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There is a little more than four months to go until a popular Microsoft operating system will reach the end of its life, affecting certain customers. On 10 October Microsoft will officially stop offering extended support for its OS, Windows Server 2012.

Should any part of your business run on Windows Server 2012, you need to start making decisions now about how you will manage this issue.

Written by Roger Turner

So, what exactly is happening?

Windows Server 2012 was originally released in (unsurprisingly!) 2012. As such, it has been in active service for more than a decade and many businesses have come to rely on it. The OS reached its mainstream end data on 9 October 2018.

Microsoft have standard end-of-life processes for all of their products and Win Server 2012 is no different. After 10 October Redwood will no longer issue security updates or regular patches for the product.  This means that if you’re still using the OS after this date, your business will be significantly exposed to vulnerabilities in your estate, as well as potentially leading to a hike in cyber insurance premiums.


What does Microsoft recommend?

When discussing this issue with its users, Microsoft said that: “Microsoft recommends customers migrate applications and workloads to Azure to run securely. Azure SQL Managed Instance is fully managed and always updated (PaaS). Customers can also lift-and-shift to Azure Virtual Machines, including Azure Dedicated Host, Azure VMware Solution, and Azure Stack (Hub, HCI, Edge), to get three added years of extended security updates at no cost.”

“Customers needing an on-premises solution may upgrade to Windows Server 2022 and SQL Server 2019. Eligible customers with Software Assurance under an Enterprise Agreement may also purchase ESUs (Extended Security Update) for Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012,” Microsoft added.

Not sure what to do?

If you’re using Win Server 2012 and unsure on what steps to take, there are a few things to consider:

  • Microsoft automatically offers Extended Security Update (ESU) to users who migrate to Azure with an existing Windows 2012 R2 server. So, the path to an Azure migration is still open, even if a full migration to Azure is not possible in the time available.
  • You can use Azure Virtual Desktop to support legacy apps that might be a concern. This could allow you to move to Azure.
  • Should you really need more time to act, Microsoft does have the previously mentioned ESU. This gives you an added three years of support, for a fee. After this date, there is no possibility to get support at all. As such, ESU will be available for Win Server 2012 until 13 October 2026.

Need advice?

If you’ve read all of the above and are still not sure which choice is the right one for you, we have an experienced team of engineers who have solved this problem (and many others like it) for our customers. We can recommend the best solution for your technology stack and make sure you make the right move, at the right time. Get in touch here.


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