Microsoft announced that it will officially begin the Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 end of life phase on 14 January, 2020. Simply put, it means that if things go wrong and bugs develop, you will not be able to reply on Microsoft to fix the problem any longer.
An old unpatched system is a cybersecurity risk and the cost of an incident may be substantially higher than the cost of upgrading. With only a few months left, how prepared are you? Do you know your options?
Option 1: Do nothing, at your own risk
After 14 January 2020, your products will continue to function for as long as you want them to but they will become more vulnerable to emerging security threats and viruses due to the lack of security patches. In addition, with the stop of technical updates from Microsoft, you will also likely begin to notice quality issues over time and eventually an upgrade is inevitable.
The main reason you might choose this option is that you have a legacy application that will not run on the new operating system. In this instance, you should look to minimize the number of devices that you keep on the EOL Windows platform.
Option 2: Getting Microsoft Extended Security Updates (ESU)
If you really cannot upgrade and retrain staff in time, Microsoft offers the option of extended support during this transitional period. You can purchase Windows ESUs on a per-year, per-device basis until January 2023.
ESUs comes at a cost and businesses operating a large number of devices will soon find this option less wallet-friendly. ESU for Windows Server 2009/R2 is about 75% of the on-premises annual license cost. You should also note that the ESU programme provides ‘critical’ and ‘important’ security updates but not technical support after the EOL date, so migrating would likely make more sense.
Option 3: Upgrade
• Migrate existing devices to Windows 10
Companies can do an “in-place upgrade” for their desktops and laptops in many cases. This is the least-expensive option but you are still stuck with your aging hardware. This option is all right if your computers are relatively new.
• Replace outdated hardware
You can take the opportunity to replace old computers. New computers especially servers are expensive but you will get the latest operating system with enhanced security and performance.
• Moving to Azure
This option applies only for Server 2008 and is a relatively simple process. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud services platform. It has several distinct advantages over physical servers, such as the ability to upsize or downsize resources on demand, improved security if configured properly, and the elimination of hardware failure. In addition, if you migrate your Windows Server 2008 to Azure, you will get an additional three years of extended support and security updates at no cost.
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Stone Forest IT’s deep experience and proven end-to-end migration strategy reduces risk and offers cost optimization for a smooth experience during the transition and beyond. Our comprehensive, hassle free service includes:
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- Managed services - security & support via AvailEase
- Data destruction & E-waste disposal