SQL Server 2008 R2 End of Life

One of the major software end of life’s coming down the pike is Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 R2.  This is essentially database software that the majority of folks use, but don’t really know much about.  This is because you’re familiar with the applications powered by SQL databases, and not SQL itself.

This one is kind of a big deal.  SQL is the back end that makes a lot of our apps work.  The problem with this is that upgrading SQL usually requires some type of application downtime while the back end database is swapped out for the more current version.  It can be done pretty seamlessly in most cases, but it requires planning and it’s not cheap.

Why make the move?

Reasons for making the move to the new version of SQL are pretty straightforward.  The biggest of which are usually concerned with security and compliance.

Security – Microsoft like most software manufacturers maintains a product life cycle.  During that time it is continually improving and patching it’s products as new features become available, enhancements are added, and security vulnerabilities are patched.  When a product reaches the end of it’s life cycle Microsoft is essentially saying that they can’t dedicate additional resources to patching and updating the legacy versions of their software.  The software stays secure as long as Microsoft is on the other side of the wall patching things up.  Once they stop that work new vulnerabilities will continue to be exploited by those with nefarious intent.  After end of life, products become less and less secure.

Compliance – An application that is end of life will soon be insecure, so it often will throw  your compliance out the window as well.  HIPAA, SOC 1, SOC 2, PCI, NIST all have it in common that you’re required to be running on a supported version of software with security updates applied. This is common sense for IT security, but could put you in a state of non compliance which has it’s own penalties.

Performance – Most folks that make a move to the new version of SQL will be able to see an increase in performance based on the move.  Microsoft is continually striving to make their products better, and so along with added security you’ll likely get a nice performance boost as well.

Plan now

Upgrading the database on the back end of your applications takes care and planning.  The deadline is looming.  At this point we only have a few months to make the needed upgrades to ensure security and compliance.  Talk with your IT team today to ensure that you have a plan in place that will allow you to stay ahead of the curve.  As always you’re friends at i.t.NOW stand ready to assist should you need help with this type of migration.