Life cycles, whether organic or electronic, exist. The promise of new and better, more features, and more security pushes us along to make sure we are current. While all the promises may not be delivered for each iteration of release, it is inevitable that we cannot stay indefinitely on the same version. Electronics fail, users push for new features, and IT wants support from vendors.
Microsoft has a few versions of their software coming into end of support, namely:
- SQL Server 2008– July 9, 2019
- SQL Server 2008 R2 – July 9, 2019
- Windows 7 – January 14, 2020
- Windows Server 2008 – January 14, 2020
- Windows Server 2008 R2 – January 14, 2020
Microsoft has an aggressive release schedule for new versions of SQL and in case you haven’t kept track, here’s a refresher of versions:
- SQL Server 2000 (4/9/2013)
- SQL Server 2005 (4/12/2016)
- SQL Server 2008 (7/9/2019)
- SQL Server 2008 R2 (7/9/2019)
- SQL Server 2012 (7/12/2022)
- SQL Server 2014 (7/9/2024)
- SQL Server 2016 (7/14/2026)
- SQL Server 2017 (10/12/2027)
- SQL Server 2019 (not quite yet released but is in preview at the time of this writing)
While a 10-year support window appears plentiful, there still exist a fair amount of SQL Server 2008 R2 instances out there.
It seems not all the long ago that I was making sure customers were transitioning away from Windows XP to Windows 7, but now it is Window 7’s time at the chopping block. Available upgrade options are to purchase new hardware running OEM software with Microsoft Windows 10, or to upgrade using licensing, namely from Microsoft 365 Business. This is a very similar offering to Office 365 Business Premium, where you lease the Office Suite installable on 5 devices, 1 TB of file storage per person, 50 GB of business class email, calendar and contacts, online meetings with instant messaging, audio, HD video chat conferencing and so forth, but also lots of security and device management features to keep you safe. In the same way that leasing Office using an Office 365 plan gets you the latest and greatest available version of Office perpetually, the same holds true for the Windows Operating system. Upgrades from the current Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 Pro versions to Windows 10 Pro come included in the Microsoft 365 Business license.
Windows Server 2008 was famous namely as it was the last of the Windows Server line that was available in 32-bit version. This was very important back in 2008 when adoption to 64-bit coding was very new. The operating system had to natively be 32-bit in order for many important line of business applications to work correctly. But the life cycle continued, and developers developed and the availability and compatibility of using a 64-bit operating system grew year over year. One of the most common things I’m doing now for companies is upgrading Windows, either by doing a swing migration or even in place upgrades. Swing migrations involve build out of a new server (almost always as a virtual machine either on premise or in the Microsoft Azure cloud) on a new operating system, installing the software (likely an upgraded version of that application as well) on the new server and migrating data. This is true for Exchange, SQL, and ERP solutions like NAV or GP.
Finding yourself in a crunch for time to upgrade before support runs out? Let the experts at Sikich bring your company up to date.