There’s been a lot of speculation about Microsoft End of Support and whether or not it’s a real concern. On today’s blog, we get right down to the basics (because we know how busy IT Departments can be).
What does Microsoft End of Support mean anyway?
End of Support means simply that – end of support. The manufacturer of that software (in this case Microsoft) is no longer obligated to provide you with support for your software. You can often still use it, but it’s at your own risk.
After the end of support occurs, you will no longer receive:
- Software security patches
- Customer support
The consequence to no longer receiving the aforementioned is that you are now vulnerable to viruses and cyber attacks. Not the best position to be in.
End of Support vs End of Life: What is the difference?
End of Life
This refers to the date the product is no longer manufactured and/or supported.
End of Support
The product is no longer supported by means of patches, upgrades, customer service.
What are Microsoft’s key End of Support dates?
Windows Server 2008 – Expires Jan 14, 2020
SQL Server 2008 – Expires July 9, 2019
Exchange Server 2010 – Expires January 14, 2020
Windows Server 2012 – Expires October 10, 2023
If you’re not sure if your software will be affected by EOS, you can conduct a Microsoft’s Product Lifecycle search here.
How to Prepare for Microsoft End of Support
Depending on what software your organization is using there are EOS options available. Here is an overview:
SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2
Option 1: Azure Migration
By rehosting 2008 and 2008 R2 workloads to Azure, you will get 3 more years of security updates.
Option 2: Purchase Extended Security
If you want to keep everything on-premise, you can purchase extended security for up to 3 years.
For more information, watch the video here.
Exchange 2010 End of Support
Option 1: Migrate to Office 365
Option 2: Migrate to Exchange 2016
Option 3: Migrate your mailboxes to Office 365 and upgrade your servers by January 14, 2020
End of Support for Microsoft 7
For Microsoft 7 End of Support, your option is to Upgrade to Microsoft 2010.
Note: Microsoft 2010 has an End of Support date as well of October 13, 2020. Microsoft 365 is a great option for both EOS software. Learn more here.
SharePoint Server 2010
Option 1: Migrate to SharePoint Server 2016 or SharePoint Server 2019
Option 2: Migrate to Office 365
Why Upgrade Now?
If you decide to upgrade now rather than waiting until End of Support occurs, you’ll be making a sound investment and protecting the assets of your organization.
Come to think of it, it’s not a matter of why but more a matter of when you should upgrade. Upgrading keeps your systems up to date with the latest security patches and makes Microsoft Customer Support more accessible.
Not upgrading leaves your databases vulnerable to many threats – not just from a security perspective but from a maintenance one too. The last thing you want to have happen is your software malfunction and rather than getting things up and running again in no time – being faced with system failure.
Your company heads will need an explanation from you. Considering this kind of disaster is avoidable, it’s best to make a plan now and have it implemented before your EOS date and avoid that awkward conversation.
Need help? That’s what we’re here for. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, we can help you with your EOS game plan.
To book a Strategy Call with a member of our IT Department please submit a call request here.
Why Consider the Cloud?
We get asked this a lot by CIO’s and their staff. There is a common misconception that on-premise is safer. We get it, anything we hold of value “feels” safer close to home. However, there are pros and cons to doing this. Let’s focus on some of the benefits cloud migration could have to your organization.
Whether your organization comprises of 6 employees or 100, it is definitely worth it to plan ahead for EOS and begin the next steps now before time runs out.
If the task seems too daunting for you and not something you can allocate time and focus on, consider using a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner to step in and help make the transition as smooth as possible.