SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 is reaching its end of life on 9th July 2019, with support for Windows Server 2008/ 2008 R2 also set to end on 14th January 2020.
Both products are currently nearing the end of their extended support period, after which there will be no further security updates, and users will need to find alternative options.
What are the options?
There are a few migration options available to you to ensure your infrastructure and applications remain protected with the latest versions.
If you choose not to opt for the hosted route, you have the option to upgrade to SQL Server 2017 or Windows Server 2016 or 2019, which offer the latest on-premises platforms with greater security and performance.
Buy extended security updates
You can purchase extended security updates to protect your on-premises servers and desktops as a short-term solution. These can be purchased annually for three years after the end of support deadline. After that, you’ll still need to upgrade, so for most users it will be more cost-effective to choose one of the other options. The extended security updates do come with some limitations, which are outlined in a little more detail below.
Migrate from SQL Server 2008 to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance
Move your SQL Server workloads across to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. This is a cost-effective, “version-free” hosted platform, offering a fully managed database service with integrated security and performance monitoring.
Move to Azure Virtual Machines
This option provides a stop-gap solution which will buy you more time if you’re not yet ready to upgrade to SQL Server 2017 or Windows Server 2016 or 2019. Remain on SQL Server or Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 and move to Azure Virtual Machines, to receive three years of extended security updates at no additional charge. This allows you to upgrade to a newer version at your own pace, but keeps you secure in the meantime.
What are the extended security updates?
For options 2 and 4 above, you’ll be relying on the extended security updates. These offer extended protection for a maximum of three years after the end of support deadline. The platforms need to be running on the latest service pack in order to get the extended security updates.
For SQL Server 2008/2008 R2, they include security updates and bulletins rated “critical”, whereas Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 updates include those rated “critical” and “important”. The updates do not include technical support, new features, customer-requested non-security hotfixes, or design change requests.