Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 were both great technological breakthroughs in the hosting fields, introducing new features which are essential for any modern system, such as a shift from 32-bit to 64-bit computing, advanced analytics and budding server virtualization technologies. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, including Microsoft’s support for these industry-forming server operating systems. As many know, misfortune never comes alone, so along with their Windows Server 2008 versions, Microsoft is also discontinuing support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2.
- Extended support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on 14th January 2020
- Extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on 9th July 2019
Although this is expected as per Microsoft’s Fixed Lifecycle Policy, which applies to all the aforementioned products, many systems and networks still run and rely on these operating systems. What is going to happen to all these users? Well, they can still use these OS with full functionality, however, they will be open to new vulnerabilities as they will no longer receive new critical security updates.
What does this mean for existing users?
The lack of security updates will expose the network infrastructure to malware and cyber-criminal attacks. Studies have shown that a hacking attack occurs once every 39 seconds on average and 65% of all cyber-attacks are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. With such statistics, running an online business on an OS which no longer receives security updates is an immense & unjustified risk at best and running the business into the ground at worst.
Without regular security updates to their OS, businesses might also face some compliance and standard issues, especially with GDPR regulations in action.
My server runs on one of the no longer supported OS versions, what should I do?
If your machine is still running either Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2, we strongly recommend upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 before the EoL (i.e. End of Life) date.
Fortunately, Microsoft cares about its existing clients and ensures that its customers are completely supported. They have created the 2008 End of Support Resource Center where you can go to for detailed guidance and resources on what steps should be taken.