The General Availability release of Windows Server 2019 took place on October 2, 2018. The release of a new OS is a signal that the days are numbered for the previous OS version. So for those of you who just upgraded to Server 2016, this may make you want to pull your hair out. You’ve got less than three years until mainstream support ends for Server 2016.
Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on April 8, 2019
It seems like only yesterday that Windows Server 2012 came out. Many IT professionals were slow in implementing it due to its detraction of the standard Windows desktop interface that we had all grown accustomed to. In fact, according to a Spiceworks survey in August of 2016, Windows Server 2008 was still the on-premise Server OS market leader with 45.4 percent of the market. At the time, Server 2012 took second place with 23.6 percent. Mainstream support for it ended just over two years later on October 9, 2018 with extended support terminating on October 10, 2023.
There were great things about Server 2016 besides just the return of the start menu. Server 2016 introduced Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) to the Windows server platform with its Storage Spaces Direct component. This allowed Microsoft to directly compete with Nutanix and other HCI platform vendors. Server 2016 also improved security with the release of Privileged Access Management (PAM) which allowed organizations to granularly assign access levels to specific users over specified lengths of time. So the question is, if Server 2016 was so good, why is its support ending so soon?
Why does Microsoft put time limits for their support?
As much as admins and businesses may love their current operating system, Microsoft will eventually turn the screws and compel all but the most loyal of users to move on. This tough love process of foisting us to upgrade our operating systems is actually a good thing. Technology continually changes and is exponentially doing so at an ever increasing rate as time goes on. Protocols are deprecated as they become exploited or are replaced by new ones. Network architectures and data center strategies evolve over the years as well, invoking new technologies. Consider how much datacenters have radically changed from even a decade ago with the implementation of cloud integrations, computer virtualization and software defined networking. In order to remain competitive, companies must continually upgrade to the most current systems to take advantage of value added technologies. Finally, software companies simply can’t afford to support every product version forever.
The difference between mainstream and extended support
For those unfamiliar with the Microsoft support model, the company offers two support periods. The first is called mainstream support. Mainstream support typically lasts for five years. During this time, Microsoft commits to regular feature updates, design changes, warranty claims, patching and security/non-security updates. Mainstream support for Server 2016 will terminate on January 11, 2022. Once mainstream ends, the OS enters what is referred to as extended support. This is a minimum support level that includes continued patching for bugs as well as security updates. While the OS may grow stale during this time due to the lack of innovation, it remains safe to use. Extended support for Windows Server 2016 ends on January 11, 2027. At that point, all but the most adamant users will be forced to upgrade to Windows Server 2019 or whatever the OS after that will be referred to as.
Why Digital Transformation Demands You Upgrade
In the past, companies have often chosen to hang on to their equipment even past its End of Life cycle when it was a purely on-prem world. But the world is different today. As companies race to complete their digital transformations in order to stay competitive, the datacenter of yesteryear is now comprised of complex Hybrid IT architectures of both an on prem datacenter and multiple public and private clouds. All of this calls for careful strategic planning and continual upgrades in order to leverage new technologies as they become available. IT is no longer just a cost center that is charged with keeping everything running. Internal IT is now a primary source for innovation and ideas in order to solve business problems and find new opportunities. In order to succeed in its new leadership role, IT can no longer hold on to outdated technologies.
What’s New In Windows Server 2019?
Windows Server 2019 was created for hybrid environments. On prem servers must be cloud ready as datacenters are no longer geocentric. While Microsoft dipped its toe into the HCI waters with Server 2016, Server 2019 has expanded its HCI capabilities and established itself as a fully software-defined platform based on Hyper-V. Microsoft made several significant improvements to its latest server OS to better support cloud applications, including reducing its container footprint. Windows Server 2019 also includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that protects common vectors from security breaches and other malicious attacks. All of that plus the new Windows Admin Center that consolidates all aspects of local and remote server management to a single pane of glass.
Exit Technologies can Provide Your ITAD Solution
There’s a lot of good reasons to upgrade to Windows Server 2019. Often times the upgrade of servers means the upgrade of hardware as well. This is especially true for those that want to take advantage of HCI consolidated hardware that Server 2019 was designed for. That means you will need to recycle or dispose of your old server boxes. And that’s where we come in. Our data destruction and recycling services are trusted by agencies and enterprises with highly sensitive data all across the country. With Exit Technologies, you can rest easy knowing that your data is secure in good hands because we’ve spent over 25 years perfecting our custom built data destruction software/hardware solutions.
Server 2016 isn’t at end of life yet, but now is the time to start planning for the transition to its replacement. If your company is switching to new servers to prepare for Windows Server End of Life, Exit Technologies has the services that you need.
When considering upgrading your data center or selling excess IT equipment, make sure to visit our pages, Sell Servers, Sell Memory, Sell Processors, Sell Ram, Sell Hard Drives and/or Sell Computers In Bulk to get the most value anywhere. Contact us today for a free asset valuation and service quote.
Have something to add? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!