Lifecycle management is an integral part of maintaining a reliable IT infrastructure. Sometimes lifecycles end because of age or workload and other times they expire due to vendor support. In the case of Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Microsoft announced that Extended Support will end on January 14, 2020. So, what does that mean to you? First, we need to understand the different phases of support. Microsoft has three: Mainstream Support, Extended Support, and Beyond End of Support.
Mainstream Support is Microsoft’s first phase of support and lasts five years. It includes the following benefits:
- Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
- Security update support
- Ability to request non-security updates
The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support, and also lasts five years. The key features of Extended Support are:
- Paid support
- Security updates at no additional cost
- Ability to request non-security updates (available only via Unified Support, a new model of support that offers comprehensive support that covers your entire organization)
- Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase.
Beyond End of Support
The Beyond End of Support phase is the final phase of the product lifecycle and lasts for three years. Here are the key things to remember.
- Request to change product design and features are not available
- Security updates are available only with the purchase of the Extended Security Update Program for up to three years. This typically costs 75% of the on-premises license cost annually.
- Technical support is provided if you purchase Extended Security Updates and have an active support plan in place on the product that has moved beyond the Extended Support date.
Server 2008 and 2008R2 are moving out of the Extended Support phase on January 14, 2020. From that date on, non-security updates will no longer be available, security updates will be available only if you pay for the Extended Security Update Program, and other vendors will diminish their support of this operating system version. If you are not prepared, this can leave your environment open to security holes, application instability, and support restrictions. To stay ahead of this deadline, contact Sikich and we can help determine the best solution for you.