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Windows Server 2012 End-of-Life Options

In October 2023, Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 will reach the end of extended support leaving your infrastructure and applications at risk. (SQL Server 2012 extended support has already expired as of July 2022.)

Business Implications

When we meet with organizations facing end-of-life support scenarios, many implications arise. If they are out of support, then how will they meet their compliance requirements? How will they ensure they have reliable support to ensure uptime and mitigate risk exposure? What do they do if they’re compromised? All implications are worth considering, and we break them down below.

1. Compliance

If your organization maintains compliance with PCI, HIPAA, or any other compliance agencies, then all application and infrastructure workloads must maintain a vendor supported state. For operating systems such as when Window Server support ends, you automatically become noncompliant if you have unsupported workloads in your environment or are running applications that are no longer in scope for compliance regulations. If you’re running end-of-life workloads, your insurance premiums increase – along with your exposure to a security attack.

2. Loss of Supportability / Delays in Case of Event

When support ends for Windows Server 2012 in October 2023, organizations will lose supportability in the event of an issue or security threat. Without a reliable vendor to provide support, organizations will be vulnerable to disruption (or worse). If that happens, you won’t be able to call someone to get immediate help. Instead, you would have to get a quote and then pay an invoice before you can get help. There’s a significant delay in the case of an event.

3. Targeted Attacks and Increased Risk of Exposure

Bad actors are waiting with their fingers on the trigger for software to go out of life. If you wait until the last minute to migrate or upgrade your end-of-life software, then you may not have a secure solution in place by the time support ends. Not protecting your organization can lead to loss of revenue, loss of reputation, and targeted attack exposure risk.


In-Place Upgrade OS Version

You still have on-premises infrastructure that you’re supporting. So how do you account for Server 2012 going out of life in your environment? You could do an in-place upgrade, there may be times where this may make sense – especially with lighter workloads. Just ensure you have backups and VM snapshots ready.

Pay for Extended Security Updates

It’s very costly to purchase extended support, with an average cost of 75% of the Windows Server license. It’s an additional yearly expense you have to incur for each workload. But once extended support ends, you won’t get any support from Microsoft. You will inevitably have to move on to something else or risk potential security breaches.

What’s the Best Path for You?

To help answer this question, first determine how to align your IT strategy with the time you have to ensure that your infrastructure remains compliant. It’s often a balancing act as you determine what is best for your organization. The best path is simply the best one customized to your situation and goals.

Current Microsoft Server Operating Systems and "EOL" Dates

Please know your team at Orion is working on getting all our clients upgraded. Each customer has unique requirements and goals so we are working on the best path to take for each scenario.

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