Extended Support for Windows 2008 Servers Set to End: What This Means and How to Prepare

In January 2020, support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end, marking the conclusion of regular security updates and protection.

Articles published December 21, 2018


Without extended support, your device is more vulnerable to security and compliance issues. This termination of service means security vulnerabilities and server issues reported after January 14, 2020 will not be fixed by Microsoft. Organizations need to migrate to updated servers now to ensure their infrastructure and applications remain protected. When a Microsoft product reaches its end-of-life, there aren’t any new features added, fixes offered, or support.

What does this mean for your operating systems?

If you are running Windows 2008 servers, they will be open and exposed to outside infiltration after January 14, 2020. Once support ends, gaps in security will no longer be plugged with software updates, leaving your organization vulnerable to threats. It is critical to ensure your operating systems are secure before the fast-approaching deadline. Leaving your devices exposed and vulnerable to security threats can severely impact your organization, so you need to mitigate risk by preparing your operating systems for these support changes provided.

Network World provides insight on how organizations have handled these technical modifications in the past. “When the end-of-life clock started ticking, organizations made a mad dash to upgrade operating systems and SQL servers in order to keep their systems supported,” Network World reported. “Some organizations chose to continue running their applications completely unsupported, unpatched and un-updated — a very bad thing to do in this age of viruses, malware and cyberattacks.” [1]

Fortunately, there are resources to help you update and adopt new, innovative technologies that will help keep your system secure and efficient. Microsoft recommends an infrastructure update that will include new virtualization features [2] as soon as possible. This will ensure your devices are secure before support ends for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. An infrastructure update is a lengthy task that requires planning and execution. Experts report the safest option is to work at least six to twelve months in advance.

If your organization needs to keep servers onsite, the on-premises server upgrade is a great option. To complete the on-premise server upgrade, you must first update to Windows Server 2012/2012 R2. From there, your organization can update and run operations with Windows Server 2016 or 2019.

Benefits of upgrading to Windows Server 2016 or 2019

Upgrading to Windows Server 2016 or 2019 allows for significant innovation, provides built-in security and features container support for your organization. To receive continued protection beyond the 2020 deadline, Microsoft gives you the option to buy up to three years of extended security updates to cover the servers you need while you upgrade. More specifically, upgrading servers will provide your organization with better security, fewer critical bulletins and reboots, added reliability, and much more.

Aureon Technology is here to assist you in navigating Windows Server changes. To ensure your devices are secure and up-to-date or for more information call us at 800-469-4000.

[1] https://www.networkworld.com/article/3300165/microsoft-lures-win-server-2008-users-toward-azure.html

[2] https://www.exittechnologies.com/blog/data-center/windows-server-2008-end-life-means/