Windows Server 2008 will no longer be supported in 2020

Even with the proliferation of cloud computing and virtualization, many organizations around the world are still managing on-premises servers. Because of various constraints, some are still running outdated versions of the popular Windows operating system. One version in particular that powers a large number of on-premises servers is Windows Server 2008.

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If your organization currently has any machines running Windows Server 2008, it’s important that you read on to learn about Microsoft ending support for this operating system in 2020.

Support for Windows Server 2008 ends January 14th, 2020

Microsoft recently announced they’ll be ending support for both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 on January 14th, 2020. While it may seem like you have quite a bit of time to prepare, it’s critical that you begin to think about how this change will affect your organization right now. Without extended support from Microsoft, this could have disastrous consequences if your organization isn’t able to upgrade your on-premises servers before the deadline.

What happens when support ends for Windows Server 2008?

Many organizations take for granted that Microsoft releases operating system updates regularly. These updates address all sorts of issues including security vulnerabilities, bug fixes and much more. When Microsoft ends support for a particular operating system, these updates end as well.

You may think that you can get by without these updates, but the reality is that running an unsupported operating system can put your entire organization, as well as any data that you manage at risk. The following are some of the huge risks that you face if you don’t upgrade your version of Windows Server before January 14th, 2020.

No security updates

Once support ends for an operating system, all security updates stop as well. With most servers being connected directly to the internet, avoiding security updates can leave your entire organization at risk. Hackers will typically target systems running outdated operating systems because they know that Microsoft will not be releasing any additional security patches. This happened when support ended for Microsoft XP and will likely happen when support ends for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 as well.

Compliance concerns

Depending on your industry, you may have compliance requirements that are simply a cost of doing business. One of those requirements likely revolves around ensuring your computing infrastructure is secure and up to date with the latest updates. Failing to upgrade from an unsupported operating system can create compliance concerns that could land your organization in hot water with regulatory authorities. If your organization does business overseas, you must adhere to GDPR regulations, which are extremely strict and would likely not approve of your organization running an outdated and unsupported version of Windows Server.

Lack of innovation

By refusing to upgrade your server to an up to date operating system, you’re essentially cutting off the ability to run the latest software. This can thwart innovation and likely prevent you from being able to leverage some of the new technology such as cloud computing, virtualization, and DevOps, to name just a few.

Start planning now to ensure transition to Windows Server 2016 goes smoothly

If your organization is currently running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you’ll need to upgrade to Windows Server 2016. It’s best to go ahead and begin talking through the migration process with your IT team so that the entire process can be done methodically and efficiently. If you have any questions throughout the entire migration process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the MessageOps team.

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