Windows Server is a group of operating systems designed by Microsoft that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications. Microsoft will be discontinuing support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on January 14, 2020.
That means the end of regular security updates that help protect your applications and data. If you don’t take action, you could leave your organization open to ransomware, hardware vulnerabilities, or compliance violations. To ensure no gap in support, you will need to upgrade to a supported version of Windows Server or rehost in Azure.
If you need to keep your servers on-premises, unfortunately, there are some extra steps involved in upgrading. If you are running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you need to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 and then upgrade to Windows Server 2016.
And if you’re using the even older version on-premises, Windows Server 2003, you will need to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 and move forward from there.
There might be some considerations as you upgrade previous retail versions of Windows Server to Windows Server 2012, such as bit architectures and languages used. See the full list.
Migrating to Azure
If you don’t need to keep your servers at their current physical location, you have the option to migrate to Azure. First, you need to take stock of what aspects Windows Server 2008 you’re utilizing and in what capacity. This will help you determine which workloads to move over and when. If you’re not sure if or what you should migrate to Azure, take a look at Microsoft’s Total Cost of Ownership Calculator.
Once you’ve determined a strategy of migration, it’s time to execute on it. Keep in mind that what’s best for your organization may be a hybrid approach with some of your workloads on-premises and some with Azure. For more information on the migration process, dive into the Migration Guide for Windows Server.
Benefits of Azure
One of the greatest benefits of hosting through Azure is enhanced security. If you don’t upgrade your servers or rehost in Azure, then you run the risk of exposing your company’s data to vulnerabilities, but with Azure, you get even more protection. Azure’s multi-layered security has security controls integrated into the hardware and firmware components. It can also detect cybersecurity threats that are informed by real-time global cybersecurity intelligence.
With Microsoft Azure, you also gain flexibility and scalability. The various Azure tools and platforms can offer your organization innovative solutions to your business problems, such as Azure SQL Database, Azure App Service, and Azure IaaS.
Did you know that, according to Microsoft, it would cost five times more to run Windows Server in AWS? Azure can help foresee and control costs. Their pay-as-you-go pricing gets you what you need when you need it.
Need More Time?
If you’re not ready to switch things up just yet, you can buy yourself three more years of support, literally. If your outdated servers are on-premises, you can purchase extended security updates to keep server workloads protected until you upgrade. Just know that some Server products are not eligible for extended security updates. Take a look at the full list for more information.
If you choose to rehost Windows Server 2008 to Azure, you can get three years of free extended security updates and upgrade to a current version when ready.
A successful migration can be a complicated process with a lot to consider. If you need help migrating to Azure, reach out to us.