If you’re using SQL 2008 or 2008R2, you need to be aware that the extended support for those ends on July 9, 2019. This means the end of regular security updates which leads to more vulnerabilities, and the software won’t be updated, and you’ll have out of compliance risks.
The best option would be with either a migration or an upgrade, but Microsoft has some options in place to help people out as they understand this can be easier said than done when you have applications that need to be upgraded and you must figure out how best to handle that.
That being said, upgrading provides better performance, efficiency, security features and updates, as well as new technology features and capabilities within the whole stack of SQL products (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS).
Here are some options that Microsoft is offering to help with the end of support of 2008/2008R2:
- First, they are going to extend security updates available for free in Azure for 2008/2008R2 for 3 more years. So, if you simply move your workload to an IaS VM in Azure, you’ll be supported without requiring application changes. You’ll have to pay for those virtual machine costs but it’s still a good deal to get you started.
- You can migrate your workloads to Managed Instances, which will be in GA by the end of 2018. This will be able to support all applications out there, so you can start the transition up into Azure.
- You can take advantage of the Azure hybrid licensing model to migrate to save money on licensing. With this you can save up to 55% on some of your PaaS SQL Server costs, but only if you have Enterprise Edition and Software Assurance.
- For on-premises servers that need more time to upgrade, you’ll be able to purchase extended security service plans to extend out 3 years past the July 2019 date. So, if you’re struggling to get an application upgraded and validated, they’ll extend that out for a fee. Again, this is for customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses under an Enterprise Agreement. These can be purchased annually and to cover only the servers that need updates.
- Extended security updates will also be available for purchase as they get closer to the end of support, for both SQL Server and Windows Server.
Again, the first choice would be to upgrade or migrate those databases and move to Azure, but there are some challenges with doing so, and if none of those options work, there are some great options to extend your support.
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