Windows Server 2008 End of Life: Don’t Prepare, Prepare to Pay


14e January 2020 marked the official end date of the Windows Server 2008 end-of-support lifecycle, meaning that organizations still using the product ran the risk of maintaining vulnerable systems that could prove crippling to critical business operations if no action was taken.

For businesses unable to move applications to Microsoft Azure or move to a new system, whether due to a lack of compatible applications or supporting technology and expertise, the only option is turned out to be the option of continuing to pay Microsoft for Extended Security Updates (ESUs).

While ESUs have so far proven to be beneficial in ensuring that regulatory or compliance standards can continue to be met, while providing basic security bugfixes, this is an expensive route to take. , with costs continuing to rise as Microsoft moves resources away from supporting Windows Server 2008 significantly. As a result, companies were naturally exploring alternative methods to secure their business after the first ESU payment in early 2020. The start However, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to focus on more urgent tasks, such as supporting their work remotely. employees. Now, with the restrictions easing and companies able to work back to normalcy before the pandemic, preparing to avoid another costly ESU payment needs to be high on the business agenda.

ESU countdown enters straight line

With the next ESU renewal due in January 2022, the countdown is on for businesses. This means that within six months of cost increases of 30-50%, now is the time to act. The urgency of making a significant system change is further exacerbated by the fact that ESUs for Windows Server 2008 will expire in January 2023, leaving those systems exposed to dangerous security vulnerabilities.

On top of the increased costs, the other downside of ESUs is that they only cover security bug fixes, and if something goes wrong with internal systems, companies don’t get any external support. Continuing to rely on ESUs also means that businesses are forced to continue with their legacy systems in place, meaning they are limited in their ability to operate only with the economy and efficiency of outdated technology. underlying.

Explore the solutions

With the deadline approaching and many companies ignoring the alternatives available, using the right technology and outside expertise is the best way to prepare effectively. Moving applications to an updated Windows server is not an easy task for many companies, however, with complications from older runtime environments such as Java 1.3 or .Net 2.0 putting an end to a successful change. .

Tools from an external vendor, such as compatibility packages, can isolate outdated runtimes so that applications can be successfully moved to the latest supported and secure Windows server, such as 2016 or 2019. The technology container resulting brings together the runtimes, application files, components, and deployment tools needed to ensure that old applications can run efficiently and smoothly on the new server, and are easily deployed through pure cloud or hybrid platforms .

This method ensures that businesses benefit financially from avoiding unnecessary application rewrites and the high cost of having to continue with ESUs. Efficiency is also achieved through easier maintenance of an updated server and by allowing users to complete tasks faster and without complexity, while organizations are also able to prioritize sustainability. avoiding the need to physically replace entire systems.

Prepare for the end of life

While preparing for the end of ESUs for Windows Server 2008 is an immediate emergency for businesses, it is also important to take note of the new end-of-life roadmap that will apply to other systems over the coming years. coming years. Extended support for Windows Server 2012 will end in October 2023, and Microsoft also recently announced the end of support for its flagship Windows 10 operating system on 14e October 2025. What is certainly evident is that the end-of-life treadmill will continue to use a range of systems for years to come, and long-term preparation at all stages will be crucial for businesses.

With the right solutions in place, achievable goals can be achieved in a short period of time, which means for organizations it is not too late to act immediately to ensure readiness and avoid the next costly ESU in January. 2022. Urgency is the name of the game, however, and those who take proactive action now will be able to successfully ride the great wave of end-of-life dates on the horizon.

About the Author

Mat Clothier is CEO and founder of Cloudhouse, he leads the business by ensuring that companies can make all their applications a future without having to rethink unnecessarily when moving existing Windows applications to the cloud or Windows 10. Previously, Mat was CTO for Cloudhouse with a proven track record of working in the information technology and service industry. Skills in application virtualization, Microsoft technologies, managed services, enterprise software and PaaS. Mat is a strong entrepreneurial professional with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) focused on Computer Systems Networks and Telecommunications from the University of Plymouth.

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