If you’re running Windows Server or SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2, these versions are reaching the end of their support lifecycle on January 14th 2020. Each version is backed by a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years for Mainstream Support and 5 years for Extended Support) including regular security updates.
End of support means the end of security updates, which can cause security and compliance issues and put applications and business at risk.
What are the options:
- Pay for Extended Support Updates
- Move the workload to Azure and get free Extended Support Updates
- Upgrade to system that is in support
- Run at risk with Server 2008 / R2
Lets take a look at each option in a bit more detail:
Pay for Extended Support Updates
For those wishing to continue with the status quo and continue getting security updates (for up to 3 more years) then Microsoft provide the option to purchase this service.
These updates are provided via the normal Windows update process but only offered to the systems with the new ESU key applied to them, this way companies will not need to adjust their update processes.
If like most people you are running a virtualised environment, then the ESU costs are calculated from the licenses required to cover the host systems which that virtual machine could be run from.
This option is only available to customers with active software assurance on the server licenses and must continue the software assurance whilst also paying for the Extended Security Updates (ESU). The ESU costs are roughly 75% of the license cost and available in a year SKU followed by year 2 and then year 2, with the prices typically doubling every year……. seriously expensive !!
Move the workload to Azure for free Extended Support Updates
For those companies who cant upgrade their services to take advantage of the newer operating systems before the support date arrives, Microsoft has come up with an interesting solution. – Lift and Shift your system to Azure and get up to 3 years of ESU for free.
Whilst this will still be a challenge for many companies as its the change to their Line of Business Applications which is the problem, Microsoft has got a few tools to help with this process, and whats more most are free.
If migrating your services to an Azure datacenter is still a concern to your IT security teams, then why not consider Azure Stack, and run your own little bit of of Azure in your own datacenter.
Upgrade to a system in support
This is the best option but if it was that simple it would have been upgraded already right ?
Run at risk
This is in effect the “do nothing” option, and carries significant risks.
Fines from regulatory bodies such as the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) following the GDPR guidelines for customer data leaked due to a companies negligence of not updating their systems could be fined as much as 4% of turn over.