End of support for Windows Server 2012 & 2012R2
As of October 10, 2023, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, reaches end of life status.
As a result, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, bug fixes, security updates, or new features for Windows 2012/2012 R2.
Whilst Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 servers will continue to function, the absence of software maintenance leaves an organisations IT systems and data vulnerable to security threats and compatibility issues as any vulnerabilities, faults, or bugs are found.
How could this impact your business?
Companies that do not act are at risk of cyber-attacks on their data, IT assets, and systems. In addition, continuing to run end-of-life and unsupported infrastructure may contribute to non-compliance with industry and financial regulations (PCI, ISO, APRA) or support from third-party applications.
To maintain secure and up-to-date IT infrastructure, companies have several mitigation options to consider.
- Upgrade to a Supported Version: The most straightforward approach is to upgrade to a newer version of Windows Server, such as Server 2022 or any future versions released by Microsoft. This option ensures ongoing support and access to the latest features and security updates. Ideally, new replacement servers can be deployed, and applications/data can be upgraded and migrated, however, in-place upgrade is available as an alternative.
- Microsoft Extended security updates (ESU): Microsoft and Brennan acknowledge some companies may have already undertaken upgrade and migration or cloud adoption projects but need additional time as workloads are replaced, retired, or rearchitected. To meet this scenario, Microsoft Azure services offer companies the option to purchase Extended Security Updates for Windows and SQL Server 2012 based on their workloads which can be maintained within Azure or on-premises. This comes at an additional cost and requires deployment or migration actions depending on the location of workloads.
- Hosted in Azure: Customers that cannot meet the deadline can protect their apps and data running on Windows 2012 releases for three additional years when you migrate workloads of Windows 2012 and SQL Server 2012 to Azure and take advantage of free ESUs in Azure.
- On-premises or hosted infrastructure: Customers who cannot meet the deadline can protect their infrastructure by deploying Azure Arc to access ESU. Azure Arc-enabled servers allow management using the Azure portal for servers hosted outside of Azure.
Brennan can perform a Total Cost of Ownership Review as part of a strategic roadmap exercise; spelling out the burden of infrastructure management as part of a migration exercise.
For further details and information from Microsoft about its product life cycles and support options, please see the following links:
- End of Support announcement – https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/announcements/windows-server-2012-r2-end-of-support
- Prepare to deliver Extended Security Updates: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-arc/servers/prepare-extended-security-updates
- Licensing: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-arc/servers/license-extended-security-updatesm
If you need assistance to navigate these end-of-support changes, get in touch either by phone (1300 500 000) or email (email@example.com)