The end of support for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 is on the horizon. If you don’t want your business to be left behind, now is the ideal time to plan your upgrade and migrate to a newer version.
But what will happen when the server support ends? And what happens to your system if you fail to update your outdated server? Are you ready for the change?
In this blog, we discuss some of the key consequences of unsupported servers and what they could mean for your business.
No more security updates
The end of Windows and SQL Server 2008 support means that Microsoft will pull the plug on any further security updates. As a result, without upgrading, you’ll be running unsupported machines at your own risk.
By keeping your servers up-to-date, you can take advantage of Microsoft’s commitment to continuously fixing bugs, solving performance issues and recognising security vulnerabilities. However, without the upgrade, when support ends these critical issues will remain unfixed.
Worse still, unsupported systems are often specifically targeted and exploited by cyber criminals. In fact, the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 showed 98 percent of affected businesses used an outdated version of their operating system.
It’s also important to note that Microsoft will offer security updates and bug fixes through extended support, which are free when you migrate to Azure.
Did you know that when Microsoft ended support for Windows server 2003, 30 percent were still deployed after the deadline?
Needless to say, unsupported machines are not only vulnerable to malicious attack, they also fail to meet compliance standards. Various protection regulations require regulated industries to run on supported platforms. These include:
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
- SOX (The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the "Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act")
- Dodd-Frank (The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act)
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in reputational damage and high penalty fees. The GDPR, for instance, can fine non-complying companies with a bill of up to four percent of their annual turnover.
On the other side of the coin, companies who decide to migrate their workloads to Azure will ensure that their data practices remain compliant with the help of Microsoft’s Trust Center.
Increased operational costs
Running and maintaining legacy servers is expensive. Not only do unsupported systems require better IT security, but experts suggest that the ability to maintain legacy infrastructure is incredibly difficult and expensive.
And yet, it’s been found that large federal organisations are still paying millions to Microsoft to support long end-of-life products, such as Windows XP and Server 2003.
Furthermore, aging servers slow down system performance. This means that your business will pay the price when it comes to efficiency and your work may suffer due to the increased risk of system downtime.
By contrast, moving to a new server comes with a range of new features that could improve security, boost performance and help to streamline your processes.
Don’t let your system suffer
When Microsoft ends its support of Windows and SQL Server 2008, businesses who fail to update will feel the brunt of the change. Ultimately, without upgrading, you could suffer from decreased IT security, a lack of compliance, or increased operational costs.
Luckily, there are options. Microsoft are offering free extended security updates for three years on Azure. By migrating your workloads to Azure, you will have access to extended security updates for both Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2.
Don’t leave it too late. To understand more about what end of support means for your business, book a free assessment.