Windows Server 2008 end of life means that Microsoft will no longer improve the product, accept warranty claims, or provide non-security hotfixes. This is known as mainstream support.
It will continue to offer bug fixes and security updates through extended support.
This means that it is still ok to use Windows Server 2008 as long as you don’t need the services specific to mainstream support.
When do you need to change out your Operating System By?
January 14, 2020. At the minimum we recommend 6 months before that.
This is when Windows will no longer offer bug fixes and security updates through extended support and your data will now be relatively unprotected.
Why 2020 Windows Server 2008 End of Life Needs to be the Real ‘End’
As any data center manager knows, not having bug fixes or security updates for your data center equipment is a deal breaker. Problems like this need to be avoided before they are given an opportunity to develop.
After End of Life, the creator no longer provides anything new for the product. This means that any bug fixes or features cease to be released. It also means that new vulnerabilities or holes in security will be left open to attack without a software update to remedy the weaknesses.
A security breach that cannot be resolved and could have been prevented is not a good option for any data center or data center manager.
What to do Before the Windows Server 2008 Extended Support Ends in 2020
The first order of business is to upgrade to a new operating system. You may consider an infrastructure update to take advantage of new virtualization features in modern operating systems.
An infrastructure update is no small task, so starting as soon as possible is of the utmost importance to make sure proper planning and execution takes place. As of this writing January 14, 2020 is still over 2 years away, but that doesn’t mean there is time to wait.
There is a lot of planning that needs to take place before doing an infrastructure update properly. Time should be allotted for inevitable troubleshooting and delays. With such a big and complicated process at least a few small things will inevitably not go as planned and cause holdups.
If you are considering waiting until the last minute to update your 2008 Windows Servers we highly recommend leaving 6 months of leeway between your projected finish date and January 14, 2020. Your data and security are too important to put at that kind of risk.
What about End of Life for different Windows Server Editions?
There are sixteen Windows Server 2008 products, and mainstream support ended for all of them on January 13th 2015. However, newer versions of Windows Server like Windows Server 2012 have a different EoL date.
Windows extended support will continue until January 14th 2020 for all of them. Extended support for any OS is provided by microsoft 5 years after mainstream support ends. Because of the release of Windows Server 2012, mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 was pushed back two years, as well as extended support for each of its 2008 server offerings.
The hyper-v improvements within Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 R2 can provide a noticeable boost in performance, and can merit a switch for many data centers. Windows Server 2008 R2 does not include quite the same level virtualization technology as the Windows Server 2016 edition.
Is it still Safe to Use my Windows Server 2008 after end of life?
While it is after the Windows Server 2008 End of Life date in 2015, you can still safely use it in your server environment until the extended support expires. One of the biggest drawbacks to this is your data center will be missing out on the powerful virtualization features in the new Windows Server 2016 and R2 editions. These features alone can be worth an upgrade for some data centers. If you want to find out more about the technical details you can check out this Microsoft resource center on the server.
How Necessary is the Mainstream Support lost after Windows Server 2008 End of Life?
If you find yourself placing warranty claims and requesting new features or non-security bug fixes frequently, mainstream support might be a necessity. If those features have a notable benefit to your datacenter, now is a good time to start planning your infrastructure update.
“I Just Upgraded After Windows Server 2008 End of Life, How Do I Sell My Servers“?
If you aren’t sure what to do with your leftover equipment and it’s holding you back, don’t be. Exit Technologies can provide you with IT equipment liquidation services built for the unique needs of the modern data center.
E-waste Recycling Solutions for Your Windows Server 2008
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If your company is switching to new servers to prepare for Windows Server End of Life, Exit Technologies has the services that you need. Contact us today for a free asset valuation and service quote.