SQL Server 2008 Reaches the End of its Life This Year

This year is a pivotal one for some legacy applications. Extended Support for SQL Server versions 2008 and 2008 R2 is ending in July, to be followed 6 months later by the end of Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. The clock is ticking for enterprises to migrate or upgrade their systems.

According to Dave Bermingham, SIOS Technology's Technical Evangelist and MS Cloud MVP, there are several alternatives businesses can explore to prepare their applications to migrate or upgrade.

“What I’ve found is that many people are stuck on those versions due to the applications they support not being upgraded at the same time,” said Bermingham, “Microsoft is seeing the same thing and realizing that those customers would be left some hard decisions to make. Microsoft has decided to give people three more years to make that migration off that older platform.”

With these SQL Server versions reaching the end if its life cycle, Microsoft will stop providing security updates. If a new vulnerability was discovered on that platform, users would be left without any defense against it, Bermingham explained.

What Microsoft is offering is extended security updates for critical security issues, according to Bermingham. What they won’t do is any deep root cause analysis or deep product changes that are security related.

Businesses have a few options to avoid being locked out, Bermingham said. They can move that SQL Server instance into the Azure cloud, rehosting the instance as an infrastructure as a service.

By moving to Azure companies can take advantage of newer processors, storage options to extend the life of software while improving performance, or use the cloud infrastructure to deploy high availability and disaster recovery configurations that may have been cost prohibitive on premise, according to Bermingham.

Or Companies can purchase the extended security updates at the cost of 75% of the actual license of the software.

“What will have to happen is, people will need to take these next three years realizing that there is an end to the road and they will have to take the steps to move the applications to a newer version of SQL Server and continue as is or look at cloud services and migrate their applications,” Bermingham said.