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Here’s what you need to know If your organisation still uses Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2.

Here’s our latest tech update from Oreta in regards a popular Microsoft product. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will officially be ending its support of Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2. From that date, Microsoft will no longer offer any type of support for the operating system. This will leave the operating system open and exposed to outside infiltration because future security gaps will no longer be plugged by software updates. All three Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 editions (Datacenter, Enterprise, and Standard) will be affected, including the Hyper-V role.

What does this mean for your organisation?

Although Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 won’t suddenly stop working beyond January 14, 2020, there are a number of implications that an organisation running these versions needs to be aware of, including increased operational costs, security risks, non-compliance and limited compatibility with newer applications

1.Increased operational costs - Keeping the systems online without support will result in mounting operational expenses owing to the additional investments required to keep them secure.

2.Security risks - With cyber attacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks. Hackers exist to prey on vulnerabilities, and end of life software provides them with ample opportunities.

3.Non-compliance - If your organisation is subject to independent audits, outdated software would be a key consideration. Lack of compliance with PCI security standards or HIPAA data policies can be pricier for the organisation than upgrading their architecture.

4.Limited compatibility with newer applications - New applications are optimized for the most recent operating systems. Using EOL operating systems means you will have to hold onto legacy applications without being able to upgrade them.

What steps can you take to address these issues?

1.Do nothing - If you choose this option you will not be able to get support or security patches from Microsoft and your organisation accepts the risks associated with this option.

2.Shutdown the server - Shut down the application and decommission the server if there are no major implications to the organisation.

3.Upgrade on-premise environments and stay protected - For applications and data which you want to keep running on-premise, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of Windows Server (2012R2 or 2016) to get the strongest security and latest innovation. Should you 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.

4.Migrate to Azure and get free Extended Security Updates - The upcoming end of support milestone is a great opportunity to transform applications and infrastructure to take advantage of cloud computing and the latest versions of Windows Server. However, it can be challenging to upgrade everything before the end of the support timeline. To address this need, Microsoft has announced that Extended Security Updates will be available for free in Azure for Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 to help secure organisations workloads for three more years after the end of support deadline.

So, where should you start?

Carry out an Assessment and Develop a Plan - Identify all the Windows 2008 or 2008R2 Ser and carry out an impact assessment of the workloads on the servers and categorise them into the following groups:

  • Do nothing
  • Shutdown the server
  • Upgrade to a supported version
  • Migrate to Azure to secure extended support

Key things to consider during the assessment:

  • Can you get to a better platform? Should you migrate from physical servers to virtual servers, or to a private or public cloud?
  • Would you be able to get by without security updates, patches or fixes?
  • Have you considered isolating these servers?

On January 14, 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 will end. The importance of this should not be ignored. Even if your Windows 2008 or 2008R2 servers are stable at this time you do not want to expose your organisation to the risk incurred when running their applications on an operating system that will not be supported beyond January 14, 2020.

We're here to help you migrate to current versions for greater security, performance and innovation. Please contact arun@oreta.com.au to progress your request.

Contact us to discuss your requirements with our team of passionate experts.

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