Maintaining Your Data’s Security After Windows SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 End of Support

Your data may be at risk as two integral Microsoft products stop receiving support in a matter of months. Server 2008 / 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2 are both in the process of reaching end of support (EOS):

  • Extended support for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 ends July 9, 2019
  • Extended support for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 ends January 14, 2020

Impact of EOS

EOS means the end of security updates, which can cause security and compliance issues along with the potential for business interruptions. You may also find it nearly impossible to protect your data against hackers and malware. Without these updates you face the threat of losing valuable data because of potential weaknesses in your environment – putting both your reputation and your business at risk.

Modernizing Your Infrastructure

By modernizing your infrastructure, you equip your business for the most advanced security, performance, and machine-learning innovations. With the largest portfolio for security and compliance certifications than any other cloud provider, modernizing with Microsoft offers secure data environments along with support for regulatory compliance.

Options to Secure Your Data Beyond Windows & SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2 EOS

The following options offer continued security updates for your SQL environment. Each option should be reviewed carefully to determine which offers the best balance between costs, benefits and migration effort for your business.

Option 1: Upgrade On-Premise Windows & SQL Server

You can upgrade your current server to a supported Windows Server OS and your database to a supported version of SQL Server. Any supported version will receive security updates, but upgrading to Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2017 offers improved features, greater security and the longest available support lifespan. If you have Software Assurance, then you can upgrade your current licensing at no additional cost. If you do not have Software Assurance, then you must purchase new licensing.

Option 2: Purchase Extended Security Updates

To delay upgrading your SQL environment, Microsoft is offering extended security updates for three additional years. For those of you with software that requires a 2008 version, this will allow you to continue to use and secure Windows and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2. To qualify for extended security updates for your on-premise SQL environment, you must have an Enterprise Agreement with active Software Assurance. If you meet this requirement, then you can purchase the extended support annually at 75% of the cost of your current server licensing.

Option 3: Migrate to the Cloud with Azure

Another option for those who utilize software that requires a 2008 version is migrating your SQL environment to versions of Windows and SQL Server to Azure virtual machines. If you migrate your on-premise Windows and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2 to a Windows and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2 Azure virtual server, then you will receive free extended security updates for the three more years that they are offered.

If you have Software Assurance for SQL Server, then you can also take advantage of Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. Through this option, you will use your existing licensing to save up to 55% of the cost or running your SQL environment in Azure.

Another cloud option is migrating your SQL environment to Azure SQL Database, which runs the latest Enterprise Edition of SQL Server on a database platform instead of a virtual machine. Azure SQL Database comes with features that would normally require configuration on an on-premise or virtual server. It also comes with some features not offered with SQL Server. Azure is an option that offers businesses increased ROI, scalability and security. If you are interested in learning more about hosting your SQL environment in Azure, contact an Anders advisor.

The Anders Technology Services Group can create and implement a plan to keep your company’s data secure through Microsoft’s EOS and End of Life (EOL). Contact an Anders advisor to learn more.