Three Strategies for Windows and SQL 2008 EOL

On 9th of July 2019 support for SQL 2008 will no longer be available without additional costs – to be shortly followed by Server 2008 in 2020.

Simply put, this means no more security updates unless you pay for them.

As is common, these products are going EOL as newer versions have been available for some time. The exact details are:

  • Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019.
  • Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

Three strategies

So what are the options for businesses confronted with servers that need updating, and now have limited time to change? Here are three strategies for mitigating the risk or impact:

  • Reduce the problem – first and foremost there are likely some workloads where it is worth taking the risk around upgrading. These could be non-production workloads or low risk for other reasons. A large part of the focus should be on how quickly you can test the upgrade process. If an in-place upgrade is an option, cloning virtual machines into a test environment can be a quick way to achieve this (of course more challenging depending on how integrated the workloads are).
  • Abstract your databases – one of the challenges facing companies is the sheer number of workloads or database servers that need to be updated. In the short term, cloning some databases to either a shared database cluster or a PaaS offering (such as Azure SQL) allows testing and data migration to occur without the risk of a one-way upgrade process on a server. Separating the database from your application, and using prebuilt shared services reduces risk and can save time.
  • Migrate to Azure – Microsoft has announced it will provide three years extended support for free for workloads migrated to Azure. While this isn’t a long term strategy, three years buys a lot of time to consider appropriate upgrade paths. This is particularly important where application vendors may only support the current OS and database versions. It also allows time to consider whether you need to run your own servers and databases in future, or whether you can leverage PaaS services such as Azure SQL, or maybe Azure Logic Apps.

Where migrating to Azure can become particularly financially advantageous is if you had planned a move to Azure, and would otherwise pay for extended support. The cost of migrating to Azure can be less than the cost of extended support and therefore provides an opportunity for significant cost and risk reduction.

The cost of migrating to Azure, can be less than the cost of extended support.

End-Of-Life Offer

In support of this initiative, we are offering businesses a free initial consultation to see if a move to Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 workloads is a suitable step in the process of upgrading to later supported versions.

Offer open until the timer expires!

SQL Server 2008 - End Of LifeCountdown