When is your SQL Server database out of Microsoft support?
This is our guide to Microsoft's SQL Server database support lifecycle.
If you want a guide to the various types of SQL Server database, please see our SQL Server Version Guide.
For early versions of SQL Server, the Microsoft support lifecycle varied over time. For the last 3 releases (SQL Server 2012, 2014 and 2016) Microsoft have followed a pattern of standard support for 5 years, with extended support for 10 years. Like so:
This means that every SQL Server database before SQL Server 2012 is now out of mainstream support. SQL Server 2012 goes out of mainstream support in July this year, and SQL Server 2008's extended support will end in July 2019.
However, it's not quite as simple as that: it depends which edition you've got, which service pack you're on, etc.
A table showing all that might make your eyes bleed, so we've spared you that on this page.
If you'd like the full table (like below), click on it for a PDF download (61Kb).
What's the difference between mainstream and extended support?
Mainstream support includes requests to change product design and features, security updates, and non-security updates.
Extended support does not include change requests or non-security updates. It does - thankfully - include security updates.
Why you need SQL Server support
Microsoft's support is good for updating the database product with new functionality and patching security issues. However, you still need to the support of a specialist database administrator (DBA) to ensure that your database continues to stay stable, available and optimised for speed and efficiency.
Our support is different to Microsoft's. We don't just support the product - we make sure that your essential data stays safe and secure, while the applications making use of the database perform optimally.
We have a team of experienced SQL Server Consultants who are available when you need them, 24 × 7 × 365. This could be in the form of a managed service, or something less long-term, such as advice on a project or a one-off problem you might be experiencing.
Maybe you're considering an upgrade or migration, a new disaster recovery plan, or would simply like a general database health check? To find out what we can do, please see our Microsoft SQL Server database support pages.