SQL Server has provided a backbone of modern infrastructure. If you are running an on-premise server you are likely to be running SQL Server or Windows Server, and when moving to the cloud these operating systems are very much still key.

If you are running an older on-premise server with SQL Server, it is highly possible that this is now out of support and represents a risk to your business.

Microsoft for products with perpetual licenses provide around 10 years of support to fix bugs and patch vulnerabilities. In this article we discuss what SQL Server 2012 reaching end of support means for you and what you can do about it.

When did SQL Server 2012 reach end of life?

SQL Server 2012, reaches end of life 12th July 2022.

What does end of life mean?

Microsoft provides 10 years of support for all of its products. For the first 5 years they provide mainstream support, and this includes regular updates, fixes and patches. Once this is finished the product moves on to extended support and this is for the second 5 years. During this phase Microsoft will only fix security issues.

So, when SQL Server 2012 reached end of life, what this really means is this is the end of extended support.

What are the risks of running SQL Server 2012 after end of life?

Firstly, it means you are running a 10 year old technology which can be an indicator of an aging IT infrastructure.

What about end of life risks? The risk is security related; the basis of this risk is if a vulnerability is found then Microsoft will not be patching or fixing this. Meaning the vulnerability will likely get into cyber criminals’ hands and become well known and pose a threat to your business.

What can I do?

There are two main routes available for organisations facing this challenge:

On-premise solution

The best option for someone with an on-premise solution on SQL Server 2012 is to upgrade the server to a newer version of SQL Server, with SQL Server 2019 being the best option here, as this would offer you the longest period of in-house support.

Azure-based solution

If you aren’t already on Azure, then it is the clear next step for someone running a server with SQL Server 2012. There are two main ways you could move your server to Azure:

  1. Lift and Shift to Azure – You can easily lift and shift your existing setup into Azure and upgrade to a newer version of SQL Server.
  2. Azure SQL – Azure SQL is a managed service from Microsoft. Where you don’t pay for a server and then the license or have to worry about keeping this up to date. This is all included in the one price.

Extended Security Updates

Microsoft is offering users of SQL Server 2012 two ways of getting extended security updates (ESU). This is an additional 3 years of security updates available from Microsoft from the end of life date. Microsoft will continue to monitor the solution and anyone with an active ESU can benefit from a fix or patch.

There are two main ways you can get this for SQL Server 2012:

  • On-premise – If you have software assurance or an enterprise agreement you can purchase an ESU for up to 3 years for on-premise instances.
  • Migrating to Azure – If you migrate to Azure, you get the full 3 years available for free.

Now you know that SQL Server 2012 is out of support and what this means for your organisation. There are options available for those wishing to stay on SQL Server 2012 and a number of different upgrade paths for others. If you would like to discuss your requirements or get a quote for any of these options then please contact us today.