If your organization is still using Microsoft Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2, it’s imperative to act quickly and initiate the upgrade process for your server operating system. The official end date for both Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 is set for October 10, 2023. Beyond this critical date, Microsoft will stop to offer vital services, including security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates for the Windows Server 2012 operating system.
Now is the time to delve into your alternatives and select a solution that aligns with your organization’s specific requirements, whether it’s a short-term or long-term fix.
What does the End of Support for Windows Server 2012 mean?
The end of support means that Microsoft will cease to offer technical assistance, security updates, and bug fixes for the Windows Server 2012 operating system. Consequently, this leaves the operating system exposed to potential security threats, with the risk of security vulnerabilities escalating over time. In the absence of routine updates and patches, the operating system’s stability may deteriorate, leading to increased downtime and diminished productivity.
As observed with other operating systems reaching their end of life, the end of support for Windows Server 2012 R2 introduces a growing risk factor over time. This real risk is exemplified by the emergence of new cyberattacks aimed at exploiting the vulnerability of unsupported operating systems, coupled with the absence of security updates. Additionally, continuing to operate on Windows Server 2012 can potentially expose your business to compliance issues. For instance, certain regulatory guidelines like those of HIPAA mandate the utilization of up-to-date operating systems for your business technology.
Upgrade Options from Windows Server 2012
- If your current infrastructure relies on Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2, and upgrading to the next version isn’t feasible, Microsoft offers a solution in the form of Extended Security Updates (ESUs). These ESUs can be obtained at no cost when hosted on Azure or can be acquired for on-premises deployments. Over a span of up to three years, these updates will ensure the ongoing security and stability of your systems.
- Another attractive option is migrating to Azure, which offers a range of benefits. By relocating your applications and databases to Azure, including solutions like Azure VMware Solution, Azure Stack HCI, Virtual Machines, or Dedicated Hosts, you become eligible for up to three years of complimentary Extended Security Updates. Furthermore, Azure Hybrid Benefit lets you maximize the value of your existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses.
- For those who prefer to maintain on-premises operations, upgrading to Windows Server 2022 is strongly recommended. Alternatively, you have the option to procure Extended Security Updates tailored for Windows Server 2012. These ESUs provide security updates for a duration of up to three years and can be seamlessly deployed on-premises using Azure Arc, effectively extending Azure’s advanced security and governance features to your local environment.
What’s at stake if you don’t take action?
If your business is currently reliant on Windows Server 2012 beyond the critical date of October 10th, 2023, the most pressing concern is the heightened vulnerability to cyberattacks.
The absence of security updates from Microsoft means that new vulnerabilities will remain unaddressed, effectively leaving your systems exposed to potential cyber threats. Such attacks can have severe repercussions for businesses of any scale, encompassing financial penalties for non-compliance and the erosion of consumer trust.
Furthermore, the aging systems pose significant risks in terms of performance and reliability. Inefficiencies stemming from outdated technology can result in downtime, incurring substantial costs that are likely to surpass the expenses associated with migrating to a modernized service.
Understanding Your Migration and Modernization Choices
Upgrading to modern systems can be a complex task with significant business continuity considerations. Seeking guidance from an experienced Microsoft partner can help you explore all migration and modernization options and streamline the transition of your IT environment. Feel free to reach out to our team if you want to learn more.