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Will Your Database Be Losing Support?

We’ve reached the end of the road for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Extended Support ends for these products on July 9, 2019 – just weeks away. What does that mean?

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We’ve reached the end of the road for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Extended Support ends for these products on July 9, 2019 – just weeks away. What does that mean?

We’ve reached the end of the road for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Extended Support ends for these products on July 9, 2019 – just weeks away.

What does that mean?  Generally, Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offers 10 years of support. For SQL Server, that means 5 years of Mainstream Support (i.e. Service Packs) and 5 years of Extended Support. After that 10-year period there are no patches or security updates. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks.

Regardless of which version of SQL Server you are running, we highly recommend that you maintain some level of support for your apps and data. If your deployed version is Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 on-premises, you have a few options.

Purchase an Extended Support Plan

If you have no appetite for changing anything about your database environment, you can purchase an Extended Support Plan from Microsoft. This option buys you three years and you can expect to pay 75% of the cost for a full license of the current version annually – a steep penalty to maintain the status quo.

Upgrade

Performing an upgrade is the default option for most IT organizations. However, if you go this route, be prepared for sticker shock. Starting with SQL Server 2012, Microsoft transitioned its licensing to a “vCore” model. Many companies today run virtualized to reduce costs. Microsoft recognized this trend and changed how its products are licensed – resulting in significant cost increases per installation of SQL Server. Indeed, many have withheld upgrading from SQL 2008 / R2 for this very reason.

Migrate Infrastructure to the Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft recently announced 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 workloads for three more years after the end of support deadline. This means that if you migrate the Windows Server upon which SQL Server runs, they will provide an Extended Support Plan at no additional cost. This is attractive, because it gives you more time to plan your future path, including upgrading to newer versions such as SQL Server 2017 or Windows Server 2016. But delay no further – you’ve been warned.

Migrate to Azure SQL Database

Moving to Azure SQL Database, Microsoft’s “Database as a Service” offering, is far and away the most secure, most cost-effective solution. However, it does come with some risks. As part of the migration process, your database/s will need to be analyzed for compatibility with Azure SQL Database (running SQL Server 2017). From that analysis, some remediation steps may be required.

Running your databases in Azure offers these benefits:

  • Managed Instance – no server to manage
  • Security Updates – latest and greatest threat protection and cybersecurity protection
  • Disaster Recovery – backups and failover are built in
  • Pay for What You Use – no hefty one-time license fees

How blum can help

As you work through a solution to the end of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, we’re here to help. blum’s qualified database administrators can assess and discover on-premise databases that are out of compliance and recommend a path to the cloud. Once migrated, our outsourced database management services can provide around the clock protection and support.

We believe that data, the fuel of the digital economy, can be managed in the same way as email services – with outsourcing. Very few companies today manage their own email servers. When it comes to productivity, Office 365 and cloud computing has won the day. Similarly, data and databases are essential, requiring capital to support and qualified personnel to manage. Is that your core competency? If not, migrate your databases to cloud services and let your outsourcing partner ensure that your data is available and ready, both for apps and decisions.

 

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