How Microsoft’s end of support for 2008/2008 R2 versions of SQL and Window Servers will affect your business
Takeshi Numoto (vice president of marketing for cloud and enterprise products at Microsoft) on his blog on July 12 announced the end of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, as well as Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019. Extended support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.
What does end support mean?
End of support means the end of regular security updates. Infrastructures and applications will no longer be protected as they will not receive standard security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered will remain unresolved.
Precisely for this reason, it is important to think of a solution today to be in line with the regulations in force, for example, the GDPR and avoid being exposed to cyber attacks.
Why do businesses run SQL Server 2008?
SQL Server 2008 was released ten years ago, and four subsequent SQL servers appeared with SQL Server 2008 R2, but it seemed to withstand its popularity.
This is due to four main reasons:
- Application Compatibility – moving to a newer version can mean a much bigger update than just the Microsoft data platform.
- SQL Server 2008 is good enough – companies believe that the server meets their needs and does not see the need to switch to a newer version.
- The cost and complexity of the upgrade – until the end of life, the cost and complexity of the upgrade may outweigh the benefits.
- Lack of knowledge or skills – some enterprises could not move platforms due to a lack of own knowledge.
What This Means to Your Business When Microsoft Shutdown Support for the Servers?
Choosing to launch applications on an unsupported servers carries several important risks that your organization must take into account:
After shutting down Extended Support, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will no longer receive security updates. Without fixing vulnerabilities, your data will be at risk of a cyber attack. While physical security measures, such as a firewall or anti-virus software, can provide some protection, this is hardly enough for most organizations to be comfortable with confidential data.
With increased security risks, there is a danger of becoming inconsistent. Many industry rules and standards, such as GDPR and PCI DSS, require organizations to use supported platforms. Retailers accepting card or online payments are required to comply with vendor support, and failure to demonstrate this can make them unable to process payments in accordance with their obligations. The discrepancy has real legal and financial implications for your business, as well as the risk of loss of reputation or deterioration of relations with your customers.
- Financial expenses
Using unsupported servers is associated with a high price. Microsoft typically prevents customers from developing software for support by charging a premium for advanced security updates to distract customers from this approach. In the first year, the annual cost of this is expected to be 75% of the license value.
Organizations must maintain their software assets, and upgrading the underlying data platform is part of this process. Many organizations are already using database compatibility levels to mimic the behaviour of lower-level versions in order to avoid code corrections required by more modern servers.
The expiration of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is also approaching: starting from 9 July 2019 the security updates for this service will no longer be released, with consequent repercussions on the IT Security of the system. Microsoft offers its users two main options: migrate data to Azure, a cloud computing service that conveys modern hardware with the efficiency of latest-generation software with free security updates, or upgrade SQL Server to the 2017 version, the latest, with the possibility of extending updates security for another three years.
We are here to help you with the best solution that guarantees you high levels of security, performance and innovation for your company.