Running the latest versions of your servers’ operating systems is a vital role in maintaining your security posture. Windows Server 2008 R2 extended support ends on January 14, 2020. While this date might seem far away, when you consider the planning and time it takes to upgrade your infrastructure, the reality is that you need to begin the process now.
What Does End of Support Mean?
End of support or end of life (EOL) for Windows Server 2008 means that Microsoft will no longer offer bug fixes or security updates, leaving your environment and data open for attacks. Without new security, hackers have ample opportunity to find new penetration points and exploit them.
On top of the security risks you're exposed to, once Windows Server 2008 reaches end of support it will stop receiving software updates. Meaning your business may not be able to take advantage of applications that require the most recent operating systems.
When Windows Server 2008 reaches end of life:
- No longer receive security updates and patches
- Risk not meeting compliance requirements
- No new features or bug fixes
Start Planning Now
If you are still running Windows Server 2008 in your environment, now is the time to start planning the upgrade of your operating systems. Experts say that you need to make the switch at least 6 months prior to the January 2020 date to ensure your data is safe.
If you’re reading this post, then you still have time to formulate a plan so there’s no need to panic just yet. You will need to do this upgrade in 2019, you don’t want to wait to the second half of 2019 to make this change.
With every new operating system there are features that your organization can take advantage of. Planning ahead of time will help you determine which of those may apply.
Where to Migrate
Moving your organization to Server 2016 can offer significant increases in memory and processing capacity for both physical and virtual servers. Considering the security events occurring every day, implementing the controls and encryption features of Server 2016 will also improve the organization’s security posture.
Microsoft is offering a free extension of security updates for 3 years if you migrate and rehost your workloads in Azure. Or, if you have an EA you can pay to receive updates for an additional 3 years. View more information.
The upcoming end of support milestone is a great opportunity to transform your applications and infrastructure by taking advantage of the cloud or the latest versions of Windows Server. Learn more about our Microsoft-funded Azure workshop.
Other Products Reaching EOL in 2020
Windows Server 2008 isn’t the only product that’s approaching end of life. These two other popular products are also reaching their EOL in January 2020: