Windows 2008 end of life - what you need to know

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will reach their end of support on January 14th, 2020. Businesses still running on this operating system are rightly wondering what this means for them—and what happens if they don’t do anything.

John Ewart, VP of Channel Partners, and Tomas Suros, Chief Solutions Architect, address those questions in the first episode of AbacusNext Unscripted, a new podcast offering insight into cybersecurity, firm workflow, and cloud technology topics. Here are some of the key takeaways from the episode: 

End of life means major security risk

Over the past 30 days alone, Microsoft released eight security patches for Server 2008. Come January 14, Microsoft will no longer be issuing patches, increasing the risk of vulnerabilities exponentially. Couple that with no further support or enhancements, and Server 2008 will no longer be a viable option for businesses that value the security of their systems and data. Keep in mind that hackers are watching this date, too, and all servers running on Server 2008 will be a target. 

It’s not as simple as an upgrade

While it would be ideal if users could press a button to upgrade to the latest Server OS, it’s no simple task to jump from an older version (2008) to the latest version (2019). Upgrades can have a ripple effect on the other software and tools running a server, not all of which will be compatible with a new server. Combine that with the fact that most users running Server 2008 are also likely using old hardware, and the situation gets even more complex.

“You don’t want bald tires on a new Ferrari”

At this point, users find themselves questioning how much of a change they need to make, and what the associated expense will be. A logical choice would be to move to Windows Server 2019, but that choice also requires new hardware that will be compatible with the newest software. Selecting the latest operating system likely means purchasing new hardware, because they’ve been validated to work best together.

This might also be the time to consider a cloud solution like Abacus Private Cloud.

Users have a few different options for upgrading

To make sure their business runs smoothly and securely, users have a few options:

  1. Buy a new server with new server operating system on premise for on-premise (onsite) deployment
  2. Move everything to the cloud
  3. Create a hybrid environment with some systems and tools in the cloud and others managed locally

Not acting is not an option

With an end of life, users who fail to act will put their business at risk of security attacks and will be out of compliance. It’s important to consider your options now, before the holidays, to ensure a smooth migration and avoid a crisis in 2020.

Listen to the full podcast here: