A Comprehensive Guide to SQL Server End of Life

SQL-Server-End-of-Life

SQL Server is Microsoft's relational database management system (RDMS) application. As its name suggests, it is used to manage the databases you use for your business. And soon, a few SQL Server versions will go End of Life. But no worries because we got you covered with this guide.

Microsoft outlines the end of life dates for all of their products to make customers aware of when they will cease support for specific products. SQL Server is no exception to this. Each version of SQL Server usually has both an end of support date and an end of extended support date.

Why should I care?

At the end of mainstream support, Microsoft will no longer provide non-security hotfixes unless you have an extended support agreement. All warranty claims end and they will no longer accept feature and change requests.

Once a product reaches its 'Extended Support End Date' there will be no patches, security updates or support from Microsoft. If you're using any of these products and do nothing, it's almost certain that your risks around security and compliance will increase, which may also impact productivity. These risks will only grow over time, so it's vital you take action.

SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 End of Support

SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 reached their end of support on July 9, 2019, while Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 reached their deadline together with Windows 7 on January 14, 2020.

The Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offered a total of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support) for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server.

What are my options?

Simply put:

  • Pay for Extended Security Updates
  • Update to a more recent version of SQL Server
  • Migrate to Microsoft Azure

Extended Security Updates

The easiest thing to do if your organization has missed an EOL deadline is purchasing Extended Security Updates from Microsoft. These security updates include critical and important security updates, but no new features, or customer-requested non-security updates. Additionally, purchasing extended support is a very costly, very temporary solution.

This is an option that is available to clients using SQL Server or Windows Server with an active license, although it's merely postponing troubles.

Upgrade to SQL Server 2017

Another path forward is to simply upgrade to more recent versions of these products: SQL Server 2017. By upgrading your installations, you'll have access to updates for 10 years.

Migrate to Azure

The main recommendation is migrating the on-premise Microsoft SQL workloads into the Microsoft Azure cloud. Through upgrading legacy on-premise database technology, businesses consolidate their environment and optimize performance, recovery, and provisioning.

The cloud is evergreen and allows you to scale up or down as required, paying only for what you consume. Exchange Online, as part of Office 365 or Azure SQL Database, are great examples of Microsoft's modern approach to mainstream server applications.

Microsoft states that with a minor change within the code, you can host SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 to an Azure SQL database.

Run the SQL Server End of Life Audit Report

Our SQL Server End of Life Audit provides an overview of all the SQL Server installations in your network along with an indication of whether they have surpassed their extended support date.

After the extended support date has passed, your SQL Servers might no longer be secure as they will not receive security updates. It's highly recommended that if you have SQL servers that reached or surpassed their end of life date, you update them as soon as possible.

SQL Server EOL Audit

SQL Server EOL Overview

OS VersionEnd of Mainstream SupportEnd of Extended Support
SQL Server 2000Not ApplicableJuly 11, 2002
SQL Server 2000 (SP4)April 8, 2008April 9, 2013
SQL Server 2005 (SP4)April 12, 2011April 12, 2016
SQL Server 2008 (SP4)July 8, 2014July 9, 2019
SQL Server 2008 R2Not ApplicableJuly 10, 2012
SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP3)July 8, 2014July 9, 2019
SQL Server 2012Not ApplicableJanuary 14, 2014
SQL Server 2012 (SP4)July 11, 2017July 12, 2022
SQL Server 2014Not ApplicableJuly 12, 2016
SQL Server 2014 (SP3)July 9, 2019July 9, 2024
SQL Server 2016Not ApplicableJanuary 9, 2018
SQL Server 2016 (SP2)July 13, 2021July 14, 2026
SQL Server 2017October 11, 2022October 12, 2027
SQL Server 2019January 7, 2025January 8, 2030

Source: Support.microsoft.com

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