Whilst Microsoft creates new innovations in the latest releases of SQL Server and Windows Server to assist our businesses, support for older versions along with security updates will eventually end. SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012, and 2012 R2 End of Extended support is approaching this year.
There are two key dates to note this year regarding the end of support for key Microsoft products:
- SQL Server 2012 Extended Support ended on July 12, 2022.
- Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 Extended Support will end on October 10, 2023.
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What does this mean for users of SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012?
If you don’t act on this, your organisation is at risk of security vulnerabilities (as well as impact your ability to pass/achieve many security accreditations such as Cyber Essentials/Plus) and may encounter compatibility issues with other software programs. Also, any bugs or issues that arise with these products will not be addressed by Microsoft, which could cause severe damage to your organisation.
Our organisations must plan for the end of support for these products to ensure the security and stability of our systems. This involves upgrading to newer versions of SQL Server and Windows Server or exploring alternative options such as cloud-based solutions or migrating these systems to Microsoft Azure.
Without ongoing security updates, any newly discovered vulnerabilities may go unpatched, leaving systems open to attack. This can be especially concerning for businesses that handle sensitive information and could lead to a data breach.
In addition to security concerns, businesses may also encounter compatibility issues with other software programs. As newer software programs are developed, they may not be compatible with older operating systems or database management systems. This can lead to problems with data integration and management, as well as issues with software performance.
Upgrading to newer versions of SQL Server and Windows Server can help mitigate these risks and ensure ongoing support from Microsoft. For businesses and organisations, this may involve planning and budgeting for the necessary upgrades, as well as testing and implementing the new systems.
Alternatively, some businesses may choose to explore migrating to cloud-based solutions, which can provide the latest software updates and security patches without the need for on-premises hardware and maintenance. Cloud solutions can also offer flexibility and scalability, making it easier for businesses to adapt to changing needs and growth.
Migrate to Azure and be reassured by Extended Security Updates
By migrating applications and SQL Server databases to Azure Virtual Machines, you can receive free Extended Security Updates for three years after the end of support when operating in Azure only. When pairing this with Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can save big on Azure by using existing on-premises SQL Server and Windows Server licenses on the cloud with no added cost, providing your organisation with a cost-effective way to run SQL and Windows Servers.
This can mean that you can defer costly application upgrades by taking advantage of migrating services to Microsoft Azure and budget accordingly for this in future years.
Keep your on-premise systems secure with the latest release
With many new developments in Azure for SQL Server and Windows Server, users are already utilising the latest releases to upgrade their IT systems. With that said, SQL Server and Windows Server run many business-critical applications that may take more time to develop. Microsoft has shared several great options to plan SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 end of support.
Organisations that remain on-premises for compliance can protect their workloads by upgrading to SQL Server 2022 and Windows Server 2019. Azure now offers application and data modernisation options on-premises with Azure Arc. With Azure Arc, users can benefit from Azure innovations such as policy, governance, and security to manage their on-premises applications and data.
Organisations that cannot meet the end support deadline and have Software Assurance or subscription licenses under an enterprise agreement enrolment will have the option to buy Extended Security Updates to get three more years of security updates for SQL Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.
In conclusion, the end of support for SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 highlights the importance of ongoing software updates and support for businesses and organisations. It is important to plan for these changes and consider the potential risks and benefits of upgrading to newer versions or exploring alternative solutions. By staying up to date with the latest software and security updates, businesses can help ensure the stability and security of their systems and data.