SQL Server 2008 end of life – are you prepared?

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • News

Published on: 17/05/2019


On 9th July 2019 the extended support for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 will end, meaning the end of regular security updates. Following this, support for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 will also end on 14th January 2020.

After these dates there will be no more security updates for these versions, so if action is not taken your databases and therefore your business will be at risk. The end of support already officially occured for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 back in 2014 and 2015, but extended support is now also due to meet its end, rendering the two products obsolete.

With the end of life deadlines closing in, it’s important that plans are put into action to ensure your systems remain functional and protected against cyber attacks. We recommend upgrading to the latest versions of the software to continue to get regular security updates, either in the cloud or on-premises.

However, for customers that are not able to transition before the end of support deadline, there are options to help protect data and applications during the end of support transition:

Extended Security Updates in Azure

Businesses who migrate workloads to Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) will have access to Extended Security Updates for both SQL Server and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 for three years after the end of support dates for no additional charges above the cost of running the virtual machine. For many, this is an easy first step before upgrading or modernising with newer versions or services in Azure.

Those that decide to move to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (PaaS) will also have access to continuous security updates, as this is a fully managed solution. Software Assurance is not needed to receive Extended Security Updates in Azure. Eligible customers can use the Azure Hybrid Benefit (available to customers with active Software Assurance or Server Subscriptions) to obtain discounts on the license of Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) or Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (PaaS). These customers will also have access to Extended Security Updates for no additional charges above the cost of running the virtual machine.

Extended Security Updates for on-premises environments

Extended Security Updates will also be available for workloads running on-premises or in a hosting environment like another cloud provider.

Customers running SQL Server or Windows Server under licenses with active Software Assurance under an Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), a Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE), or an Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) can purchase Extended Security Updates annually for three years after end of support date. Extended Security Updates can only be purchased for the servers they need to cover. Extended Security Updates cannot be purchased outside of these programs.


The Xynomix team is here to provide guidance and assistance with whichever route you decide to take. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with extensive experience of implementing upgrades and migrations, we can help bring your infrastructure up to date seamlessly. Get in touch to discuss your options and start preparing today.

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