If your business relies on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 7 for day-to-day operations, you probably know they’re nearing the end of their respective support timelines.
What you may not know, however, is how you’re going to make the transition to a new server environment as seamless as possible.
One of the most straightforward solutions is migrating your existing platform to a cloud-based environment. Whether you’re migrating a single server or dozens, a cloud solution makes the task incredibly straightforward. At the same time, the cloud offers the added benefits of streamlined compliance, next-level security, and rapid scalability. Here’s what else you need to know so your business can use the Windows Server end-of-life dates as an opportunity for growth.
Critical Dates for Windows Server End of Life
SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2
End of support date: July 9, 2019
Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
End of support date: Jan. 14, 2020
Exchange Server 2010
End of support date: Jan. 14, 2020
What End of Support Means
Before we explore the finer details of seamless server migration, it may help to clarify precisely what it means when Microsoft ends support for one of its products. As of the dates listed above, Microsoft will no longer offer additional:
- Free security updates on-premises
- Non-security updates
- Free support options
- Online technical content updates
Why wouldn’t you want to continue using these products after their end of support dates? In short, you’re leaving your network vulnerable to cybercriminals with a platform that’s no longer protected against the latest threats. As cybercriminals figure out ways to compromise outdated networks, you’re leaving your network’s door open by using outdated systems.
The Simplest Solution
If you’re happy with how Server 2008 has worked for your organization, you’ll probably want to begin by exploring Microsoft’s newest server solution. In response to the end of Server 2008 support life, Microsoft is recommending that businesses upgrade to Microsoft Azure, and they’re offering several incentives to encourage companies to do so.
Migrating your Server 2008 platform to Microsoft Azure offers the most straightforward way to prepare your organization for Server 2008’s end-of-support life. Microsoft is currently allowing businesses to upgrade Windows Server on Azure at no additional cost.
If you choose to transition to Azure, you can hold off on upgrading to a newer edition of Windows Server VM for three years at no extra charge. That means your organization will have until Jan. 14, 2023, to continue using Server 2008 with extended security updates as long as it’s hosted on Azure. This strategy offers you a few more years either to plan for a long-term server solution or to test out the Azure environment.
If you want to get started on the road to transitioning to Microsoft Azure, Microsoft offers a few tools that allow you to get started right away. These tools include:
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit enables you to explore what hardware and software you need to make your transition to a cloud environment as efficient as possible. The tool offers automated planning and assessment features to deliver readiness reports and proposals with specific hardware and software data.
Azure Migrate is a tool within Azure that helps you quantify how prepared your infrastructure and server environment are for cloud migration. It evaluates migration feasibility along with providing specific recommendations for Azure plans based on network demands.
Azure TCO Calculator
The Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator allows you to compare the TCO for on-site infrastructure versus a comparable Azure platform, so you can quickly perform a cost-benefit analysis. If you want to explore the possibility of balancing an on-premise and remote cloud platform, the Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator can help you estimate how much you’ll save by adopting a hybrid cloud platform.
Springfield, MO, IT Solutions
If you need a little help preparing your organization for Windows Server 2008 end-of-support life, contact the experts at PCnet today. We’ll help you understand your options so you can make the best decision for your business. Whether you like the simplicity of migrating to Azure or you want to explore the possibility of building a new server environment from the ground up, our team has the skills and knowledge to use your server upgrade as an opportunity to grow your business.