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?
- 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 Overview
|OS Version||End of Mainstream Support||End of Extended Support|
|SQL Server 2005 (SP4)||December 4, 2011||December 4, 2016|
|SQL Server 2008 (SP4)||August 7, 2014||September 7, 2019|
|SQL Server 2008 R2||October 7, 2012||October 7, 2012|
|SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP3)||August 7, 2014||September 7, 2019|
|SQL Server 2012||January 14, 2014||January 14, 2014|
|SQL Server 2012 (SP3)||November 7, 2017||December 7, 2022|
|SQL Server 2014||December 7, 2016||December 7, 2016|
|SQL Server 2014 (SP2)||September 7, 2019||September 7, 2024|
|SQL Server 2016||September 1, 2018||September 1, 2018|
|SQL Server 2016 (SP1)||July 13, 2021||July 14, 2026|
|SQL Server 2017||November 10, 2022||December 10, 2027|