Organizations that are still using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or the 2008 R2 version past their end of support date, which occurred on July 9, 2019, could be putting their organizations at risk. Instead, businesses should strongly consider migrating to a newer solution that still receives support, along with the new functionality that comes from more recent SQL server offerings.
The options for migrating from SQL Server 2008 are to upgrade to cloud-based Microsoft Azure offerings or use newer versions of on-premises solutions, such as Microsoft SQL Server 2017 or 2019.
Why Migrate Following SQL 2008 End of Support?
Once the SQL 2008 end of support date passed, Microsoft stopped providing security patches, feature upgrades, bug fixes, and other technical support. As such, businesses still using SQL 2008 and 2008 R2 could face cybersecurity risks while the products lose support and updates. They also lose the ability to integrate with newer versions of other products.
Microsoft products (along with many other types of software and devices) naturally go through a product lifecycle where support eventually ends. Other upcoming end of support dates in 2020 for products like Windows 7 and Office 2010 underscore the need to migrate to newer solutions that can help prevent cyberattacks and offer greater functionality.
For example, Office 365 offers cloud-based versions of popular products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so employees can improve collaboration and easily work remotely. At the same time, Office 365 offers security features like AI-powered cyberthreat identification and the ability to remotely wipe data from a lost or stolen device.
Similarly, migrating your SQL Server to an Azure SQL Managed Instance offers cloud-based benefits such as scalability, while also providing security features like data encryption. Integrating databases in Azure with Office 365 applications like Excel can then provide the most up-to-date functionality, and unlike with SQL 2008 end of support, you would continue to receive security patches and other support with these newer products. In fact, with an Azure SQL Managed Instance, Microsoft will handle the server patching for you. You just need to focus on your data and your applications.
Other Migration Options Following SQL 2008 End of Support
In addition to using an Azure SQL Managed Instance, businesses have a few other options for migrating due to SQL Server 2008 end of support. For one, SQL Server can also run on Azure virtual machines, which may work best for migrations that require operating-system-level access, as Microsoft explains.
And while migrating to the cloud works well for many businesses, some organizations prefer or require an on-premises solution, as in instances where data needs to be maintained on-site for compliance purposes. In that case, businesses can migrate to a more recent SQL offering, including SQL Server 2017 or SQL Server 2019, in order to still receive product support.
Because there are a variety of options to consider when planning how to handle SQL 2008 end of support, it’s often more efficient and effective to work with a certified Microsoft partner like Peters & Associates. We have deep expertise across both cloud-based and on-premises Microsoft products, and we can help your company assess your options to make a seamless migration together.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options for upgrading from SQL 2008 due to its end of support, and learn more about how you can prepare your business for other upcoming Microsoft end of support deadlines.