I have met with thousands of customers over the years who all faced the same dilemma. What do they do with their legacy servers when they reach the end of life?

There are three options:

1. They could upgrade the latest version

2. Do nothing

3. Purchase a custom extended support agreement.

Upgrading to the latest version of Windows and SQL Server from Windows and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is certainly an option. However, there is a cost associated with this in the planning, compatibility checking, and assigning of resources to complete this project. Customers in the past have also purchased extended support agreements, but that is an expensive option as well. Most customers choose to roll the dice and do nothing. They take the risk that after 10 years, there probably isn’t any major security risk that will require a patch to these servers. Except there is something different this time around – the number of security hacks is significantly on the rise, and the cost of one ransomware attack could bring any company down. That is why Microsoft is offering something for customers for the first time ever.

Customers who have Software Assurance on their Windows and SQL server 2008 and 2008 R2 will receive FREE security patches for 3 years if they move those servers into Azure. That’s right, 3 years of free support. Even better, you do not have to have Software Assurance on all of the servers in your Enterprise, only the ones you move to Azure. SQL Server End of Life Support begins July 2019 and Windows Server in January 2020.

I have never seen Microsoft offer this type of service before so I highly encourage customers to take advantage of this offer as soon as possible. There is a link below with more information from Microsoft.