If your company is using SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2, Microsoft is ceasing support next summer. The official word straight from Microsoft’s mouth is that “on July 9, 2019, support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end. That means the end of regular security updates.”
What does this mean, exactly?
This means that as of July 9th of next year, Microsoft will no longer provide any security updates, bug fixes, or software patches for the software. It also means that newer software applications will not be compatible with SQL Server 2008. You will not be able to contact Microsoft tech support for any troubleshooting issues, either.
Well, what do we do now?
Upgrade SQL Server 2008 or Move to the Cloud?
The first step, naturally, is to not panic. There is time before the support ends, and thus plenty of time to get a plan in place and migrate.
Since the first step is to not panic, the second step is to decide if you want to continue using an on-premises server or move to the cloud. Before making a hasty decision, identify and inventory all of your apps and server roles running on SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. These apps and roles will point you in the correct direction, based upon virtualization readiness and software usage tracking, just to name a few.
If the plan is to keep everything on-premises, then an upgrade to SQL Server 2017 is in order. While it is straightforward, it’s not something that can be whipped up overnight. There’s hardware capacity to consider, software compatibility, virtual machines, the list goes on and on. Migration from your legacy SQL Server does take planning, and of course, we are here to help you.
If the cloud appears to be the best option, then we’re going to recommend migrating to Azure. By moving to the cloud, you won’t have to worry about your on-premises server hardware or server software updates. If your organization has on-premises SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance, you can take advantage of hybrid use rights to save money on moving your applications to the cloud with Azure.
Both options have their pros and cons, and both will take a considerable time to plan and implement. With the deadline looming in just under a year, the time to start planning for either option is now.
As always, if you need help with the migration, upgrade, or even the decision-making process for your next steps, we are more than happy to help you with any questions you may have. Feel free contact us at any time about your SQL Server needs!