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Get Ready for SQL Server 2008 End of Support

Author: JP Chen | | January 9, 2019

Microsoft has announced July 9, 2019 is the end of support day for both SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Don’t let the end of life of SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 frustrate you as it presents the perfect opportunity to upgrade your SQL Server instances and also migrate to the cloud of your choice.

Even if you’re on a cloud already, it’s not uncommon to switch providers. We’ve had clients start with AWS and move to Azure and vice versa. Combining upgrades and cloud migrations creates opportunities to consolidate and reorganize. Both translate to cost savings. Take advantage now.

The Dangers of Not Upgrading SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2

Using SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 after the expiration date doesn’t just mean you’ll be stuck with an unsupported platform; it’s actually dangerous to your business. After July 9, 2019, Microsoft will no longer release any security updates or patches for either version.

You’ll be at risk of security exploits discovered after this date, which may also cause you to fall out of compliance with industry regulations. Countless data breaches, including the devastating 2017 Equifax hack have occurred because companies continue to use outdated software versions without installing the latest security updates.

Upgrading to a newer version of Microsoft SQL Server ensures that you’ll continue to receive the appropriate security updates and patches for years to come, making your business safer.

The Benefits of Upgrading SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2

Newer versions of SQL Server are better equipped for handling the demands of modern businesses. Each new release has been designed to work with larger and more complex databases.

In particular, SQL Server 2016 introduces real-time operational analytics. You can now run both analytics and OLTP workloads on the same database tables at the same time, without losing performance. This means that you’ll no longer have to wait after hours or until the weekend to run your analytics workloads.

SQL Server 2016 also comes with increased security and encryption features that better protect your data. Information is encrypted in all places and during all phases, both in transit and at rest. Only authorized users who have access to the decryption keys are able to see the unencrypted data.

How to Choose the Right SQL Server Version

You know that you need to upgrade SQL Server–but which version should you upgrade to, exactly? Microsoft provides a handy SQL Server comparison chart that shows exactly which features are available on which versions, from cloud-readiness to business intelligence and analytics.

Some of the most useful new features in SQL Server 2016 are:

  • JSON support
  • PolyBase for using Transact-SQL queries to query Hadoop
  • Query Store for saving historical query plans. This feature includes three stores: a plan store for keeping the execution plan information, a runtime stats store for keeping the execution statistics information, and a wait stats store for keeping wait statistics information.

SQL Server comes in multiple editions, including Enterprise, Standard, Express, and Developer. You likely need to choose the Enterprise edition if you require any of the following options:

  • More than 24 cores
  • More than 128 gigabytes of memory
  • Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)
  • Advanced business intelligence and analytics

Make Your Move

While the need to upgrade SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is clear and urgent, planning the upgrade can be a challenge. If you need advice or assistance at any step in the process, we can help.

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