It seems like we just went through this with Windows Server 2003, but we’ll soon be losing yet another Microsoft flagship product.

While Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 reached their end-of-mainstream support on January 13, 2015, the final blow will come on January 14, 2020, when Microsoft officially ends its support for Windows Server 2008 and the 2008 R2 editions. The date also marks the end-of-support for Windows 7 Operating Systems.

Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 variants are already on their extended support phase now. July 8, 2019 will be the final date for SQL Server 2008, while January 14, 2020 will come shortly after. Once these dates hit, you will be running machines at your own risk in this saturated age of cyber-attacks.

So, if you’re still running Hyper-V on a Windows Server R2 platform, or worse, you’re still running Windows Server 2003,  you need to start weighing your options for IT Infrastructure for 2020.

Post-Upgrade Solutions for Managing Your Old Servers

While Microsoft continues to provide help for customers with Server 2008 through extending support agreements, they too will no longer be able to receive any form of support from Microsoft come January 14, 2020, leaving many business systems open and exposed to outside infiltration. All three Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2 (Datacenter, Enterprise, and Standard) will be affected, also including the Hyper-V role.

Thankfully, Microsoft has opened cost-effective paths for businesses to begin their infrastructure evolution.

Let’s look at two options.

  • Path #1: Seen by many as the traditional evolutionary path, consider upgrading to a newer version of Windows Server and SQL Server. This is where you get the most updated features in today’s security landscape. The latest versions are Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2017.
  • Path #2: Not interested in upgrading to the latest server versions? There are options for those who wish to continue using Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, including moving these workloads into the Azure cloud using Azure’s Hybrid Use Benefits. The only cost incurred is the computing instance and infrastructure. With the use of Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances for Windows Server, you can save further on computing costs.

The Risks of Ignoring Unsupported Infrastructure

And then there’s the choice to not evolve at all. However, this leaves many servers, including files or databases, as not receiving needed defenses to stop cyber-attackers.

Remember that once a product reaches its end-of-life, no new features, fixes, or updates will occur.

Staying With Your Current Server in the Interim

You can continue to use Windows Server 2008 R2 safely in your environments, at least until the expiration date. But by doing so, you stand the risk of missing out on several new features being introduced to the Hyper-V family on any Server 2012 operating system. These features alone warrant an upgrade to your infrastructure prior to the end-of-life support dates.

Help with IT Infrastructure Transformation

Clare Computer Solutions will assist in making sense of the dynamic landscape in technology. If your business wants a second opinion or just a helping hand, any of our team members would be happy to assist you with making your transition as smooth as possible.

Reach out today to begin discussing your options in greater detail.