End of Life Looms for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Share It's Time to Plan for the End of Life for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 and Exchange Server 2010 It's almost time to say goodbye to the three Windows Server 2008 R2 editions. Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter. This long running, popular Microsoft standby is set to go End of Life (EOL) on January 14, 2020, at which time extended support will officially stop. Unfortunately, software has a shelf life and cannot live on forever. When new software replaces old, it makes financial sense for a company to eventually end support for older software. It may seem as though you just went through this situation when Windows Server 2003 went EOL. However, it is once again time to begin formulating a strategy for your migration and ensuring your infrastructure stays secure. Staying on EOL Software Renders Your System Vulnerable While EOL products don't stop working immediately, the company will no longer provide support for them. That means if anything breaks, there won't be a fix available. However, the biggest risk of continuing to use end of life products is that they will no longer receive patches or security updates. This leaves you vulnerable to cyberattacks with a potential loss of data, because it's virtually impossible to prevent attacks from hackers if a product contains security vulnerabilities that aren't being fixed. Hackers exist to prey on vulnerabilities, and end of life software provides them with ample opportunities. You spend time and money on increasing security awareness and implementing malware, so don't take unnecessary risks with your software by refusing to migrate. Staying on EOL Software Limits Compatibility with Newer Applications New applications are optimized for the most recent operating systems. That means when using EOL operating systems, you may not be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest, so you'll have to hold onto legacy applications. Other Products Going EOL Windows Server 2008 isn't the only product that's getting the final axe in the near future. These three other products are also reaching their EOL: Exchange Server 2010 Windows 7 SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 3 You can also continue to use these three products safely until their end of life dates, but at that point in time migration will be necessary in order to keep data secure and stay in compliance with industry standards. Planning for Migration When software inevitably becomes obsolete, it can post a challenge for businesses. But keep in mind extended support for these products doesn't officially end until January 14, 2020 (and July 9, 2019, for SQL Server). You do have some time to formulate a migration plan, so there's no need to panic. However, 2020 will be here before you know it, and you don't want to wait until the last minute to handle a move of this magnitude. Just taking into consideration the number of computers running Windows 7, estimated at 48% of all business workstations right now, the line for upgrade assistance will start getting very long as we get closer to these dates. The time to start planning is now. Feel free to Contact Us if you would like more information or if you would like to discuss formulating a migration plan before it's too late.