Modernise your Data Platform


SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008

Many organisations have chosen SQL Server and Windows Server to run and protect their business, but with end of support fast approaching, it’s important to start thinking about what to do next to keep your business functions running and fully protected.

Support for the 2008 releases of SQL Server and Windows Server end on the following date:

  • Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019
  • Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020

End of support means the end of regular security updates, this means that running apps and data on unsupported versions could put your business at significant risk of cyberattacks – especially now threats are becoming more sophisticated and frequent. The end of support deadline is the perfect opportunity to transform and modernise your data platform to take advantage of cloud computing and the latest versions of SQL Server and Windows Server.

Microsoft have announced new options and tools to help you manage this transition to carry your organisation through to the next decade and keep fully up to date and secure.

What are my options?

Migrate to Azure, get free Extended Security Updates

End of support is an ideal time to transform your IT estate with the cloud, but it can be difficult to upgrade everything before the end of support timeline. To address this need, Microsoft have announced that Extended Security Updates will be available for free in Azure for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server to help secure your workloads for three more years after the end of support deadline.

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What else?


You can also move your SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments with no application code change and near zero downtime to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. It is a fully-managed database-as-a-service solution with industry leading SLAs and does not require future upgrades. Azure SQL Database Managed Instance will be generally available later in the year.

You can use existing licenses and the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save when you migrate SQL Server and Windows Server environments to Azure Virtual Machines or to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. With this benefit, customers with Software Assurance save up to 55 percent on the cost of running SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure.

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Upgrade on-premises environments and stay protected

If you want or indeed need to keep running your apps and data on premises, then we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server and Windows Server in order to get the strongest security and latest innovation. SQL Server 2017 and Windows Server 2016 are the new standard for performance and efficiency, and both include built-in security features to help you strengthen your platform. Now is also the time to consider refreshing your server infrastructure.

From on-premises servers that need more time to upgrade, you will be able to purchase Extended Security Updates for three more years. This option is available to customers with Software Assurance or Subscription licenses under an Enterprise Agreement enrollment and can be purchased annually to cover only the servers that require the updates. It’s a great option to continue getting security updates while you upgrade or migrate to Azure.

How do I get started?

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Now that you know your options, it’s time to get the ball rolling...


  • Start by identifying applications that are being supports by 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server
  • Inventory the workloads
  • Choose the right migration and/or upgrade path for each one
  • Assign the right resources and get started

Our team of experts stand ready to help with your planning and migration needs, speak to a Bytes Account Manager or email tellmemore@bytes.co.uk for guidance and assistance on your journey.

We work with a number of Microsoft Partners to help assist our customers, Northdoor plc is a corporate IT consultancy firm who help businesses capture, manage, protect and analyse large volumes of data. They are experts in GDPR compliance and legislation and can cover your entire data journey!

Discover how Northdoor plc helped London Charity Addaction to plan the transformation of their legacy reporting processes.

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