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Microsoft Offers Extended Support for Legacy Servers in Azure

Standard Extended Support ended for SQL 2008 on July 9, 2019 and ends for Windows Server 2008 on Jan. 14, 2020. Microsoft’s carrot offer is simple: move all of your legacy 2008 Servers to Azure and receive three years of Extended Support at no additional cost.

Typically, when product support hits end of life, there is a crazy scramble in IT departments to upgrade the server software to new versions. This can’t always be done in time and some even choose not to upgrade and run their servers without support or security patches. This path can very likely be more costly in this age of viruses, ransomware, and cyberattacks.

Source: Microsoft Azure at SoftwareReviews Report Published January 2019

More Details on the Offer

The Extended Support offer will allow IT managers to migrate their Windows Server 2008/2008R2 servers and content directly onto virtual machines (VMs) in Microsoft Azure and continue to receive critical security patches and updates for up to three years. From a licensing perspective, this is Azure Hybrid Benefit, which allows for on-premises server licenses to be transferred to workloads running in Azure. Customers can also leverage no-cost tools and resources within Azure to replicate workloads from Hyper-V, VMware, or bare metal.


  • Leverage this offer to buy your organization more time to test and migrate your legacy servers to a newer version (2016 or 2019).
  • Take advantage of the free Azure migration tools to save time replicating on-premises environments.
  • Look into the 30-day free trial of Azure Sight Recovery that can replicate entire Hyper-V & VMware VMs, including running apps, directly into Azure VMs without downtime of the on-premises machines.
  • When working with your Azure VMs, tune and size the capacity of VMs to optimize your Azure utilization and spend, ultimately saving on Azure spend.

Our Take

There are scenarios where upgrading is not possible, however, in every other situation it is highly recommended that an organization not expose their server infrastructure to vulnerabilities of cyberattacks and malware due to unpatched or non-updated legacy servers running WS2008 or 2008R2

Your alternatives to this offer:

  1. Paying for special Extended Support at 75% of the cost of a Server license.
  2. Rebuying the Server licenses and current Core pricing will be much more costly than a few VMs and some storage running in Azure.
  3. Foregoing upgrades to your Windows Server 2008 and hoping that you are not exploited.

For businesses that have yet to upgrade from Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, this is an opportunity to put off making a decision for a few more years while they evaluate their options.

Want to Know More?

Review Azure Hybrid Benefit

End of Support for Windows and SQL Server 2008

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