Your Options - SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 End of Support

Microsoft has announced the end of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. This means your systems could be vulnerable to security threats and may not be compliant with certain industry regulations.  However, with the end of support comes an opportunity not only to upgrade, but an opportunity to transform…

End of support is less than 1 year away

SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 - Extended support ends on the 9th July, 2019
Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 - Extended support ends on the 14th January, 2020

So what are your options?

1.Upgrade On-Premises

If you are not ready to move your compute or applications to the cloud you could upgrade to a newer version of Windows Server or SQL Server. Depending on the type of workload, you can either perform a migration to a new server OS or perform an in-place upgrade. Its worth noting that an in-place upgrade can only be performed to the current version from the previous two versions.

2.Purchase Extended Security Updates

If you are unable to make changes in the short term, is to purchase Extended Security Updates to get 3 more years of security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2.

3.Migrate Your Server to Azure

The first option you could consider is to simply migrate your VMs into Azure. This will provide free Extended Security Updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 for 3 years after the deadline. Once the VMs are in Azure you can look at ways to migrate or upgrade the server to a newer version such as 2016 or 2019.

4.Migrate SQL to a Managed Instance

Migrating your SQL databases to an Azure SQL Database Managed Instance offers a version-free option.

So what now?

Its critically important that you thoroughly assess your current workloads before any upgrade or migration and make an inventory of what you have discovered. There are several free tools to help you perform an assessment that are worth using such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit and Azure Migrate.

If you choose to migrate to Azure, remember…

  • With Azure Hybrid Benefit you can save up to 55% on the cost of Azure resources. Take a look at your licensing and see if you have Software Assurance to take advantage of these savings.
  • Used Reserved Instances on Azure to make even greater savings.

Don’t forget these useful tools and resources:

Azure Migration Center

If you are planning a migration to Azure then look at the Azure Migration Center which collects together a set of excellent tools and workflows to help you assess, plan out and perform a move to Azure. For example Azure Site Recovery for migrating Servers into Azure, and the Database Migration Assistant for migrating SQL services

Windows Server Upgrade Center

For upgrades from Server 2008 R2 to any newer operating system it is also worth checking out the new Upgrade Center which lets you select which OS you are wanting to upgrade from and it will give you a step by step guide from assessment, upgrades to post upgrade.

Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center also has some excellent features such as one click backups to Azure which can be used to backup, test and move your Windows Server into Azure and the Storage Migration service for moving servers with file services roles.

Need advice?

Whether you are looking to upgrade or migrate SQL Server or Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, we can help you to assess, plan and upgrade or migrate your resources in Azure or on-premises. Once you have your workloads onto their new platform we can help you optimize and look at transforming your IT platforms. Get in touch if you’d like to talk things over.

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