.
The first reason not to wait is security. Once a technology hits its EOS date, security updates stop. This means companies will be on their own in a threat landscape that’s more dangerous than ever. Microsoft has found that 20% of organizations lose customers during an attack and 30% lose revenue.
The second consideration is compliance. Running software without security updates can break compliance requirements. Your company needs a strategy that includes uninterrupted, critical security updates.
The third reason to take action is the opportunity to innovate. Newer versions support app innovations, such as Windows server containers. Or, you could consider migrating apps and data to Azure for even more innovation with cloud services.
What are the options?
There are three main options available when trying to decide how to handle aging technology.
The first option is to do nothing and pay Microsoft for extended support. If you have a valid Software Assurance agreement or subscription-based licenses, you can pay 75% of the full license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server and continue to get extended security updates.
Another option is to upgrade your current SQL or Windows OS to the latest version. Upgrading will give you the benefit of having access to the latest security updates as they are released, and you will be able to take advantage of the latest features available in the newer versions. However, this may not be a viable option based on the applications that are being used and what versions of SQL and Windows those applications support.
A third option is to move those workloads to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft has announced that they will provide three years of extended security updates for virtual machines that are running SQL 2008/2008 R2 and Windows 2008/2008 R2 in Azure. Also, depending on your current license agreement, you may be able to use Microsoft’s hybrid-use benefit for an even greater reduction in cost. Microsoft has free tools available that make the process to move those virtual machines to Azure smooth with little downtime and no code changes. If your organization already has workloads in Azure or has been thinking about moving some workloads to Azure now is a good time.
By Jeremy Niederheiser, Communications Specialist
Jason Asbell, Solutions Architect