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On July 9th, 2019 the extended support for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 will end, and on January 14th, 2020 we also say goodbye to support for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2. Until these dates, you can still get support and patches. After that date, there will be no more security updates, which is a risk to your business, data, applications and infrastructure. So, what does this mean for you?

What’s the difference between end of support and end of life?

The difference is that end of support means a vendor will no longer provide security patches, hot fixes or technical support, whereas end of life means a vendor will typically no longer sell the product or offer assistance at all. End of life indicates that the product is obsolete, and it is recommended that you no longer use the product.

For Windows and SQL Server 2008, the end of mainstream support already occurred in 2014/2015. We’re now faced with the end of the extended support that Microsoft had provided, meaning January 14th, 2020 is essentially the official retirement date for these two products.

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What does the Windows 2008 and SQL Server 2008 end of life deadline mean for you?

These upcoming changes mean that if you’re still running Windows/SQL Server 2008, then now is the time to start planning your next move. While a year might seem a long time away, securely and accurately updating an IT infrastructure is a large, complicated task. If you don’t do anything, your company’s infrastructure won’t be secure when the deadline hits. Your machines will be running at your own risk – but with an ever-increasing amount of cyberattacks being reported, this isn’t recommended.

What can users of Windows 2008 and SQL Server 2008 do?

You have a few options for what you can do with the impending cut-off dates for support and life.

  • Route 1 – upgrade – The more traditional route is to upgrade to a newer version of Windows Server/SQL Server. Upgrading your version means the best and most advanced performance and security. However, there is no direct upgrade path from on-premise Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2016 or 2019. You must first upgrade to Windows Server 2012, because of compatibility issues. Then you can upgrade to Windows Server 2016 or the newly released Windows Server 2019.


  • Route 2 – migrate – If you don’t have time to upgrade your servers or you want to keep your licences for a few more years, you can move your current Windows and SQL Server 2008 to an Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure cloud environment. With this method, you get three years of Extended Security Updates from Microsoft at no additional cost. You also take advantage of Azure’s inbuilt cloud security and 70+ compliance certifications. Because of the Azure Hybrid Benefit, your Windows/SQL Server licences also mean you could save money with Azure Virtual Machines and Azure SQL Database Managed Instance.


  • Route 3 – do nothing – Microsoft will be offering extended security updates for those with a Software Assurance or Enterprise Subscription agreement. It means you can still run your servers at 75% of the cost. However, this isn’t recommended because when the end-of-life deadline hits, you are continuing to support a product that Microsoft considers obsolete. You wouldn’t be gaining any new productivity-boosting features or fixes.

How can we help you to take the next step?

Whichever route you decide to take, Perfect Image is here to help. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have teams of Microsoft experts, hosting specialists, and a tried-and-tested migration methodology. Simply get in touch with us to discuss your options and what it would mean for your organisation with a friendly expert. Take your first step towards becoming prepared against the impending deadlines today!

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Book a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your requirements with an experienced specialist. Get in touch today!

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