February 25, 2019

Microsoft is Ending Support for Common Products – Is Your Company Prepared?

Within the next two years, Microsoft will be retiring several commonly used products through their End of Life (EOL) initiative, including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Office 2010 programs. Using these products after they reach EOL could cause security risks for businesses. To best prepare your company for this mass extinction of support, it is important to educate yourself about what EOL entails and then develop a plan to protect your business.

What is EOL?

When a Microsoft product reaches the point in its lifecycle where it is no longer covered by Mainstream or Extended Support, then it is at EOL. After its EOL date, the product will no longer receive security patches, bug fixes or technical support. This will leave the product, and consequently your IT environment, vulnerable to new cyber threats and technical issues. Lack of patching may also lead to compliance issues. It’s important to have a plan of action if you currently run on these EOL versions.

How do I develop an EOL Plan of Action?

Step One: Perform an audit of Microsoft products

Review your Microsoft products and take note of those that are reaching EOL. Below is a full list of EOL products and services for 2019 and 2020.

Operating Systems (OS)

  • Windows 7 – January 14, 2020
  • Windows Server 2008 – January 14, 2020
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 – January 14, 2020

Microsoft Products & Services

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – July 9,2019
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 – July 9, 2019
  • Exchange Server 2010 – January 14, 2020
  • Office 2010 desktop – October 13, 2020
  • SharePoint Server 2010 – October 13, 2020
  • Project Server 2010 – October 13, 2020

During your Microsoft products audit, you should also be on the lookout for other products still in service that are already past their EOL dates. You can search for a product’s lifecycle and determine if it has reached EOL.

Step Two: Review your options & determine your plan

For each of the Microsoft products nearing EOL, there are options that will allow you to continue to secure your IT environment. Each option should be reviewed to develop the best plan for your environment. In general, your options are as follows:

  1. Upgrade to a Microsoft product with current support, which may involve purchasing new devices and licenses
  2. Migrate products to cloud services
  3. Implement a hybrid solution that utilizes both upgraded on-premise devices and cloud services

If you are unsure of how to begin your EOL Plan of Action, Anders Technology is here to help. As Microsoft Partners, we can review your IT environment and assist you with developing a plan that utilizes the most secure and cost-efficient option for your company. Contact an Anders advisor to learn more.

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