With Windows Server 2008 Support Ending, It’s Time to Boost Security and Efficiency With the Cloud

On 14th January 2020, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, after more than 10 years of being the operating system of choice for many enterprises.

This means there will be no more:

  • Free security updates on-premises
  • Non-security updates
  • Free support options
  • Online technical content updates

However, with the cloud becoming a popular choice for more businesses, now could be the time to evaluate and innovate your options by moving to the cloud.

Microsoft and Speedster recommend you migrate to Microsoft Azure, and we would welcome the opportunity to explore the options with you.

We also suggest customers who can’t meet the end-of-support deadline purchase Extended Security Updates until they can upgrade. This will keep server workloads protected. However, not every Server product is covered. This includes:

Support for Microsoft Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 is ending. Source: Microsoft

What is the cloud?

The cloud is a big driver for rapid returns on investment. It can help you to increase productivity at your business and can be set up relatively quickly.

An easy way of understanding the cloud is to think of it like moving a part of your company to a virtual data centre. Once it’s there, it gets managed for you by your IT service provider. So you have more time to focus on growing the other areas of your business.

Another perk to the cloud is that it can automatically schedule updates itself. So it’s always running the latest applications and is protected from emerging security threats.

With all these benefits, the fact that support for Server 2008 is ending doesn’t have to be a disappointment. It’s an opportunity for you to move on to a far more efficient and safer way of working.

Read more: Cloud Services

3 reasons to migrate to Microsoft Azure before support ends

With the right planning, end of support can be the start of something better. Here’s 3 reasons why you should consider moving to Microsoft Azure:

  1. Efficiency. Take advantage of moving to the cloud to modernise your applications. You can test and improve applications as you’re developing them, giving you the freedom to work with efficiency.
  2. Save money. You only need to pay for the applications you’re going to use. It’s easy to cut out the services you don’t need and thereby reduce costs. You can also reduce infrastructure costs with Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit and get free Extended Security Updates on Azure Virtual Machines.
  3. Increased security and compliance. Cyber threats can be counteracted with Azure’s secure cloud foundation. It benefits from 70+ compliance certifications. Help protect your 2008 workloads by moving them and get free Extended Security Updates.

Read more: What is Microsoft Azure?

The migration process

Migrating to the cloud might seem like a big task but with the right IT support team it can be easy. The migration process can be broken down into 4 phases:

  1. Assess
  2. Migrate
  3. Optimise
  4. Secure and Manage

Assess

The assess stage is where we would take a look at your current environment to decide if it’s right to move it to the cloud or upgrade on-premises. Part of this assessment includes evaluating your internet connection and ensuring it’s strong enough to support a move.

Migrate

Once we have helped you establish the cloud option is viable and the rIght fit we would develop a plan. To help make planning and migrating easier, there are tools such as Azure Site Recovery which can help to rehost Virtual Machines. In addition, Azure Database Migration Services can help you to move databases. If you are looking to upgrade on-premise devices, you’ll need to consider getting the latest version of Windows Server.

Optimise

Once you’ve migrated, you’ll want a smooth transition to the day-to-day realities of operating workloads in the cloud and managing subscriptions instead of servers. Azure’s Cost Management and Advisor services can help you manage your cloud resources. Alternatively, a partner like Speedster can do it all for you.

Secure and Manage

In the final phase, you need to ensure the new environment meets all your security and governance requirements. You can use services such as Azure Security Center, which can strengthen security and compliance. To help manage your on-premises servers, you could use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.

Summary

Microsoft will be ending support for Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 on 14th January 2020. This means the end of:

  • Free security updates on-premises
  • Non-security updates
  • Free support options
  • Online technical content updates

If you’re still using either of these servers, they recommend migrating them to Microsoft Azure before then.

And moving to a cloud platform like Azure can help you to drive productivity, improve value for money and boost efficiency. Since the cloud frequently updates itself, you’ll always be running the latest software and security measures.

If you can’t migrate by the deadline, Microsoft and Speedster suggest purchasing Extended Security Updates. This will keep server workloads protected, but there are limits to what this can do (see the chart above).

For information and advice on migrating to Microsoft Azure cloud services, please get in touch with our Azure Consultants on 0203 011 1234 or via our contact form.

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