Remember when Server 2008 and Windows 7 were ‘end-of-lifed’ in 2020? Here we go again…
Since their release, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 have been widely used by organizations around the world. However, Microsoft has announced that these operating systems will both reach the end of support on October 10th, 2023.
This means that as of today, organizations have exactly 6 months left before they will stop receiving technical support, bug fixes, or security updates for servers running on these operating systems.
The biggest implication? After the October cutoff date, businesses will be vulnerable to cyberattacks and other security risks.
Key reasons to upgrade from Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
- Security: One of the biggest risks of using an unsupported operating system is the lack of security updates. As new vulnerabilities are discovered, hackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to your systems, steal data or to launch attacks on your network.
- Compliance: If your business is subject to regulatory requirements, running an unsupported operating system could put you in violation of those requirements. For example, HIPAA regulations require that organizations implement security measures to protect electronic personal health information; using an unsupported operating system could put a healthcare provider at risk of non-compliance.
- Performance: Running an outdated operating system can also impact system performance and productivity. Over time, hardware drivers and software applications may become incompatible with the older operating system, leading to crashes, errors and other issues.
- Cost: While upgrading to a newer operating system may require some investment, the cost of not doing so can be much higher. In the event of a security breach or data loss, the cost of recovery can far outweigh the cost of upgrading to a newer operating system.
What about extended support?
Server 2012 and 2012 R2 users have already been surviving on extended support, as Microsoft ended mainstream support more than four years ago.
Technically, users will have an additional three years to pay for extended security updates, but the cost of those licenses will increase each year until October of 2026. It’s hard to argue such an expense would make sense for such an outdated operating system.
Microsoft is offering three years of free security support for on-premise Server 2012 users who migrate to Azure. This may be a great option but before leaping at this offer, we strongly recommend consulting with an experienced IT provider to understand how Azure expenses might impact your company in the long run.
Plan, Then Act
While Windows Server 2012 today makes up just under 1% of the market, the data insights company, Enlyft, reports that this means 40,000 companies are still running this antiquated operating system.
To ensure a smooth transition, the time to start planning your upgrade is now – don’t wait.
Begin by assessing your current systems and identifying any applications or hardware that may be impacted, then consider whether a cloud-based solution may be a more cost-effective and flexible option for your business.
Overall, the end of support for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 is a critical issue for businesses and organizations that rely on these operating systems. Failure to take action could leave your business vulnerable to security risks and compliance issues, as well as impact performance and productivity. To avoid these risks, it’s essential to plan and upgrade to a newer operating system or cloud-based solution as soon as possible. You are always welcome to contact us anytime for assistance regarding Windows Server 2012 or any MSP-related needs.