End of Support Doesn’t Have to be as Scary as it Sounds

Jacob Neil, Cloud Solutions Specialist at Phoenix, looks at why End of Support can be a positive thing …

Today’s IT landscape is changing so rapidly that it is near impossible to keep up. There are several types of changes that can affect you and your environments – the most recent is the cloud. I am a big supporter of the cloud and what you can do in the cloud, but it isn’t always the right, or even the best, solution for every problem. Some changes are desired and wanted by the organisation, or IT, and this drives change. The most disruptive changes are those that force you to make a change – the dreaded End of Support (EoS) change.

Currently the most common advice on change involves a full or partial migration of your environment to the cloud, with all vendors that have cloud options agreeing you must do it and do it soon. Sometimes I think it can seem easier to ignore some of the advice and noise, stick your fingers in your ears and hope for the best. This can have a real negative outcome to both your environment and your career if you aren’t careful.

Having worked on or been exposed to hundreds of data centres over the last twenty years, one truth that I have found, is that there is no silver bullet, nor is there one perfect vendor solution that will solve all the problems. There are always unique things to consider when you embark on a new project and I bring all of this up because there is an EoS coming up which could potentially affect many organisations that have been running SQL databases since 2008.

Prepare for SQL Server 2008 End of Support

Not too long ago, Microsoft announced EoS for SQL Server 2008 for the beginning of July 2019 and Windows Server 2008 for mid-January 2020. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 has been a steady workhorse and solid database companion for organisations for 10 years’ and while advancements have been released, SQL 2008 has always just worked, so why would you change it? Why would you look to change it now, surely it will continue to run just fine – right?

With all the changes to policies and with cybercrimes skyrocketing month-on-month, hoping for the best just doesn’t hold anymore. An EoS from Microsoft means no more critical security updates, which are … well critical. Now you could also fall short on compliance with industry and standard regulations and with the dreaded GDPR regulations as well. Plus, with the expectations to do more with less, it could get really expensive to maintain and upkeep these servers, so what do you start cutting instead? What happens if they go down and you struggle or can’t restore them? Even worse – what if a hacker breaks through your security because it is out of date and gains access to not just the database but to all your data?

I am sure you’re expecting me to write something like “Just put it in the cloud and it will solve all your problems”, but it might not be the right fit for performance or costings, or you might not be able to even make the transition to the cloud with the database or application, which make it a non-starter conversation.

There are several variables that need to be assessed and investigated to establish whether it can be moved or not, but you’ll also want to make sure it will perform to the standards needed as well. I will say that if it can be moved to the cloud, you should consider it and look at if it will perform to the desired and needed levels. There are clear advantages to moving to the cloud, but only if it meets your organisations requirements.

How do you sort out if you can move to the cloud?

Phoenix have a couple of services called Surveyor and another called Fundamentals. These are designed to help you get started on your digital transformation journey. We have webinars and datasheets detailing these programmes further and myself or an Account Manager can go into further details if it is of interest.

Ben Murden
Ben Murden

Ben has over two decades in the IT industry, delivering both online and offline campaigns across all platforms to meet business goals and objectives. Joining Phoenix in 1999 as a graphic designer, Ben has evolved over the years into a fully-rounded marketing professional, before being promoted to Phoenix Marketing Manager early in 2018, reporting directly to the MD. With his background in creative design, Ben takes projects from inception to execution and can identify the correct strategy based on the subject, audience, and goals – while increasing the brand profile and revenue. His passion for digital marketing is evident in everything he does, and both vendors and strategic partners often comment on his incredibly positive attitude to ‘make things happen’.

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