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Windows Server 2008 End of Life

On 14th January 2020 just like Windows 7 we also say a fond farewell to support for Windows 2008/2008 R2. After this date there will be no more security updates which is a risk to your business, data, applications and infrastructure this makes now the a perfect time to re-evaluate your infrastructure needs.

What does End of Life mean?

End of Life means that Microsoft will no longer provide updates for the 2008/2008 R2 Server. These upcoming changes mean that if you’re still running Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, then now is the time to start planning your next move. Securely and accurately updating IT infrastructure is a large, complicated task. If you don’t do anything, your company’s infrastructure won’t be secure when the deadline hits. The server will still function, but it won’t receive important security updates, meaning you’ll be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

This can have a hugely detrimental effect to your business just as the NHS discovered in 2017. The WannaCry virus attack affected a third of all NHS trusts – disrupting 7000 appointments – resulting in patients being turned away. It was later discovered that the cyberattack could’ve been prevented by a few basic security measures including keeping software updated and replacing outdated systems.

What does this mean for my business?

In order to keep your business secure come the 14th January 2020 you’re going to need a new Operating System. You only really have two options: update your operating system (Windows Server 2019 for example) or move your infrastructure to a virtual server.

If you choose to update your operating system, the downside is that your server will still have a limited lifetime as every Windows product has a lifecycle – you’ll need to upgrade again in a number of years when the new Operating System hits its own End of Support, and once again the replacement cycle starts over.

Virtual servers don’t have this issue; they can essentially last forever. This is because they can be upgraded remotely as soon as updates are available, so your Virtual Server will always have the latest features, OS, and security patches. Another benefit is that you can scale your server up and down easily, meaning they can adapt to your business needs.

Another Option - Office 365

If your only using your Windows Server 2008 purely as a file server, there is a third option  – Office 365. All of your files can be migrated to, and accessed via, SharePoint and OneDrive. Office 365 is Cloud based so has the same benefits as Virtual Servers including no replacement cycle, and scalability. For more information on Office 365 click here.

What should I do?

Continuing to operate off your unpatched server will leave you open to attacks. You really need to be doing one of the following by the 14th January 2020:

  1. Update your operating system, for example move to Windows Server 2019.
  2. Move your infrastructure to a virtual server.
  3. Deploy Office 365.