Microsoft has announced that SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will reach end of life on July 9, 2019. This means that in less than a month, Microsoft will no longer release regular security updates for the product. There are several reasons this is important to you.
- Attacks against software products of all types are common and ongoing. With Microsoft SQL being such a prevalent platform, attacks against it are ubiquitous, and it’s important to keep your database platform up-to-date with the latest Microsoft security patches.
- Many compliance requirements dictate that you must be running currently supported software.
- As Microsoft drops support for a product, many third-party applications may also discontinue support for their products running on those platforms.
So, if you are still running SQL Server 2008/2008 R2, what are your options?
- Upgrade to a newer version of SQL. SQL 2019 is in preview release as of this writing, so the current production version of SQL Server is 2017. Its end of life will be October 12, 2027. Evaluate your applications and databases to make sure they are compatible. If so, plan a migration for either on-premises or cloud. You can also consider a move to an Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, which will not require you to upgrade in the future. By choosing this option, you will also gain access to new features which have appeared in the latest SQL Server versions.
- Migrate to Azure to receive three more years of Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. If you need to stay on the same SQL code base for a bit longer, Microsoft will allow you to rehost your SQL 2008 environment in Azure and still provide you with security updates for an extended period. There is no extra cost for the extended updates beyond the standard Azure VM rates.
- Purchase extended support. Microsoft allows customers with an active Enterprise Agreement and Software Assurance subscription to purchase and receive three years of Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. The annual outlay for the updates is 75% of the full license cost.
- Obviously the least desirable option is to stay where you are. If circumstances prevent you from moving forward now, at minimum you should:
- Recognize and account for the risk;
- Plan for a transition as soon as possible; and
- Re-evaluate your security and tighten it as much as possible.
Microsoft provides guidance for handling the end of support of SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 at https://www.microsoft.com/2008-eos. And, of course, Sikich is ready to help you evaluate and progress to the next level. Feel free to contact us at any time with end-of-life questions.
If you are running newer versions of SQL Server, here are their End-of-Life dates.
- SQL Server 2012 – July 12, 2022
- SQL Server 2014 – July 9, 2024
- SQL Server 2016 – July 14, 2026
- SQL Server 2017 – October 12, 2027