By: Ed Swiderski, ConvergeSecure® Engineer
If you are not already aware, Microsoft will be ending extended support for Windows Server 2008 on January 14, 2020. Knowing this, and beginning to make plans to upgrade now, will ensure a smooth transition and allow you to complete your migration prior to the cutoff date. Every environment is unique and needs to be evaluated. Most often it is the prerequisites of business specific applications that require special considerations.
What does the end of extended support mean to me?
Mainstream support ended for this product on 1/13/2015. This means that since this date active product development has stopped and that only major product and security flaws are being patched. Postponing upgrades past the extended support cutoff date will mean that your current installations will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft and be exposed to future vulnerabilities that are discovered by the hacking community.
Can I simply perform an upgrade of my current Windows Server 2008 installations?
This is partially dependent on if your current environment is virtualized or based on physical servers and will require a full evaluation to determine the best migration path. In either case, we typically do not recommend performng an in-place upgrade to the Windows operating system, but rather a parallel deployment of a new server as the upgrade. This is considered a best practice to ensure that any problems that may have been introduced into the previous environment are not carried over. Consider it wiping the slate clean.
What can I expect if my servers are physical hardware?
If the current environment is a physical server, we will need to evaluate the hardware platform, determine the age, and availability of hardware support. Given the age of the operating system, it is probable that the hardware will be recommended for replacement.
What can I expect if my servers have been virtualized?
If your current environment is virtualized we will need to determine the installed hypervisor (virtual server operating system) and the underlying hardware to determine compatibility. A genreal rule of thumb is that if either is older than 3 years it will likely need to be upgraded.
How do hardware, the hypervisor OS, and the Windows OS correlate?
If you are running a virtualized environment, the hypervisor is simply another layer that sits between the hardware and server operating system. It allows for multiple virtual servers to be run on a single physical server. What this means to planning an upgrade is that there are compatibility concerns which need to be addressed between both the hardware, and hypervisor, and the hypervisor and the virtualized server running Windows (or any other operating system).
If I’m considering moving my servers to a cloud-based hosting solution do I need to upgrade now?
Your best plan of action would be to upgrade now and then migrate to cloud services. This depends on the hosting solution you are considering, the timeframe of your migration, and would best be discussed with one of our Account Executives.
What version of Windows should I upgrade to; 2012, 2016, or 2019?
Again, this is environment specific and will require further examination to determine if there are any application specific requirements. In general, 2016 is your best bet to move to from 2008. Server 2012 should only be considered if there are other limiting requirements. Server 2019 will put you in the best position for future support, but will require the most current hardware and make you an early adoptor. This means you will be faced with addressing problems before the general user community has seen them.
If you have any questions regarding if, and how, this may affect you, please contact your CCC Technologies’ Representative or contact our 100% U.S.-based Customer Care Team at 1-866.347.3780 anytime, day or night.
Learn more about CCC and how we can help with this.