Microsoft Ends Support for SQL Server 2008; Urges Move to Azure

With today marking the end of extended support for Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008, John 'JG' Chirapurath, Microsoft Azure’s GM of data, blockchain & AI, posted a blog entry yesterday urging customers to consider the company’s Azure cloud service. In addition, Microsoft announced two data platform advancements.

“As we reach end of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, and with just 6 more months until the end of support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, there’s never been a better time to secure and modernize these older workloads by moving them to Azure,” wrote Chirapurath, in the post, titled “Thanks for 10 years and welcome to a new chapter in SQL innovation.”

New Options

Chirapurath thanked customers for their broad use of the SQL Server 2008 over the past 10 years across applications, data marts, data warehousing, and business intelligence, and noted, “Whether you prefer the evergreen SQL of Azure SQL Database managed instance which never needs to be patched or upgraded, or if you need the flexibility and configurability of SQL Server hosted on a Azure Virtual Machine with 3 free years of Extended Security Updates, Azure provides the best choice of destinations to secure and modernize your database.”

Users can also choose to upgrade on-premise to SQL Server 2017 and for continued protection beyond the deadline, buy up to 3 years of Extended Security Update to cover only the workloads they need while they upgrade.

Microsoft continues to invest in innovation with SQL Server 2019 and Azure SQL Database, according to Chirapurath, who pointed to just-added and upcoming capabilities.

New Capabilities

Azure SQL, in preview now, offers a simplified portal experience for SQL databases in Azure, Chirapurath said. Azure SQL will provide a single pane of glass through which to manage Azure SQL Databases and SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. Additionally, available now, customers can register their self-installed (custom image) SQL VMs using the Resource Provider to access benefits such as auto-patching, auto-backup, and new license management options.

In addition, available later this month, the SQL Server 2019 big data clusters preview combines SQL Server with Apache Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System for a unified data platform that enables analytics and AI over all data, relational and non-relational. 

For more information on moving database workloads to Azure, go to and