Windows Server 2008 End of Life: What it Means to Your Business

Microsoft has announced that as of January 14, 2020, it will no longer support its Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 products. What does this mean to businesses that are still using Windows Server 2008 and how can your business prepare for the end of this trusted hardware’s lifecycle? Find out on today’s blog.

Last fall, Microsoft announced that it would be winding down support for its Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 products, effective January 14, 2020. The time is now for businesses using these servers to begin evaluating their options and determine how to replace their outdated servers.

If your business is using Windows Server 2008, here’s what end of life support means to your business technology, your options for replacement, and next steps.

What “End of Life” for Windows Server 2008 Means for Your Business

Nothing lasts forever, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to technology. When a software or hardware product reaches the end of its life, the company that built it – in this case Microsoft – discontinues support for the product in question. In this case, Microsoft will cease to offer security and other updates to the Windows Server 2008 platform after January 14 of next year.

The most important thing for businesses to understand is that while your existing Windows Server 2008 hardware will continue to work, without regular software updates and security patches, performance is likely to degrade over time. In addttion, without regular security patches your organization will be at increased risk of data breach or loss.

So, most businesses will want to begin looking at their options for replacement before end of life, rather than continuing to run their business applications on an obsolete, unsupported server.

Windows Server 2008 Replacement Options

Microsoft is promoting three primary options for replacing Windows Server 2008.

  • Upgrade to Windows Server 2016 – Some businesses may find it more suitable to continue running their applications on premise. These organizations have the option to upgrade from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2016. This is not a direct upgrade; businesses must first upgrade to Windows Server 2012, then upgrade again to Windows Server 2016.
  • Migrate to Azure – Businesses that are open to hosting their applications in the cloud may opt to migrate their applications from Windows Server 2008 to Microsoft’s Azure platform. This option will reduce the impact of future platform upgrades and companies that migrate to Azure also become eligible for 3 years of Extended Security Updates.
  • Evaluate other options – Organizations can also evaluate their applications running on Windows Server 2008 to determine if other options may be suitable. One option is that applications currently running on Windows Server 2008 may be migrated to that vendor’s cloud offering or to a replacement software suite. One advantage of this Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or cloud model is that it reduces the “IT footprint” that is needed to host applications.

For some organizations, the upfront cost to upgrade their Windows Server 2008 to a supported version will be significantly higher than transitioning to a cloud-hosted version of that application. By moving applications to the cloud, server replacement costs can be reduced by implementing a less robust server. It may even be possible to eliminate the requirement for a replacement server entirely depending on your business needs.  

Tolar Systems Can Help with Windows Server 2008 End of Life

Tolar Systems can help organizations evaluate their options for Windows Server 2008 end of life, and select the option that best fits the needs of the organization. We’ll help you evaluate whether your organization is best served by an on-premise server, or whether the cloud might be a better option. As a Microsoft Silver solutions partner, we can also assist with upgrades to Windows 2016 or help your organization migrate your applications to the Azure Cloud.

Contact Tolar Systems Today

If your organization is facing Windows Server 2008 end of support, contact Tolar Systems today to find out how we can help your organization take the next step forward with technology.