Spade Technology: Blog

Windows Server 2008 End Of Support (Questions/Answers)

The clock is set and the alarm will go off January 14, 2020. Security will become outdated without updates, jeopardizing compliance requirements, and next year will be here much faster than it seems. Here is what you need to know.

What Is Your Windows Server 2008 End-Of-Life Plan?

As Microsoft prepares to cease support for Windows Server 2008, IT staff all over the globe face a daunting task: updating an IT infrastructure. Since no new security updates or patches are released for software products once the end-of-life deadline has passed, systems administrators and IT staff are forced to address a common problem: what to do when software vendors no longer offer any type of support for an operating system that has reached its end of days.

Microsoft has cautioned that ending support will leave the operating system vulnerable to threats, including all Windows Server 2008 R2 editions:

  • Datacenter
  • Enterprise
  • Standard

What Does End Of Support Mean?

Immediately after end of life, starting January 15, 2020, those who have yet to upgrade from Windows Server 2008 are exposed to:

  • Malware
  • Viruses
  • Breaches

While there is nothing prohibiting using Windows Server 2008 R2 in your IT environment’s architecture after this date passes, there is the risk of not planning sufficient time between strategizing and deployment or launch, potentially sacrificing security for the sake of stalling until this date.

Another major point to consider: Microsoft will no longer accept warranty claims once this date passes.

Buy New Hardware Or Explore the Cloud?

Should you buy new hardware to maintain your upgraded server on site, or is it time to migrate to the cloud? Microsoft Azure has become the go-to for a cost-effective cloud solution for Windows Server compared to AWS, and a favorite for practical IT professionals. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft Azure runs on Windows Server software, making it a natural fit for Windows Server 2008 users. You can use existing licenses to save on Azure, too, and Microsoft Azure clients benefit from free extended security updates when migrating Windows Server 2008 workloads to Azure virtual machines. Deploy virtual machines in minutes in Azure’s on-demand, scalable, virtualized infrastructure.

By opting for the cloud migration path, Windows Server 2008 users can save on the cost of hardware as well as the on-site upgrades to Windows Server 2012, and potentially to Windows Server 2016 – whether now or later. There are migration tools that can help simplify the process.

How Long Will The Migration Take?

If you choose to migrate to the cloud upon the end of life for Windows Server 2008, the migration period is highly individualized, though Microsoft recommends initiating the process, regardless of on-site or cloud migration, at least six months prior to the end of life support, to allow for troubleshooting and delays. Even with thorough and detailed planning, no process is perfect and hiccups are possible.

Things To Consider:

  • Windows Virtual Machines

In seconds compared to hours for physical machines, creating Windows Virtual Machines with on-demand capacity drastically simplifies the onboarding process.

  • Security

Azure Security Center offers a variety of protections for users, including secure VPN connectivity, DDoS Protection, Advanced Threat Protection, and more.

  • Web

Web solutions, including the popular Content Delivery Network focusing on load times, is a favorite group within Azure for many users. Enjoy huge capacity and a scalable interface while avoiding new infrastructure costs.

Manage IoT assets and authenticated devices simply, including notifications and message delivery tracking. Azure’s IoT Central is a scaled platform for connecting devices and allowing users to build applications in a matter of hours – without development expertise.

Begin planning now; determine your budget, your time frame, and discuss infrastructure and strategy to prepare for end of support for Windows Server 2008, and be ready by the time the deadline approaches.

Contact Spade Technology at (508) 332-4849 to learn how we can help you plan for the end of support for Windows Server 2008 today.