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How to Handle SQL Server 2014 End of Life with Your On-Premises Databases

Author: JP Chen | 4 min read | July 3, 2024


With SQL Server 2014 reaching its end of life, your organization must now address the challenges of upgrading your on-premises databases before you run into issues with bugs, security, and performance. It’s a crucial juncture with many options on the table. Learn practical steps to handle this transition effectively, including evaluating upgrade options, leveraging existing infrastructure, and planning for future growth.

Pay for Extended Security Updates for On-Premises SQL Server 2014 Databases

If your update or migration plan is in the works, but you just need more time to prepare for a move to a different SQL Server version or database technology, Microsoft offers Extended Security Updates (ESU). These updates cover critical security updates for up to three years. ESUs are available until July 12, 2027.

If you run your SQL Server 2014 workloads in Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), ESUs are free. Otherwise, you need to purchase them for on-premises and multi-cloud environments enabled by Azure Arc. Additionally, for on-premises ESUs, you must have a Software Assurance or Software Subscription. Learn more about ESU pricing and usage here.

Upgrade to a Currently Supported Version of SQL Server On-Premises or in the Cloud

You can upgrade to a newer version of SQL Server. SQL Server 2022 is the most current version, with a mainstream End of Life (EOL) date of January 11, 2028 and SQL Server 2019 has an EOL date of February 28, 2025.

SQL Server 2014 can be directly upgraded to:

  • SQL Server 2016
  • SQL Server 2017
  • SQL Server 2019
  • SQL Server 2022


You won’t have to worry about any pesky end of support dates for a while, but you will need to invest resources into making this transition.

Along with the database upgrade, you may need to refactor applications that previously used SQL Server 2014 to make the best use of new SQL Server features and avoid deprecated functionality. This process can be disruptive when you’re working with mission-critical applications.

Navigating the end of life for SQL Server 2014 presents both challenges and opportunities. Whether you choose to invest in Extended Security Updates, upgrade to a newer SQL Server version, or migrate to the cloud, careful planning and resource allocation are key. Get more tips in “Planning Your SQL Server 2014 Retirement Party.”

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