FAQs: End Of Support Windows Server 2008 & SQL Server 2008

Following Microsoft’s recent announcement that it is ending Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, we have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you plan your next move.

What are the deadlines for Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008?

There are two deadlines: support will end for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on July 9, 2019; support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

What does end of Extended Support mean in practical terms?

It means that after the deadline dates there will be no further security updates issued, meaning that your critical systems will be vulnerable to attack with no remedial patches available either. Not only is that a huge operational and financial risk, it also has implications for legal compliance with certain standards.

We run both Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 – do we need to upgrade them simultaneously?

Not necessarily, but given the tight timeframes it makes sense to at least build a plan that encompasses both upgrades – and to do it quickly.

Is there any way at all to continue working with Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008?

Yes, but with conditions. There are a number of options for organisations needing to upgrade – see ‘What are my upgrade options?’ below. One of them allows for support to be maintained for a further three years at no cost – but workloads must be wholly migrated to the Azure public Cloud.

What are my options for upgrading from Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008?

There are three main choices:

Route 1 – Upgrade to the latest versions of Windows Server and/or SQL now, either on-premises or deployed in private or public Cloud, either DIY or managed

Route 2 – Go ‘as a service’ and shift the responsibility, either moving workloads onto a VM within a managed Azure environment (IaaS), or transforming the workloads to platform-based services (PaaS) and going ‘serverless’

Route 3 – As noted above, move everything into the Azure environment where Microsoft will continue support for Server and SQL 2008 for a further three years at no cost

What should be my first step?

The potential complexity and contracted timescales mean it is essential to establish – and establish quickly – which of the routes you should take so you can prioritise the planning and project execution. Redcentric is assisting organisations with this process by offering support where we work through requirements and assess what might be the optimal route given all factors.

Can Redcentric assist going forward, and if so, how?

Yes, we specialise in partnering with organisations on modernisation and transformation journeys of all kinds. We have expertise across on-premises ICT, managed services, private, public and hybrid cloud, and can help in any way – from a purely consulting or professional services perspective to complete end-to-end solution delivery, including design, delivery, project management and on-going support.

How can we be sure that we are making the right choice?

Redcentric always takes an agnostic approach in these situations. Our first aim is to help a customer understand the choices on offer, the implications of each, and the considerations that must be borne in mind. Our portfolio is such that we can help in most instances; we don’t favour one technology over another, our work and collaborations with customers are all about deciding on and then delivering the optimum route.

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