Brace yourself - Windows and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 end of support is coming 

For any company running SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, there’s a big deadline on the horizon. In July 2019, it will no longer be supported by Microsoft – and next year, the same will happen to Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. What does the end of support mean for your business and how can you prepare for such a significant change?       

In general, Microsoft’s policy is to provide five years of extended support for its enterprise products once they reach the end of their mainstream support periods. During these five years, Microsoft continues to provide free patches and fixes, as well as some additional support that costs extra. Once the extended support ends, though, the users will neither receive support nor patches.  

Overview of Server Product Lifecycle 

Find lifecycle support deadlines at http://www.support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/ 

The issue here is that the end of support is now coming for two commonly deployed server products. Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 are already on their extended support phases, with July 8 2019 for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 and January 14 2020 for Windows Server 2008/2008 being the end-of-life dates. 

This means that is high time to upgrade, modernise and transform to current versions of SQL Server, Windows Server and Azure services for more security, performance and innovation. The end of support can be problematic mainly because it leaves Server 2008 vulnerable to cyberattacks that could expose your data to theft, damage trust, and erode confidence in your business 

What does the end of support mean for your business, exactly? 

Once the support ends, your data will face the following security and compliance issues:  

Source: Microsoft, Extended Security Updates available for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. 

Fortunately, if you act fast, you can make sure your data is secure without a huge upgrade effort. There are two options for enterprise upgrades recommended by Microsoft: migrating to the Azure cloud or doing an on-premises upgrade. 

With the Azure option, you can get free extended security updates for three more years. This gets you started on your cloud journey, and keeps apps and data protected while you upgrade or rewrite applications with cloud innovation. This gives your business more time to modernize on your own terms while using your existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses to save on Azure Virtual Machines and Azure SQL Database Managed Instance with the Azure Hybrid Benefit 

For applications that must remain on-premises, though, you can upgrade to cloud-ready Windows Server 2016 or 2019 and SQL Server 2017 or 2019 for the most current security, performance, and innovative features. You can already take advantage of built-in hybrid cloud capabilities for backup and high availability or migrate later. For servers you cannot upgrade before the deadline, there’s always the possibility to purchase Extended Security Updates from Microsoft to keep server workloads protected – but this obviously comes at a price. 

Next steps 

Most likely, your enterprise faces strict business, compliance and industry regulations, and can’t afford any security breaches. Still, if you haven’t made that switch to a new version yet, you’re not the only one. There’s no better time to act than now, though, especially if you take advantage of the offer we have in store. Click below to find out more.


We’re fully aware of the challenges ahead of you, that’s why we can help you take steps to prevent data breaches, legal penalties, and essentially safeguard your environment. The first step is to assess the current state of the architecture and come up with migration options that are tailored to your business. Typical migration projects consist of several phases, but we’re ready to assist you every step of the way. In the end, it’s all about setting up your organisation for success.   

Schedule a free consultation to start weighing your options. As a Gold Microsoft Partner, we strive to deliver cutting edge and cost-effective IT solutions that give you a competitive advantage and enable your business to grow.   

Click here to access the Cloud Migration Reference Guide for the end of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2.

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