It's time to get off Windows and SQL Server 2012 (or run them on Azure)

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The lone mode to get extended enactment for 2008 versions of Windows and SQL Server is successful the cloud. Here's wherefore you should beryllium reasoning astir 2012 migrations present arsenic well.


Image: Shutterstock/Khakimullin Aleksandr

The merchandise of Windows Server 2022 is simply a bully reminder that older versions of the OS volition beryllium losing enactment and information updates soon, on with older versions of SQL Server. But if you're prepared to determination workloads to the cloud, you get a small much flexibility.

SQL Server remains a important workload for Windows Server; the 2022 merchandise tin enactment up to 48TB of RAM and 2,048 logical processors per carnal server, specifically for SQL Server. So if you're inactive moving Windows Server 2008 oregon 2008 R2, it's astir apt for a SQL Server 2008 workload. Not lone are each 3 of those agelong retired of extended enactment but they're astir to halt getting Extended Security Updates too.

SEE: This open-source Microsoft benchmark is simply a almighty server investigating tool (TechRepublic) 

SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 halt getting ESUs connected July 12, 2022, with Windows Server 2008 and R2 information updates ending connected January 14, 2023, truthful you request to beryllium readying present for however you volition woody with upgrading oregon migrating those workloads.

If you're inactive moving SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 oregon 2012 R2, you person a small much clip to program up for upgrading. Extended enactment for SQL Server 2012 (including the R2 version) volition besides extremity soon, connected July 12, 2022; Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 extended enactment goes distant connected October 10, 2023.

At that point, you tin wage for Extended Security Updates, which see captious and important patches, captious updates for SQL Server and entree to enactment if you person an progressive enactment program with Microsoft. They're distributed done the accustomed update channels, similar Windows Update and WSUS.

ESUs for SQL Server 2012 and 2012 R2 volition beryllium disposable to acquisition from April 2022 (so you cognize you won't miss immoderate information updates erstwhile extended enactment stops). ESUs for Windows Server 2012 and R2 tin beryllium bought from July 2023.

ESUs are an costly mode of sticking with the older versions aft the extremity of extended support. You person to person astatine slightest 1 period of Software Assurance oregon an Enterprise Agreement with subscription licences, you bargain ESUs successful in 2-core packs for SQL Server and 16-core packs for Windows Server 2012 and you'll beryllium paying 75% of the licence outgo for the latest mentation of SQL Server and Windows Server (not the mentation you're inactive running), conscionable for the archetypal year. For the 2nd year, you're paying the aforesaid arsenic the licence outgo for the existent versions and 125% of that licence outgo for the 3rd year.

The pricing escalator determination is to discourage organizations from clinging to older versions, due to the fact that each twelvemonth you lone wage for the servers you need; truthful the sooner you upgrade, the less servers you person to wage for astatine the adjacent tier each year. You can't support the terms down by delaying: You tin commencement utilizing the ESUs successful twelvemonth 2 oregon twelvemonth three—but you'll person to wage for the erstwhile years adjacent though you weren't taking the updates.

SEE: Windows Server 2022: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

You tin bargain ESUs for the Enterprise and Standard Editions of SQL Server 2012 and R2; you can't bargain them for Express oregon Developer editions but if you're already paying for ESUs you tin use them to those editions (and they'll get ESUs if you tally them successful Azure). If you person a passive secondary server for failover from a accumulation SQL Server workload (like a VM that's acceptable to spell but not running), you tin bargain ESUs conscionable for the accumulation workload but besides usage them to support the secondary up to day successful the VM. If you person improvement oregon trial servers licensed nether Visual Studio oregon MSDN subscriptions, you tin use the ESUs you bargain to those without needing to wage extra.

Whatever variation you're running, marque definite you person the latest work battalion applied oregon you won't beryllium capable to instal the ESUs. You volition person to use online servicing (or audit mode) to use ESUs; you can't bash it with DISM and offline servicing. And you'll beryllium stuck connected older versions of System Center. There are lone a fewer scenarios that tin beryllium managed with System Center 2016 connected these older workloads, though the latest merchandise of Configuration Manager tin deploy ESUs to them.

Ready to upgrade

Organizations connected specified aged versions aren't apt to leap each the mode to the marque caller mentation of Windows Server. But they should beryllium considering astatine slightest Windows Server 2019, which supports SQL Server 2016 and 2017 and gives you caller options similar moving SQL Server successful containers (although lone the Linux version, arsenic the Windows Container enactment for SQL Server never made it retired of beta. There's a database of everything that's caller since Windows Server 2012 here.

You besides person the enactment of moving SQL Server arsenic an evergreen database work connected Arc, connected your prime of infrastructure, managed from Azure; that mode you tin debar aboriginal large bang upgrades entirely.

Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022 enactment in-place upgrades from Windows Server 2012 oregon later, arsenic agelong arsenic you're moving a 64-bit mentation (because determination are nary 32-bit mentation of Windows Server 2016 and later). So if you're connected Windows Server 2008, you'll person to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 archetypal and past to your people mentation of Windows Server; from 2008 R2 you tin upgrade to 2012 R2 and past your last version.

For roles different than moving SQL Server, it's worthy checking the matrix of which server roles tin beryllium upgraded from Server 2012 and which volition request to beryllium migrated to caller hardware moving the caller OS. For instance, Microsoft recommends that each domain controllers should beryllium moving astatine slightest Windows Server 2016 and in-place upgrades are not recommended; alternatively you request to acceptable up a caller server and promote that to domain controller.

SEE: A caller Microsoft Store: What does it mean for you and your business? A lot, actually (TechRepublic)

Azure first, upgrade later

If there's a compelling crushed not to upgrade your Windows Server and SQL Server workloads to thing newer, the cheapest mode to get extended enactment is to tally them successful a virtual instrumentality connected Azure, wherever you get escaped ESUs for 3 years aft extended enactment ends.

If you determination your 2008 oregon 2008 R2 workloads to Azure, you tin get an other twelvemonth of escaped ESUs, taking you to July 12, 2023, for SQL Server 2008 and R2, and to January 14, 2024, for Windows Server 2008 and R2.

For SQL Server and Windows Server 2012 oregon 2012 R2, you'll get escaped ESUs connected Azure until July 12, 2025; Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 extended enactment goes distant connected October 10, 2026.

If you determination immoderate of these SQL Server and Windows Server workloads to Azure VMs, ESUs volition beryllium enabled automatically truthful you don't person to bash immoderate configuration. But if you privation automated patching for SQL Server, you request to registry the VMs with the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension.

Migrating to Azure besides lets you instrumentality vantage of different services, similar Automanage. You tin tally modular Azure VMs oregon usage the dedicated host, VMware oregon Nutanix options if that's what you're migrating from.

But moving your workloads to Azure doesn't mean you person to determination them into the nationalist cloud: You get the aforesaid escaped ESU woody if you tally Windows Server and SQL Server connected Azure Stack, whether that's Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack Edge oregon Azure Stack HCI, each of which tin tally connected your ain hardware and connected your ain network. You bash person to bash a small other enactment downloading SQL Server ESUs from the Azure portal but you don't person to wage for those continuing information updates, and you get the other twelvemonth of sum for the 2008 and 2008 R2 products.

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