SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 end-of-support

In July 2019, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will no longer be supported by Microsoft. It is time to move on. Well, almost time to move on. You have until July 9, before Microsoft no longer supports these versions.

For users of SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2, that means the end of regular security updates. It is critical to avoid the challenges and vulnerabilities caused by end-of-support.

End-of-support is like any lifecycle milestone – it offers businesses a chance to reassess directions and set up for the future. With the right strategies, organisations can make sure they are protected, that their infrastructure is secure and that their technology stack is future-driven.

Why does it matter?

The first thing to realise is that yes, remaining on out-of-support SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 has serious implications 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 organisations today in regards to security. Security and compliance, customer loss, damaged reputation, and missed opportunities are just some of the risks of remaining on unsupported SQL Server versions.

What are your options?

SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 end-of-support is a great business opportunity to modernise your infrastructure and future-proof your technology. We have three end-of-support options for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2.

1. Modernising to Azure SQL Database (Also known as Azure PaaS)
2. Modernising to Azure Virtual Machines (Also known as Azure IaaS)
3. Modernising to SQL Server 2017 (On-premises)

Azure cost savings

Upgrading to Azure SQL Database or Azure Virtual Machines offers many benefits such as scalability and flexibility, giving you the ability to scale resources up and down, meaning you only pay for what you use. Additionally, infrastructure costs are reduced as using Azure means there is no need for physical infrastructure.

Modernising to Azure SQL Database

In the case of Azure SQL Database (Azure PaaS), Microsoft offers a complete platform on which customers can roll-out their applications. No maintenance of the servers or operating systems is required.

Azure SQL Database combines the rich SQL Server surface area with the operational and financial benefits of intelligent, fully-managed service. Customers can migrate their SQL Server databases without rearchitecting their apps. With Azure SQL Database, you are responsible for your applications and data, but Microsoft manages everything else. They will manage the operating systems and availability and you will only pay for what you use.

Azure Virtual Machines

In the case of Azure Virtual Machines (Azure IaaS), Microsoft Azure offers virtual machines to provide you with cloud-based server resources. You decide how many servers you need, as well as their capacity. You control the instance and are responsible for the operating system. With just one click, you can access more servers or change the capacity of existing ones depending on your requirements. These changes can also be automated. For example, making servers smaller at night and bigger during office hours.

SQL Server 2017

With SQL Server 2017, your business does not just receive an updated database. SQL Server 2017 is the industry-leading data platform that provides built-in security, enhanced performance, and analytics to modernise your business. Now available also on Linux, SQL Server 2017 is the first commercial database with AI built-in. Transform your enterprise applications with a complete and robust mission-critical data platform by upgrading your current SQL Server to SQL Server 2017.

End-of-support offers for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2

Save up to 85% with Azure Hybrid Benefit

Save even more when you migrate your SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 to Azure SQL Database Managed Instances, a fully managed, “version-free” database-as-a-service, or to Azure Virtual Machines.

Extended Security Updates for on-premise environments

Customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses may purchase Extended Security Updates for 3 years of security updates for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Customers can purchase Extended Security Updates for only the servers they need to cover.

Free Extended Security Updates in Azure

Move your SQL Server workloads to Azure with no application code change, right away. This gives you more time to plan your upgrade to newer versions such as SQL Server 2017 running in Azure.

What can I do now?

We have created a guide that discusses the upgrade paths and benefits for SQL Server 2008/R2. View our guide here.

Visit our Cloud services page to find out more.