It’s incredible how much and how rapidly technology evolves. Microsoft’s server technology is no exception. We entered the 2008 release cycle with a shift from 32-bit to 64-bit computing, the early days of server virtualization and advanced analytics. Fast forward a decade, and we find ourselves in a full-blown era of hybrid cloud computing with exciting innovation in data, artificial intelligence, and more.
I want to thank our customers for choosing SQL Server and Windows Server to run their business and trusting Microsoft to be their technology partner. I would also like to make sure we support our customers in getting ready for the future and taking maximum advantage of today’s technologies. End of support is quickly approaching for these popular 2008 releases:
- 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.
End of support means the end of regular security updates. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks. The 2008 family of products was great for its time, but we highly recommend upgrading to the most current versions for better performance, efficiency, and regular security updates.
The upcoming end of support milestone is a great opportunity to transform your applications and infrastructure to take advantage of cloud computing and the latest versions of SQL Server and Windows Server. Customers like Allscripts rehosted dozens of applications running on thousands of virtual machines to Azure, where they can transform and develop new applications using more advanced Azure services.
We are pleased to share new options and tools to help you manage this transition to carry your organization through the next decade.
Migrate to Azure, get free Extended Security Updates
End of support is an ideal time to transform your IT estate with the cloud. But we know that it can be hard to upgrade everything before the end of support timeline. To address this need, we are pleased to announce that Extended Security Updates will be available for free in Azure for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server to help secure your workloads for three more years after the end of support deadline. You can rehost these workloads to Azure with no application code change. This gives you more time to plan your future path, including upgrading to newer versions such as SQL Server 2017 or Windows Server 2016 and utilizing the rich set of platform and data services available in Azure.
You can also move your SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments with no application code change and near zero downtime to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. It is a fully-managed database-as-a-service solution with industry leading SLAs and does not require future upgrades. Azure SQL Database Managed Instance will be generally available in early Q4 of this calendar year.
You can use existing licenses and the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save when you migrate SQL Server and Windows Server environments to Azure Virtual Machines or to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. With this benefit, customers with Software Assurance save up to 55 percent on the cost of running SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure.
Upgrade on-premises environments and stay protected
For apps and data that you want to keep running on-premises, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server and Windows Server to get the strongest security and latest innovation. SQL Server 2017 and Windows Server 2016 are the new standard for performance and efficiency, and both include built-in security features to help you harden your platform. Now is also the time to consider refreshing your server infrastructure. Today’s servers and hyperconverged solutions can deliver important security features, as well as dramatic increases in performance and cost efficiency. Microsoft partners offer a variety of Windows Server Software Defined solutions to meet your needs in the datacenter. Or consider Azure Stack for a consistent hybrid cloud solution.
For on-premises servers that need more time to upgrade, you will be able to purchase Extended Security Updates for three more years. This option is available to customers with Software Assurance or Subscription licenses under an Enterprise Agreement enrollment and can be purchased annually to cover only the servers that require the updates. It’s a great option to continue getting security updates while you upgrade or migrate to Azure.
Get started with a visit to our End of Support Resource Center
Now that you know your options, it’s time to get started. Every good migration project begins with a good plan. Start by identifying applications that are being supported by 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server, inventory the workloads, and choose the right migration and/or upgrade path for each one. Then assign the right resources and get started. To help you with your planning and migration, today we also announced innovation in our migration tools. If you have questions or need assistance, Microsoft and our partners are ready to help. For detailed guidance and resources, visit our 2008 End of Support Resource Center.
Frequently asked questions
What does End of Support for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server mean?
Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offers 10 years of support (5 years of Mainstream Support and 5 years of Extended Support) for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server. As per the policy, after the end of the Extended Support period there will be no patches or security updates, which may cause security risks. Learn more at the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy page.
What is the price for Extended Security Updates?
- In Azure: Customers running 2008 or 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure virtual machines will get Extended Security Updates for free.
- On-premises: Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates annually for 75 percent of the full license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server. Customers pay for only the servers they need to cover, so they can reduce costs each year as they upgrade parts of their environment.
When can customers purchase Extended Security Updates?
Extended Security Updates will be available for purchase as we approach the end of support timeline for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. However, we recommend customers evaluate their options now to develop a plan to modernize before the end of support deadline.
For more details, please refer to frequently asked questions for Extended Security Updates.