Tuesday, 15 October 2019 19:46

The End Of An Era: Windows Server 2008 Support Lifecycle Is Coming To A Close

The clock is very quickly counting down on the support lifecycle of some integral Windows products, including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2. Come January 2020, Microsoft will end support for these products. This means no more security patches, no more non-security updates, no more free technical support, and no more updates of the online technical content.

In a way, Microsoft is forcing a shift to Windows 10. While it may seem untimely or inconvenient at the moment, it will ultimately be a beneficial move for your company, preventing the modern world from leaving you behind.

What Should Your Next Steps Be?

Now, don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time to act before Windows 7 or Server 2008 becomes a detriment to your company. This should be a top priority for your IT team, though. Don’t wait too long to make a plan for your business technology moving into 2020.

Keeping The Legacy Windows

You have a few options. First, you can hang on to the legacy technology. Between 2020 and 2023, Microsoft will make Extended Security Updates available to users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. These will come at a cost per device and that cost will double every year. Depending on the size of your legacy operation, this solution could become very expensive very fast.

There are restrictions to be aware of. Certain products are not eligible for Extended Security Updates. Additionally, only Important and Critical security updates will be available for purchase. There will no longer be any technical support available, so your IT team will be on their own as they navigate any problems that may come up.

The Risk Of Delaying An Upgrade

In today’s society, new malware pops up so frequently it is an absolute necessity to be able to apply security patches that protect your systems against the innovations of hackers. Without continuous updates to your security, your entire IT system is at risk of a security breach. Unpatched vulnerabilities will appear sooner than you’d like to think and that could be detrimental to your business operation.

Additionally, as this fundamental technology evolves, you can anticipate that other software and hardware will follow suit. There will be a very short window of time where you won’t experience compatibility issues, so in many cases it just makes sense to upgrade.

Lastly, you risk not being able to find support for your technology from outsourced technology providers. Many of them will do away with support programs they have for legacy technology and you’ll find yourself in a bind when your only option is to upgrade without any time to plan or budget.

Wait - Your Business Runs On A Legacy Application

The rare company will find themselves in uncharted territory when their operation requires a legacy application that is not compatible with the updated technology. Should you find yourself in this situation, our recommendations are to minimize the number of workspaces you have that run on Windows Server 2008 and diligently monitor activity to identify breaches.

This will help you keep your costs down while maintaining your operation while your applications catch up to the modern era.

What Should You Watch For?

There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re considering your options for upgrading your Windows systems. First, take a look at the age and abilities of your hardware. You don’t necessarily have to replace your computers because of the upgrade, but it’s worth considering, especially if your computers are on the older end of the spectrum. You may run into compatibility issues down the road if you don’t replace them. Microsoft recommends replacing your servers if they are running Server 2008 R2.

Additionally, you’ll want to take a look at application compatibility as you start the upgrading process. Be sure to read the specs on any applications that are necessary for your operation to ensure they will operate correctly on an upgraded system.

Upgrading Your Windows 7 And Windows Server 2008

If you’re business is currently operating on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008, you want to start making decisions about upgrading your systems now. Come January, it will be too late to take your time and make an informed decision.

Contact High Country today to learn more about your options for upgrading your soon-to-be legacy Windows system.