The impact of lack of support for these servers will, in fact, be wide-ranging and create numerous issues that will impair service and could cause downtime.
We know this sounds quite grave but, unfortunately, it’s true.
What happens to Windows Server 2008 and my server in January?
On 14th January 2020, Microsoft will withdraw support for Windows Server 2008. What this means is that, if you run Windows Server 2008, your server will no longer receive:
- Free security updates
- Non-security updates
- Free support options
- Online technical content updates
The consequences of this loss of service are wide-ranging; from vulnerabilities in your IT security to technical faults that will develop and not receive a patch to resolve them.
What are my options?
There are two primary options that you can take when it comes to replacing your Windows Server 2008 server – migrating to the cloud or buy a new physical server.
Migrating to the cloud
Typically, we recommend the option to migrate your server to the cloud – although this can vary depending on your specific requirements. Not only is this a very versatile and secure solution, but it also unlocks many possibilities for flexible working.
The benefits of cloud computing are wide-ranging, but a few notable advantages of hosting services in the cloud include:
- Security – when hosted on an appropriate cloud hosting platform, your service will be provided from a secure datacentre complying to regulations such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, UK G-Cloud, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2.
- Compliance – having automatic ISO 27001 compliance is a significant benefit for those that store sensitive data or if it is a requirement in a project tender.
- Flexibility – a cloud server offers the ultimate in flexibility and scalability. Extra storage and performance can be added virtually instantaneously so you can temporarily or permanently increase or decrease computing power to suit your needs.
- Affordability – with a cloud service you only pay for what you use – no costly, surplus space or unutilised performance.
There are weaknesses to operating with a cloud-based server, most notably perhaps would be the dependency on a fast and reliable internet connection. If you lose connection to the internet, you may be temporarily separated from your data. However, with a well-selected and managed internet connection, any losses of connectivity should be both rare and brief.
A new physical server
You can replace your server with a new one running Microsoft’s latest server operating system Windows Server 2019. This would provide you with another server cycle of around five to seven years that would be supported by Microsoft for the duration of that cycle.
With a physical server, there’s also no reliance on the internet to access your data – as long as you are situated within the office of course! So, if your internet connection were to go down, you would be able to continue with certain tasks.
There are also downsides to this approach, such as the substantial upfront cost and the need to store and maintain a physical server. Also, your business will be effectively fixed in time and have to anticipate future computing requirements, at a time when cloud services are optimising the hosting and management of IT infrastructure.
Keep in mind, upgrading a server takes time
If you have servers running Windows Server 2008, upgrading them will take planning and time. This could have an impact on your business operation so needs to be considered in line with the withdrawal of support.
Andrew Penlington, Director of Microtrading, said: “The process of upgrading your server may not be straight forward and generally requires a lot of planning to ensure a successful project.
“Therefore, if you are still running Windows Server 2008 you need to act now to ensure the project can be completed before the end of life date arrives. Delaying your decision to upgrade increases your window of risk and potentially leaves your IT infrastructure vulnerable to downtime or a security breach.”
How can Microtrading help?
Microtrading can conduct a review of your IT requirements to identify the best course of action. We can then plan and implement your new server solution and support your IT infrastructure on an ongoing basis.
You may also need to upgrade any PCs and laptops that are running the Windows 7 operating system, which is also due to become unsupported by Microsoft on 14th January. For more information on Windows 7 end of life, read our story here.