In my previous blog I mentioned that life support for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 (the link for this can be found here). At the time there was very little information on options moving forward, of course company’s aren’t forced too abandon it however with threats becoming more advanced it would be silly to try and keep it after life support ends.

The first option is to migrate to Azure

Microsoft know that this can be a challenge for customers to have everything upgraded before the deadline. To counteract this Microsoft have announced that they are making Extended Security Updates available for free in Azure for 208 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server for up to three years after the deadline. It is also possible to move both SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments without having to alter the code and with almost zero downtime too the database instances. Azure SWL Database Managed Instance is due to be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Existing licenses can still be used with the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save when customers migrate SQL Server and Windows Server environments to Azure VM’s or to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. Using this Microsoft have said that it could potentially save customers up to 55% in general costs when running the server in Azure.

The second option is to upgrade the on-premise environment

For apps and data that customers want to keep running on-prem, Microsoft recommend that customers upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server and Windows Server to obtain the latest security updates. SQL Server 2017 and 2016 are the new default for performance and efficiency, they both include in built security features to help protect the platform even more. For this option however for the Extended update support Microsoft have said that customers will need to pay for it.