Sometimes in life we need an upgrade – it’s human to want the latest and greatest – and Microsoft is no exception. Their tried and true SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2 has served its purpose and lasted an entire decade. It is time to move on – well, almost time to move. You have until July 9, 2019 before Microsoft no longer supports either version. Microsoft has described the potential options here and we’ll discuss below what your next best steps are as you prepare your organization for this change. Remember, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month and vulnerable servers are never a good idea.
Why Should You Care? Security and Non-Compliance
The first thing to realize is that yes, this is a serious implication for your business and you do need to take action to ensure your business is not left vulnerable to security threats. Unpatched servers are the number one risk to organizations today in regards to security. In 2017, the largest data breach recorded affected over 140 million users and was caused by an unpatched server.
What Are Your Options?
Luckily you do have options – there is no one size fits all and Microsoft has allowed for various scenarios depending on what is best for your business and its current and future state. SoftwareONE Microsoft Advisory Services is here to help you determine which scenario is best for you and we lay them out for you below:
- Upgrade: Many SQL 2008/2008R2 servers can be upgraded to the latest version – often times at no extra licensing cost via Software Assurance
- Transform: Refactor or Rebuild your applications to leverage Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Migrate to Azure: This is the only option to allow an organization to maintain existing versions and editions without paying for extended support. Microsoft is extending SQL Server 2008/2008R2 support through 2022 for servers migrated to Azure.
- Pay Microsoft for Extended Support: Normally this is a last resort as the typical costs are exponentially higher than the other options listed above and can be short term focused.