With Microsoft Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ending in just under a year, there are quite a few things to consider if you’re still using either of these versions.
There are several different phases of support that Microsoft offers for their SQL Server releases. Mainstream Support covers years 0-5 and resolves security and functional issues. Extended Support encompasses years 6-10 and irons out security and critical functional issues. These used to be all that were offered, but there’s a new security option. This new plan offers security updates for an additional three years for free. There is a catch though: the workloads must be moved to the Azure cloud. Alternately, you can purchase extended security updates for 75% of the licensing costs annually for up to three years. This new paid Extended Security Update plan requires Software Assurance and can only be applied to currently supported versions of SQL Server (as of the time of writing, that is SQL Server 2008 and newer).
There are three routes available to take at the end of Extended Support. You could upgrade to a newer version before the July 9th deadline, you could purchase extended security updates for 75% of the licensing costs per year, or you could put your systems at security and regulatory risk and cause potential compliance issues by doing nothing.
If upgrading is the path you’re thinking of going down there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. First, is what version to upgrade to. Additionally, you’ll want to consider what your budget looks like, HA/DR requirements of your business and the number of cores to buy or renew. Scheduling downtime for testing and the migration itself also need to be taken into account. Knowing these considerations can help you set objectives for the upgrade. Some of these objectives may be to minimize cost by upgrading the fewest cores as possible and upgrading them to the least expensive edition that fulfils your feature and performance requirements. Another objective might be to have the least disruptive upgrades as possible to minimize downtime.
This is where DxEnterprise (DxE) comes in and can help optimize your migrations from SQL Server 2008/R2. DxE is a SQL Server management tool that has built-in high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities. DxE can also minimize the number of cores subject to the upgrade by assisting with consolidation. This software can also give you the highest level of availability on any version and also help you avoid Enterprise Edition by allowing 3+ node clusters on any edition. These features help us save our customers an average of 25-60%.
Want to see how much you can save on your next upgrade? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can develop a personalized TCO document for your environment. If you’re interested in seeing how the technology works for yourself, sign up for a free demo or trial of DxEnterprise and we’ll support you throughout the process.